Increase Your Visibility With Google’s Knowledge Panel by John Doppler on July 13, 2017 in Book Promotion & Marketing google knowledge panelsWith more than 77% of the world’s search traffic handled by Google, high visibility on that search engine is critical. There’s more to visibilty than just a first-page listing on Google, however. One of the most effective ways to increase your visibility in Google is with a Knowledge Panel. Knowledge Panels are eye-catching features that summarize the information people are most likely searching for. They are available for corporate brands, local businesses, celebrities, authors, books, movies, and more. Knowledge Panels are assigned by Google, so it can be hit or miss as to whether you’ll secure a listing and what data appears there. But although it can be cumbersome to set up, the Knowledge Panel’s prominence on a search page and its cachet of authority make it well worth striving for. knowledge panel in a google search The Knowledge Panel occupies the space to the right of the search results. Shown here is the Knowledge Panel for ALLi founder Orna Ross. What’s the Benefit? A Knowledge Panel will not increase your search ranking. If your site appears on page 20 of the search results for a given term, having a Knowledge Panel will not boost it to the first page. What it can do is increase click-throughs to your site. The feature appears in a prominent box to the right of search results (or at the top of the screen on a mobile device) which takes up a substantial part of the screen’s real estate. It’s hard to overlook Knowledge Panels: they are huge. Knowledge Panels comes in several formats, the contents of which vary depending on the subject and the source of the data. (We’ll look at data sources in a moment.) For an author, a typical Panel may include photos of the author, an excerpt from a biography, a list of books and their publication dates, images taken from the author’s website, award nominations, social media profiles, or a link to their Wikipedia entry. Knowledge Panels also allow you to post small status updates which can be used to promote sales, new releases, or to direct visitors to your website or mailing list. Sources for Knowledge Panel Data Google assembles the information in a Knowledge Panel from several possible sources, each of which may presents challenges. Wikipedia/Wikidata Google+ Brand Accounts Structured Data Markup Google My Business The more of these sources you have referencing you, the better your chances of having rich content displayed alongside Google searches, but a single entry may be sufficient to generate a Knowledge Panel. Let’s look at each in turn. Wikipedia/Wikidata Difficulty: Complex Both Wikipedia and Wikidata are crowdsourced references. Wikipedia is encyclopedic, whereas Wikidata is a hierarchical database. Both are open for anyone to edit, but there are rules, procedures, and customs that users should acquaint themselves with before diving in. Wikipedia tends to be the more strict of the two, with strong prohibitions against editing your own entries or entries for which you have a perceived conflict of interest. There are additional requirements such as notability, which dictates that the subject of an entry be “sufficiently notable” to warrant inclusion. That generally means multiple references to the subject in mainstream media, professional critiques and reviews, significant awards, or news articles, and these references must be sourced to reputable, verifiable sources. Although enforcement of the rules can be erratic, editors who inadvertently violate the sometimes Byzantine rules and politics of Wikipedia may find their work summarily deleted. Google+ Brand Accounts Difficulty: Easy Google+ offers a special type of account called a brand account, which has similarities to a Facebook Page. Brand accounts can have multiple administrators, and allow you to interact with Google products like Google+ and YouTube under the identity of a business or organization. Google may use information from brand accounts to populate Knowledge Panels, so authors and service providers can benefit from having their brand account profiles filled out completely. Structured Data Markup Difficulty: Easy to Complex Structured Data Markup is code you add to your website that makes it easier for search engines to identify and categorize your content. You can generate this code by hand or through various tools, such as Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper or the JSON-LD Generator from Hall Analysis. Here’s a sample of the markup for a person, which you can adapt to your own purposes:
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