Google’s Knowledge Panel 101: How To Get One Without Wikipedia
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In the previous article, you’ve learned what a Knowledge Panel is, where it comes from, how it works, and a couple of hands-on tips aimed at obtaining one for yourself personally or for your brand.
Today, I’ll go even deeper into the subject so that you can take action and work step-by-step in order to become a known entity for Google’s Knowledge Graph and receive your very own Knowledge Panel.
Knowledge Graph and Knowledge Panels are not your usual marketing tactics, don’t worry if you are not well versed in the topic. Take action now and be ahead of the game (these things tend to become common knowledge in the blink of an eye).
Step 1: Create a clear description of your entity
This is as simple as it sounds. Only it isn’t. Sorry!
If you want Google to be confident in sharing information about you or your brand in the form of a Knowledge Panel, you need to consistently deliver the same set of essential information to it.
Fundamental things such as who you are, what type of business you do, who your audience is, or since when are you doing whatever it is that you’re doing.
It might sound easy, but buckle up for the ride. People usually have this tendency to describe things poetically, use ambiguous phrasing – especially adjectives. Unfortunately, that’s a big no-no from Google’s machine. It requires factual information, expressed in a clear and concise manner.
Pro tip: prepare both a short and extended description. You’ll find out why later in this article.
Take your time, and read your text out loud – dumb it down as much as possible. Jason Barnard, the Brand Serp guy and Knowledge Panel connaisseur, puts it this way: imagine you are explaining something to a baby. You must be able to describe it as clearly as possible, don’t bore, and be consistent. Otherwise, trust issues might appear.
If possible, avoid inserting information that’s dwelling on the past or at least do not emphasize it too much, it’s ok to briefly mention important bits of information.
Step 2: Settle your entity’s home
Once you’ve written your description, it’s time to move to the next step: your entity’s home!
Your entity’s home is the main hub of information entrusted to that entity. It must be a page that you control 100% and it’s under your propriety. I’m talking about a homepage or a dedicated about me/us page.
Although possible, it’s not recommended to use a social profile such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Why? Well, those companies may very well decide one day to remove or edit your page in a way that doesn’t do you justice.
Having full control of your entity’s home is a smart choice for the long run.
Now that you’ve decided what page is the entity home, it’s time to bring the set of information from Step 1 into action. I recommend adding the description in the upper part of your entity’s home webpage so that it’s perceived as the most important part of the page both for Google and your readers.
Machines read text from top to bottom – most important to least important, so the order is crucial.
Step 3: Deliver a consistent message about your entity around the web
Drafting a clear description (Step 1) and publishing it on an entity home (Step 2) is only part of the game here.
Moving on to Step 3, you need to spread the entity’s description and its home across the web. How do you do that?
You need to create a list of 3rd party websites and profiles of your entity. Ranging from social media platforms, trusted knowledge bases to business listings, here is a list of potential platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Crunchbase, WikiData, BestCompany, Glassdoor, Craft.co, ProductHunt, Owler, TrustPilot. This is not an exhaustive list, for more examples check this page.
Next, after you’ve built your list, you need to add the exact same set of information that’s published on your entity home to all those platforms in the about me/company section. This will corroborate your entity home to this 3rd party website and consolidate how Google and users perceive your entity.
Remember that pro tip for Step 1? I hope you took it because it’s a major time-saver when it comes to platforms that only allow a limited number of characters for your description field.
The end goal here is to reach a list of a minimum of 30 corroborations.
Step 4: Schema code and why it matters for a Knowledge Panel
By now, you should have a clear description of your entity, a home for it, and a list of a minimum of 30 corroborations that consolidate those efforts.
This is where it gets technical for a minute. Because Google’s understanding of your efforts is crucial, you need to make sure you clearly deliver all this information in a language easy for it to digest: Schema Markup, also known as structured data.
You have to format the essential set of information in Schema Markup and implement it within the code of your entity’s home. Similar to FAQ, Reviews or How-to Schema.
Screenshot of a Schema Markup using Detailed Chrome extension.
This step can easily be accomplished by a developer or by using free tools from Kalicube for personal entities or business entities.
Step 5: It’s a wrap – now what?
You did it. Not only that you now have a more factual and clear description of you or your business, but Google and the entire web are aware of it as well.
What’s left to do now is a periodical check-up to see when your entity will receive a Knowledge Panel thanks to its entry within Google’s Knowledge Graph. A weekly search for your brand name should do it.
Hubspot is a great example of what we’re aiming for in the long run:
If you are a totally unknown entity to Google, it could take several months. If you are already mentioned around the web, it could be several weeks or days. Either way, the hard part towards earning a Knowledge Panel is now completed.
Feel free to drop a comment below or reach out to us via email if you have any questions.
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