In the vast landscape of the digital world, establishing your online presence goes hand in hand with enhancing your visibility and credibility. While having a website is undoubtedly a significant step, there’s something more that can take your online identity to a whole new level: the Google Knowledge Panel.
Imagine having a digital business card that not only introduces you to the world but also guides potential customers through their journey with your brand. The Knowledge Panel is that powerful tool, and in this blog post, I’ll delve into its many benefits and explore the mathematics that make it work.
I’ll also share how I successfully secured a Knowledge Panel for my blog’s About page—a tantalizing blend of deep entity networks and an educated application of schema markup.
What is a Knowledge Panel and Why is so Underrated
Knowledge panels are information boxes that appear on Google when you search for entities (people, places, organizations, things) that are in the Knowledge Graph. They are meant to help you get a quick snapshot of information on a topic based on Google’s understanding of available content on the web.
Knowledge panels are automatically generated, and information that appears in a knowledge panel comes from various sources across the web.
Now, this feature is such an overlooked tactic as SEO tends to focus on a reactive approach that consists of spending most of the time debugging issues instead of proposing proactive strategies.
Being an #SEO means being curious, not reactive.— Kristina Azarenko (@azarchick) May 15, 2023
"Omg, this new Google update will kill my job"
"I need more time to properly see what's going on and adapt. I'll see what'll continue to work and what new things I'll need to learn, test and adopt".
However, a website with a high number of indexed pages and backlinks may not account for the knowledge graph’s algorithms and therefore would fail to secure a rectangular box on the right-hand side of a branded SERP.
As Google prioritizes brands it’s familiar with, the absence of a Knowledge Panel means your website may remain unknown to search engines. After all, familiarity is a brand’s unique component that can inspire brand recall and trust in your potential customer.
According to the Neuroscientive blog from major neuroscientist Giulia Panozzo, familiarity is inducted through some sort of electrical spark under our skin (SCR – skin conductance response) which is an indication of psychological arousal in response to significant stimuli.
That’s why familiar experiences (promoted by known brands) have a particular advantage over novelty and Knowledge panels can help fulfill familiarity by adding authenticity to the perception of your brand.
The Knowledge panel is a valuable tool for building trust with customers. By providing detailed information on your website, you can enhance credibility and help customers make informed decisions.
What’s even more intriguing is that with the advent of generative AI, having a strong brand is becoming increasingly important. It allows you to be integrated into the search generative experience (SGE) and serves as a potential reference point for individuals motivated by commercial intent.
For instance, if I’m all in for buying a new laptop keyboard, I might favor engaging with chatbots instead of relying on conventional search engines to quickly retrieve a list of results.
And if you think about it, making sure to befriend search engines and large language models such as Bard can help you boost your brand reach disproportionately.
💡Read more: How to establish your brand entity for SEO: A 5-step guide by Jess Scholz
💡Read more: GenAI and the Future of Branding by Sara Moccand-Sayegh
As merchant listings have evolved, so have the opportunities for eCommerce growth.
Knowledge Panels are no longer exclusive to Search Engine Advertising (SEA) but are now within the grasp of SEO offering a new range of organic possibilities.
Google’s recommendation to implement structured data via the merchant center and HTML markup has paved the way for a broader search presence.
Here’s a sneak peek at what a Knowledge Panel can do for you:
✅ Digital Business Card: It’s like a virtual introduction to your brand.
✅ Competition Suppression: Pushes competitors down in search rankings.
✅ Boosts Reputation: Elevates your brand’s trustworthiness.
✅ Improved User Experience: Helps users find what they need faster.
✅ Enhanced Visibility: Your brand becomes more prominent in search results and may lead to increases in impressions for your branded images.
Knowledge Panels come with exceptionally low CTR. If your site shows off topical authority around specific entities, you should be aware that high impressions with low clicks might be likely caused by the presence of a Knowledge panel.
💡 Bonus – You might be interested into stealing my method to measure topical coverage by using keyword density in python
The Math Behind the Knowledge Panel
Ever wondered how search engines like Google make sense of the vast sea of information on the internet? It’s all about linear algebra and vectors.
Vectors are mathematical entities that have both direction and magnitude, depending on their dimensionality.
Search engines operate on a high-dimensional vector space, where user queries and web documents are converted into vectors.
Documents that are closest to the query vector are considered the most relevant.
This is where Cosine Similarity comes into play.
Cosine similarity measures the relevance between two vectors, and it yields a coefficient ranging from -1 to 1.
Given two n-dimensional vectors of attributes, A and B, the cosine similarity, cos(θ), is represented using a dot product and magnitude as
where A and B are the ith components of vectors A and B respectively.
Outcomes are based on a coefficient ranging from -1 to 1.
For a more practical representation:
|Cosine Similarity C(0)||Outcome|
|+1||Vectors are identical|
|0||Vectors are orthogonal (i.e; have no similarity)|
|-1||Vectors are diametrically opposed (i.e; have opposite relationship)|
Google recognizes new entities in search when there’s a significant positive cosine similarity between document vectors and search query vectors.
