“From Keywords to Knowledge”: How Marketers can Work With the Google Knowledge Graph

google knowledge graph
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Wikipedia reportedly had a 21% decrease in traffic a year after Google introduced the Knowledge Graph. That drop is an unsettling sight to see, whether or not you’re from Wikipedia. The thought of it is enough to make SEOs cringe. However…

Moz.com founder and well-respected digital marketing personality Rand Fishkin said:

“From Google’s standpoint, [the] Knowledge Graph is a way to get more searchers addicted to more searching. Their experiments have shown that the faster Google can get them the answers they’re seeking, the more searches they’ll do.”

So, there’s nothing to be afraid of after all.

In our previous entry, we talked about Google’s attempt at creating a network of all available knowledge in the web by introducing the Knowledge Graph. A seemingly revolutionary concept for search, the Knowledge Graph is starting to become more and more prominent in SERPs—which should keep marketers in check, because it’s “messing” with our real estate.

But at Year 3, we’ve already seen and learned enough to recognize that the Knowledge Graph can be “another bullet in the arsenal”. We will show you how. It’s pretty simple too.

You need to get to the source.

Google openly acknowledged Wikipedia and Google+ as the sources of information they feed to the Knowledge Graph. That being said, planting your business’s information on their database gets you one step closer to getting featured on the Knowledge Graph.

That means you need to:
Create/Update your Wikipedia page.
Keep in mind that Wikipedia works like an encyclopedia so it’s best to just stick to your guns and be objective about the information you’ll put in it. Wikipedia crawlers are big on verifying your input in their pages so always make sure to use a lot of credible citations. There’s a style guide that Wikipedia provides that must be adhered to by the letter.

Create/Update your Google+ page.
This is a no-brainer as Google uses your Google+ profile to validate your brand’s legitimacy. Just build up your audience in Google+ by promoting it in all of your marketing channels, especially to your website. Also, make sure that no stone is unturned. The “About” menu contains the information Google needs to reflect your brand in the Knowledge Graph. Be active and consistent in engaging your customers in Google+ and you’ll be on your way to Knowledge Graph inclusion.

You need to learn the language.

You can’t convince anyone if you aren’t on the same page. That is often called “miscommunication”—something that can also happen between you and Google.
To make sure that there’s no miscommunication getting in the way, learn the language Google understands: Schema. The Knowledge Graph uses the Schema mark-ups to determine the actual value of texts in a webpage, the interpretation. It doesn’t drastically improve your rankings but more of your business’s information will be stored in the Knowledge Vault for use in search queries.

This means you need to:
Familiarize yourself with the Schema markup.
Codes used by Schema can be found on their website Schema.org. There, you’ll be able to add codes to your images, articles, site map, products, ratings, contact information, and brand details. Be diligent as to which assets you’ll tag these Schema mark-ups so Google won’t have a hard time pulling up the right information to answer a searcher’s query.

You need to develop relationships.

To further solidify your business’s identity in the Web, you need to be able to prove your existence. One way to do that is to develop relationships and let other identities “vouch” for you. Link out, be present. Another thing you need to do is to develop a relationship with your audience. You need to listen to them and understand how they’re finding you. That way you can identify keywords and churn out relatable content that will help them find you. They key here now is to create content that speaks and can be understood—not just to rank in SERPs. Therefore, offline marketing is of greater importance now than ever before.

We think Bruce Clay of Bruce Clay, Inc. said it best:

“Because Knowledge Graph is how Google understands the web of facts that make up the universe, every company and every website should be aware that websites aren’t made up of keywords, but should seek to represent a wealth of complex knowledge. Strategic decisions, then, should be made around how a site’s information is organized (clearly and logically), the topics that interest the site’s target audience, how completely these topics are covered, and how expert and authoritative that content is.”

Google will never stop sending organic search traffic to the best-of-the-best content and websites because they want to deliver exactly what searchers need, and fast. We should make this ours as well. The Knowledge Graph might be a new fold on the horizon, but it also serves as a reminder that marketing can never depend on one channel.

So continue improving your strategies. Be diligent and always listen to your customers and the Knowledge Graph might just be the thing to help you hit your target.

Kevin Joshua Ng
Kevin Joshua Ng
Kevin is Content Marketing’s humble scribe. He has no doubt in his mind that Content is still king and he will serve it ‘til the day of his demise. He’s known to lurk around the walls of social media, thinking and writing. So follow him on the BuiltbySF blog and on LinkedIn, Twitter.

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