Behind every successful company is a hardworking business owner. You, in this case. Or maybe you’re not the owner, but you’ve helped contribute to small business success.
As business owner or contributor, you know you must fight your way to the first page of Google’s search results. We know that top SEO keywords are how you get there, but what shows up when consumers search the name of your company?
When people search names, brands, places, and even people on Google, a box will pop up in the right-hand corner of the first page of search results. That box contains immediate information relevant to what they searched.
For example, if a consumer searches “restaurants in NYC,” Google uses their fancy algorithm to provide the most relevant results. In addition to those results, a list of restaurants will appear in the said box with things like directions, phone numbers, hours of operation, and more.
That box of suggestions is called the Google Knowledge Panel and keeping your information relevant and up-to-date will lead more consumers to your company. You can do that with the Google My Business profile. While this won’t guarantee that your business will appear in the Knowledge Panel, it will ensure that your customers can find and contact you in addition to giving them an overview of what it is that you do and what services you provide.
Google Knowledge Panel: Local and Brand
There are two different types of Knowledge Panel graphs: local and brand. The kind of business you have determines which one appears. But, we’ll look more into that later. For now, let’s dive deeper into what the Google Knowledge Panel is and what it has to do with your business.
What is the Google Knowledge Panel?
The Knowledge Panel is a box that pops up on the right-hand side of most searches on Google. The panel is a product of Google’s SERP (or Search Engine Results Page). This page displays information about the relationship between entities on the web. If users Google your company, they will see general information about your business on this panel.
Knowledge Graph and Semantic Search
Here’s a video from Google with further discussion on Knowledge Graph.
The Knowledge Graph is another one of Google’s tools that enhances the results from searches with the semantic information that’s gathered from a variety of sources across the web. Google first began using the Knowledge Graph in 2012. Ultimately, it is a pervasive database which Google uses to store information about all the entities on the internet and their relation to each other.This graph gives Google the ability to understand entities versus keywords and catchphrases. This comprehension allows Google to move from a sequence of characters contained in a document on the web to the entities to which they refer.This means instead of thinking “Dominate with SEO” is the latest catchphrase in the industry, Google recognizes that “Dominate with SEO” is instead a company based in Minnesota. Pretty fantastic, right?
From Search Engine to Answer Engine
Google has evolved within the past couple years from a search engine that provides results in response to what is typed in, to an answer engine which directly offers answers to the user’s question on the results page. Google has done this by understanding the semantic information contained in multiple pages on the internet or in other words, entities.
What Is an Entity?
Entities are people, places, and things that can be identified by the distinction from one another.
As an example, the word ‘Wilson’ could refer to the company that makes sporting goods or a mediocre movie with a three-star review. Google takes into consideration the relationship between entities. Wilson, the company, relates to Wilson the movie. Wilson Sporting Goods also relates to the store Dick’s Sporting Goods.
With Google’s understanding of the relationships, it’s able to display quality information on the search results page.
The Importance of The Google Knowledge Panel and Your Business
To Google, your business is an entity that has relation to others by location, products, industry, and competitors. The semantic understanding of entities allows the search engine to figuratively speaking, connect the dots between data across multiple sites on the web. The Knowledge Panel is a way that Google makes use of this semantic knowledge.
The Google Knowledge panel benefits local businesses by displaying information like phone numbers, addresses, hours of operation and more. It even shows your location with a link to Google Maps so consumers can find their way to your doorstep easier.
Ultimately, Google Knowledge Panel makes life easier for users and promotes information regarding your company. You might be concerned that it would decrease traffic flow to your website. While that is true, you should also see it as an opportunity provided to you by Google. Why? The Knowledge Panel means that there is a dedicated place on the search results page specifically for your business and can provide you in-person customers.
How It Works
Distance, prominence, and relevance are what determines if your business’ information will appear in The Google Knowledge Panel. Google’s algorithm decides if the user is interested in what your business has to offer based on those three categories.
Brand or Local?
As we mentioned, there are two different types of Knowledge Panel graphs that appear: local and brand. Local knowledge graphs will contain information that is locally focused such as customer reviews, location, and phone number. The brand Knowledge displays things like company name, logo, and description. Google usually uses information gathered from Wikipedia.
The type of business you have determines what graph displays in The Google Knowledge Panel. A strictly online company would have a brand graph because there is no physical location. Establishments with a strong name and brand such as Disney World would have a local graph. There are also some instances where the type of graph might vary. An example of this scenario would be companies with only a few locations. In this situation, you would want a branded graph to appear for nationwide searches and a local graph for those within proximity to your business.
Google My Business Profile
The Google My Business Profile exists mainly for Local Knowledge Panels for small businesses. Ensuring that the information that displays in the Google Knowledge Graph is accurate and updated is critical to your customer’s satisfaction. If a customer can’t reach you due to incorrect information, it could cause them to have a bad experience and turn to your competitor instead. The best way to control what appears in the Knowledge Panel is to maintain a verified Google My Business Profile.
Once you set your profile up, Google will use it as information to build your Knowledge Panel for your business. Don’t be alarmed if the data is also gathered from other sources as well. This profile just lets you keep things like phone numbers and business hours updated.
Better Online Management of Your Business
The Google Knowledge Panel is a genius box filled with information and sugg+““`estions that should include your business’ information. It will either appear in a local or brand graph depending on the type of company you have. Google uses their algorithm and understanding of semantic search and entities to determine how your business relates to others and therefore how and if it should appear for the user’s search. You can keep your company’s information updated using the Google My Business Profile so your customers won’t be disappointed by an incorrect phone number.
We want your business to succeed as much as you do. We serve companies across the country by providing services that assist the growth of their online presence. Contact us today to help sort our your Google Business Profile or even better, a complete, free audit of your website’s current SEO capabilities.