This article is part of a limited series that will cover more actionable steps that you can take in order to enter Google’s Knowledge Graph and thus obtain a Knowledge Panel.
Knowledge Panel is a product developed by Google that’s usually presented as an information box. It will appear once an entity (people, places, organizations, things) has entered Google’s Knowledge Graph thanks to information extracted from a series of trustable online sources such as Wikipedia, and many more. You’ve probably seen a ton of them already.
I’ll explain everything in the following lines.
What is the purpose of a Knowledge Panel, and how does it work?
For starters, on a Google search engine results page (SERP) for desktop, it’s on the right side.
Let’s take a look at Bold’s very own General Manager, Noa Eshed’s, search engine result page. On the right side, we can see her Knowledge Panel consisting of a quick snapshot with information about her professional life.
What this means is that Google has relevant information about her from trustable sources such as Crunchbase, Twitter, Facebook. There are other sources that Google probably used but has chosen not to show on her Knowledge Panel.
Therefore, we can safely assume that “Noa Eshed” is a clear entity in Google’s Knowledge Graph, its knowledge base. Google uses this database in order to enhance search results and to deliver a quicker answer to a user query.
A short recap: an entity (people, places, organizations, things) must be part of Google’s Knowledge Graph so that Google can create a Knowledge Panel based on information extracted from a series of trustable online sources.
Why should I care about having a Knowledge Panel?
In today’s battle for market share, everyone fights for attention and wants to be perceived as an authority in their field.
Working towards achieving or improving a Knowledge Panel will increase your brand’s expertise, recognition, trustworthiness, and authority. Thus it’s an incredibly powerful tool if you want to stand out from the crowd and deliver the message you want to your audience, on a global scale.
Also, entering Google’s Knowledge Graph and eventually receiving a Knowledge Panel translates into Google knowing who you are, what you do, who your audience is, and much more.
A Knowledge Panel can assist consumers to find your website by helping to distinguish your brand in search results (and away from competing for search results or other ads showing for your brand terms).
Is Google My Business a Knowledge Panel?
Short answer: no, it’s not a Knowledge Panel. Although it’s on the right side like the Knowledge Panel, it’s a totally different story.
A core feature of the Knowledge Panel is that the information behind it comes from sources independent from the entity itself. When Google has fully understood a fact, is extremely confident in that information, and believes it will be valuable to the user in the context of the search they conducted, it will display a Knowledge Panel instead of a standard result.
For Google My Business, all the content comes directly from the company so it can’t be presented as factual. However, a Google MyBusiness profile will help more from a business point of view. A Knowledge Panel means you are an established authority in your field.
Think of huge players such as Nike, Hubspot, McCann, etc. They don’t need a GMB, people already know 100% what they are about. Nevertheless, smaller, newer, or simply put not-so-established businesses will greatly benefit from a GMB instead of a Knowledge Panel.
All in all, it’s complicated, and it seems like Google wants to keep it that way.
What’s so useful about having a GMB is that your users can interact with your business using important features such as Directions, Save, Call, and can even convert better if your Google Reviews are in check.
So, having a Google MyBusiness profile is sometimes a better outcome. It all comes down to the type of business you own.
On rare occasions, we come across hybrid discoveries that blend the two. Google is working on integrating them, but it won’t be ready until 2023 or later.
What information can I find in a Knowledge Panel?
From a personal Knowledge Panel to one for a business, there is a wide range of information available. You can have a short description, name, born or founding date, founders, HQ, subsidiaries, salaries, social profiles, and the official website.
The set of information and the amount Google displays relies solely on the entity type and how much Google has learned about it.
However, Google is constantly running tests and implementing new features, so really the sky is the limit. As long as the information comes from high-authority websites, you never know what Google might choose to present as facts about your brand.
What are some of the sources Google uses for Knowledge Panels?
One of the most common sources of information is, you’ve guessed it, Wikipedia. A study shows that more than 50% of citations in Knowledge Panels for corporations in the U.S. are attributed to Wikipedia. It makes total sense since Google is interested in providing factual information about a specific entity.
If a Wikipedia profile is not an option, you can research WikiData. It’s similar to Wikipedia, but with a slightly permissive moderation policy.
Other low-hanging fruits are social media and business directory profiles such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Crunchbase, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
Besides Wikipedia, capable of sending powerful signals to Google are high-authority websites – general or niched. You can never go wrong with a dedicated piece of content published on TechCrunch, Forbes, CNN, or Bloomberg about your brand.