💡 Bonus – Steal my method to run a quick entity competitor analysis with python
Following a deductive approach, the Knowledge Panel formula could read something as vague as:
This formula calculates the probability of generating a Knowledge Panel (P(Knowledge Panel)) for your website. It uses conditional probabilities to break down the factors involved:
- Cosine Similarity (cos(0)): This represents how similar the user’s search query is to the content on your website. It’s the base probability that the search engine identifies your website as relevant.
- E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness): This factor considers the trustworthiness and credibility of your website. The formula includes the probability that both cosine similarity and E-A-T contribute to the Knowledge Panel.
- Schema Markup: Schema markup is structured data on your website that helps search engines understand your content better. The formula accounts for the probability that both cosine similarity and schema markup play a role.
The formula essentially calculates the probability of a Knowledge Panel based on the similarity of your content to the user’s query, the perceived degree of your website’s trustworthiness, and the perceived use of schema markup.
❌Please note that this is a personal interpretation. References to E-E-A-T and Schema Mark-up scores are purely fictional, as they do not exist.
Here is how it looks in the wild:
💡Bonus – interested in auditing schema mark-up? here’s a quick tutorial providing you with a solid method to bulk audit structured data with python
Getting Your Own Knowledge Panel
So, how did I end up with a Knowledge Panel?
I focused on making sure that my blog’s content, especially the “About” page, was trustworthy and showed my expertise remarking my student background as well as my professional humus.
Hence, I established a network of entities within my content and used schema markup to make these connections clear to search engines.
In practical terms, after carefully ensuring that my content follows the structure of triples (i.e., subject-verb-object), I put in extra effort with certain schema properties, notably mentions and sameAs schema.
This allowed me to mark up all the entities from the main content and create semantically powerful connections with similar entities.
👨🏻🏫Pro Tip: Bear in mind search algorithms have surpassed keywords and determine the context and intent behind queries by understanding relationships between entities.
So, how could you gain a Knowledge Panel?
- Understanding: Establish a clear entity for your brand to ensure search engines have a comprehensive understanding of who you are, what your brand stands for, and who your target audience is
- Credibility: To appear credible to search engines, you must demonstrate your expertise in the content you create. One effective way to do this is by including verifiable data or information on your website.
- Deliverability: This involves creating targeted content in the right format and addressing technical aspects of your website to optimize user experience.
From a search engine standpoint, there are a couple of additional notes I’d like to stress based on my recent win of the knowledge panel.
While the exact algorithm Google uses to generate Knowledge Panels remains a well-guarded secret, key factors include:
- Query Demand Analysis: Examining the relevance of the entity based on search query demand.
- Data from Credible Sources: Gathering information from trusted sources such as About pages and social media.
- Hemingway’s Writing Style: Using short sentences to propel an effect on directness whilst avoiding adjectives, personal pronouns, and complicated syntax.
- Semantic Content Structure: Implementing triples and tuples composed of nouns and verbs for effective content.
- E-A-T Signals Assessment: Evaluating Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness signals within the entity’s website source.
Tell Google About You and Highlight your Entities
After a couple of months of side-hustle work on enhancing my content and implementing schema mark-up, I was thrilled to witness a major breakthrough. My persistence paid off as I managed to secure a knowledge panel on Google which I have just claimed.
In my quest for a Knowledge Panel, I discovered that well-structured content with schema markup, particularly using the “mentions” schema, played a crucial role.
Achieving a Knowledge Panel on Google is a valuable tactic for improving brand reputation and serves as a solid touchpoint across MOFU and BOFU funnel marketing stages.
As this feature displays relevant information about individuals, organizations, or entities behind your brand in search results, it also serves as an E-A-T asset by reassuring customers whenever they might feel lost throughout the Messy Middle.
How Can I Get a Knowledge Panel?
While there’s no official guideline, you can increase your chances by:
– Analyzing query relevance to your entity.
– Gathering information from credible sources like About pages and social media.
– Adopting a concise writing style with short sentences.
– Structuring your content using noun-verb pairs (triples and tuples).
– Assessing Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) signals on your website.
What is a Google Knowledge Panel, and why is it important for my online presence?
A Google Knowledge Panel is a powerful tool that displays concise and relevant information about your brand directly in search results. It enhances your brand recognition, boosts organic search visibility, and guides potential customers through their journey with your brand.
Why should I care about having a Knowledge Panel?
Without a Knowledge Panel, your website might remain unknown to Google, hindering visibility and potentially limiting prospects from reaching the bottom of the sales funnel. It’s not just for MOFU (Middle-of-the-funnel) but also beneficial for loyalty phases, enhancing trust and credibility.
Is a Knowledge Panel only for large brands or companies?
No, Knowledge Panels are accessible to websites of all sizes. As merchant listings have evolved, opportunities for organic growth have expanded, making Knowledge Panels relevant for various entities.
How can I increase my chances of securing a Knowledge Panel?
Key factors include analyzing query demand, gathering data from trusted sources, using concise language, employing semantic content structures, and assessing E-A-T signals within your website’s source.
What benefits does a Knowledge Panel offer for my brand?
A Knowledge Panel serves as a valuable asset for enhancing brand reputation and is a touchpoint across various marketing stages. It reassures customers, displays relevant information, and boosts your online presence.