The Knowledge Graph's Hidden Impressions
High impressions in search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are achievable by having an up-to-date Google Knowledge Graph. To do so begins with learning what the Knowledge Graph is, where its information comes from, and its importance for marketing and branding. According to Wikipedia, the Knowledge Graph “is a knowledge base used by Google and its services to enhance its search engine's results with information gathered from a variety of sources. The information is presented to users in an infobox next to the search results." For every search impression, there is an equal Knowledge Graph impression, and subsequently a limited Wikipedia impression. Simply put, the relationship between search results impressions and Knowledge Graph impressions is 1:1. That datapoint provokes a pause amongst marketers and branders who allocate capital and other resources towards responsive web and social media properties. The Knowledge Graph represents a shift in user mindset when it comes to seeking information – reliable convenience.
How does the Google Knowledge Graph Get Its Information?
One of the sources the Knowledge Graph scrapes is Wikipedia, often used to give a brief synopsis of the subject. Furthermore, the Knowledge Graph isn’t limited to just Google; Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines utilize the technology for their results as well. The Knowledge Graph pulls information from Wikipedia through a related project called Wikidata, which serves as a repository for the structured data from Wikipedia articles and other related Wiki-projects. As recently as 2016, different iterations of a Knowledge Graph have populated roughly a third of Google’s 100 billion monthly search requests. Digital assistants often directly cite Wikidata as well, e.g. when Siri returns results “according to Wikipedia.”
What is the relationship of the Google Knowledge Graph and Digital Assistants?
Given the rapid growth in the usage of digital assistants (which is estimated to be 1.8 billion by 2021), it stands to reason that the Knowledge Graph and Wikidata can only grow in significance. Mobile Google searches outstripped desktop searches in the U.S. for the first time in 2015. Every time a user asks Google, Siri, or Alexa to perform a query, Wikidata information is returned, either via the Knowledge Graph or by a direct citation via the digital assistant’s audio response.
How to update the information on the Google Knowledge Graph?
An up-to-date Wikipedia article is the first step to having accurate information on the Google Knowledge Graph. The days of rigorous SEO are coming to an end. Instead of trying to game Google’s algorithms to ensure high search ranking for your company or brand, it becomes much easier to control the snippet of information in the Knowledge Graph. If your Wikipedia article is up-to-date, then your Knowledge Graph is up-to-date, ensuring those who query your brand name are served accurate information. As Google becomes more of a platform in and of itself, it is paramount to understand how and where to prioritize information distribution. Accuracy is as critical for brand management on the Google Knowledge Graph as it is on web and social media properties, because the first place a person gets their information is no longer the company website. It is the search engine itself.