It is no surprise that in a society that has been divided by such polarising issues as Brexit & Trump that people find a news source that they connect with and ultimately trust. The way Google has structured its information panel means that as an author, you could be the next trustworthy source found on the internet!
That’s not to say that building a sizable following is easy. In fact, it can be rather difficult when there are several sources all fighting for the attention of the general reader. That’s why it is important to know what resources there are available to you on the internet, and how to leverage those resources to spotlight your blogs and articles.
One of the resources available in the Google News author knowledge panel.
What is the Google Author Knowledge Panel?
A Google knowledge panel is an informational box that sits on the right-hand side of your Google page after you have searched for an entity that is in the Google Knowledge Graph. You may be searching for a person, a specific place, a business, a product, or an event.
The idea is to provide the user with a handy snapshot of information that has been formulated from Google’s understanding of the available content surrounding that topic.
About Google Knowledge Graph?
Imagine that Google’s records and files of information were stored in a warehouse. That warehouse would probably span the size of an entire country!
The ‘knowledge graph’ is a knowledge base in which Google extrapolates all of the most important and concise data points about a wide variety of topics. Google will scan authoritative websites, such as Wikipedia and Freebase, to gather the right information. That data is then presented to a searcher in a nice, neat, author panel which is super digestible to the Google user.
Whilst SEO and digital specialists may wince at the launch of a new algorithm update from the internet giants, updates such as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird are wholly aimed at smoothing the access to information. It just means that digital marketers must always keep on top of these tools to ensure their website rankings don’t suffer as a result.
Although Google has now become a highly lucrative online advertising channel, the fundamental vision has not changed since its conception in 1998. That is, the collection of as much information as possible to relay to people when they need it.
Contributing to Google’s knowledge graph
If you can define your content and your topic, refine your target audience, and understand the tools at your disposal to connect their searches with your awesome content then you cannot go far wrong. Google will recognise the relevant connection made and will reward your website with traffic.
Google wants your website and blog articles to rank well. They want to provide their users with the best possible information and data. Keep that in the back of your mind when creating useful articles for your target audience.
The knowledge graph then is incredibly important as it tries to cover the intent behind the keyword searched. If you’re searching for Will Smith’s age, the knowledge graph will provide you with his age, hometown, spouse and filmography. Why? Because the search engine is mapping your intent. It recognises that you are seeking to find out personal information about Will Smith. So it provides you with all the best bits of information about the Fresh Prince available on the internet. It’s useful. Google wants to be as useful as possible.
If you type in ‘Man Utd Results’, you’ll see a knowledge graph including all the recent football results, highlight videos, and previous match stats.
These are just two types of knowledge panels that exist and you can also leverage these panels to not only find out more information but also to drive traffic to your website.
Now, around 80% of web traffic actually begins with people typing queries into the search engine. It’s all about optimising your website to include the keywords that searchers may use when looking for your product or service. It is important to think about the intent behind the keyword because Google will consider this.
Understanding the intent of your target audience is crucial to rank higher on Google. The more you match the relevance of your audience and can provide more intriguing and engaging information, the more traffic will be sent to your website as a result.
Optimising for a knowledge graph is simply making it as easy as possible for Google to understand what your website is about. With every update and every algorithm that comes out, they are finding sleeker ways to collate and present information.
Ensure your writing for humans, not machines
Content marketers can sometimes be at risk from ‘writing for Google’ instead of their readers to manipulate the search engine’s ranking algorithm for their pages.
The number one rule with blogging and crafting the content on your website is to optimise for humans. At the end of the day, it is people who are going to be digesting your information, Google just organises it and presents it. You must seek to deliver value to your target audience.
Brand visibility is key
Having a google author panel is attractive, people will take notice of the pictures, the address, the main selling points and this is key to cementing your brand into the minds of the searcher. As a business, you now have the opportunity to list your best products right on the SERPs page. They don’t even have to click through to your website anymore to see what you sell. And the best part, these brand, and product visibility opportunities are completely free. All you need to do is dedicate some time to verifying and managing your Google My Business or Author panel.
Manage your reputation online
We discuss the benefits of implementing schema markup on your pages a lot at Soar Online as you can boast about your awesome reviews on Google before the user has even clicked through to your website.
The knowledge panel is no different. Not only can you also include your Google reviews in your Google My Business box, but even having the box come up has a significant effect on brand credibility. It shows the user that you are accredited and trusted, that you have your very own box at the top of Google.
Bridging the user experience gap
Google is focusing a lot at the moment on user experience. Websites must look good on mobile, they must load quickly, and the navigation should be simple and easy to use for visitors. The knowledge panel is an easy way for your user to interact with you as a business. The panel makes it easy for them to visit your site, call you, leave a review, buy a product or indeed read a blog.
How to authorise and verify your author knowledge panel
The first thing you’ll need is a google account if you don’t have one already. These are incredibly easy to set up. All you need to do is:
- Head to Google
- Click Sign up
- Fill in the required details in the onboarding form
- Review the Ts & Cs put forward by Google
- Create your account
Then you need to search for your organisation. If Google has already created a knowledge panel based on the information already on the web, then simply head to the box and click ‘claim this panel’. Google will then take you through a verification process.
What if your search does not result in a knowledge panel?
This means that there is not enough factual information about the entity as it stands.
So how do you build enough credible information for Google to formulate an author graph about you personally?
Wikipedia is one of Google’s go-to websites when collating data to put inside their knowledge graphs. This is largely due to Wikipedia’s strict publishing guidelines, in which their information must be completely accurate and free from bias or judgment. This has long been one of the most trusted and authoritative websites on the internet for many years. You can scan Wikipedia pages for broken links and missing citations and offer a backlink to your website where applicable.
Optimising your website properly
Knowledge graph will automatically collate the information presented on your website. In order to optimise this process to your advantage, your website must contain:
- Schema markup: This is a structured data tool that helps Google identify and understand what your website is all about
- An About us page: This is a great thing to have on your website anyway to build a connection between your brand and your customer. However, knowledge graph will pull the information about who you are from pages like this.
Website optimisation and a carefully curated content strategy will be critical to building the best possible knowledge graph for your entity.
If you’re a blogger with a bit of a presence try and get yourself featured on third party websites. This is a great way to make yourself seem more credible and provide Google with a wider span of digital assets that relate to you.
Social media has become so advanced these days and is a great way to corroborate your digital identity. Being active on socials is a great way to boost your knowledge graph info. Your blogs and news pieces are created to be read, so sharing them on a knowledge graph is a sure-fire way to spread your digital wings.
The idea is to do everything you can to give Google the tools to accumulate as much factual data about you as possible on the internet. If you follow these steps and make yourself more digitally credible, you or your organisation will be benefiting from a knowledge graph in no time.