Google’s Knowledge Graph: How to Get Your Business to Appear in Google’s Sidebar
What is a Knowledge Graph?
As visibility on Google becomes more important, we are often asked how to get business information in the mystical sidebar that appears on Google’s search results. This is called Google’s Knowledge Graph, and it is an aggregate of numerous data points that are created to show users a snapshot of information about the business, such as the location, phone number, website, general information, reviews from social channels and more. This often appears on page one when a user Google searches a business, so it can be a very useful tool for customers.
While Knowledge Graph can be a valuable tool, we have also seen it hurt businesses in a variety of ways, from highlighting negative reviews about a business to showing a different business altogether. While we will never know the exact secret algorithm of data that Google uses to collect this information, you will find a few tips below that can make a substantial impact on your chances of showing up on the Knowledge Graph in a way that will help your business.
- Create a Google+ Page
Google+ gets a bad rap for being a somewhat “useless” social platform. However, a quick look at the owner of this platform proves that statement to be far from true. One of the key reasons Google+ matters is because Google looks at this information to place within the Knowledge Graph, including map location, phone number, images, reviews and more. Setting up a Google+ page not only increases a business’ chances of appearing in the right sidebar of Google, but it also provides you with more control of the information that appears in your business’s Knowledge Graph.To create a Google+ Business listing page, you must provide detailed information about your business, including name, address, phone number and website. It is important to name your business in the same manner users are searching for it, so that it appears with that search term. From there, a postcard will be mailed to your location to verify its existence, which will provide you with instructions to enter a code on a specific URL. This is an important step, as many businesses throw the postcard away assuming it’s junk mail. Once the page is verified, Google will use this information within its overall algorithm for the Knowledge Graph. We also recommend updating the page with current photography, a brief introduction of the business and a link to the website.You may see something appear in the Knowledge Graph for your business prior to claiming the Google+ page. You can easily select “Own this business?” to verify it, which will allow you to have more control of the listing if any information is incorrect.
- Create Pages on Online Databases
Google also uses information from sites like Wikipedia for the Knowledge Graph because Wiki pages are often ranked highly due to the length and credibility of the articles. Wikipedia can be valuable from a search perspective if your business warrants a page. However, creating a page does take time and requires credible sources, so check out our guide to creating a Wikipedia page for more information. Other sites may play a role in the Knowledge Graph as well, so any credible sites that may link to your site will help.
- Create and Maintain an Excellent Social Media Presence
Channels like Facebook and Twitter serve as another form of evidence that your brand exists, so staying active on these channels will improve your chances of showing up in Google’s sidebar. Google may also link to a social channel or your social channel’s reviews, such as Facebook. In addition, it will list Google reviews. Because these reviews are easily seen when someone searches your company name, it is important to have a sound strategy behind monitoring reviews. All reviews — yes, even positive ones — should be responded to thoughtfully and in a timely manner.
Taking control of your Knowledge Graph or taking steps toward ensuring that one appears will help your audience find your business and website quicker than ever before. Google is always changing, so it is important to note that we will never know the exact algorithm behind the Knowledge Graph; in fact, it may not even exist in a few months. However, we believe that being proactive and taking steps toward controlling the conversation around your brand is always a smart investment of your time.