In this article we go over how to get a google info box to appear on the right side of search results for your brand or business.
What is a Google Knowledge Panel?
You might refer to it as the Google info box. Google calls it a knowledge panel — the box that appears on the right side of the screen in search results when you Google someone or something notable – “Tom Cruise”, “potato”, “solarium”, “dolphins.” The knowledge box – excuse me, panel — provides details on the person, place or thing you are searching for. This information is powered by Google’s Knowledge Graph, which Google describes as a giant virtual encyclopedia of facts. Information in the knowledge panel is also sourced from Wikipedia, the CIA World Factbook, Google My Business and website schema.
Designed to help search users quickly gain knowledge on a particular subject, the knowledge panel will typically include a title, a brief summary of the topic, pictures, and key facts, such as when a celebrity (e.g. Tom Cruise) was born (July 3, 1962) or their height (5’7”). The knowledge panel will also provide links to the social media profiles and official websites of public figures and businesses.
What is the Knowledge Graph?
According to Google, the Knowledge Graph contains more than 3.5 billion facts related to more than 500 million entities. The Knowledge Graph surfaces information from various websites rather than relying on keywords. Google learns which facts are relevant for each item by analyzing the aggregate of users’ search habits. The Knowledge Graph also shows relationships between different entities; for example, if a notable person has a notable relative or spouse.
Why is it important to have a Google Knowledge Panel?
Used in about 20 percent of all search results, the Google knowledge panel dominates the front page of search results on both desktop and mobile. Research from Jumpshot showed that in June 2019, 62 percent of mobile searches were no-click. As in, less than half of all Google searches result in a click. People are more likely to search, look at the knowledge panel and then exit the search. A 2019 survey showed that people ages 13 to 21 were 220 percent more likely than people over 50 to consider their query answered without clicking on any result.
If your company or brand has a knowledge panel, it will stand out in search results, especially to younger search engine users. In fact, it may be the only source of information that people look at. Furthermore, Google users expect to see a knowledge panel on the right side of search results; if one does not appear, your business may look less legitimate.
Knowledge panels are also important when it comes to voice queries. When a search user makes a voice query, the response is usually information pulled from the knowledge panel. Data shows that about 71 percent of US consumers prefer to use voice searches over typing.
Google is in the midst of expanding the knowledge panel to make it even more dominant in search engine results pages. Google is currently testing a scrollable knowledge panel that will show previews of Google Image search results in the panel.
How to Get a Google Knowledge Panel
Google knowledge panels are automatically generated when users search for people, places and things (or “entities”) that are in the Google Knowledge Graph. According to Google, the panel is automatically updated as information changes on the web.
There are two types of Google knowledge panels: local panels and brand panels. Local knowledge panels show up for local businesses, but usually only in the business’s geographic area. Brand knowledge panels show up in search results globally. If a company has a Wikipedia page, they will usually have a brand knowledge panel. When it comes to brand panels, Google decides who gets one. With local panels, a business must take certain steps to get one on their own.
In order to get Google to display a local panel for your business, you must first set up a Google My Business account. After verifying that you are the owner of your business, you can add all relevant information about your business – photos, address, telephone number, hours of operation, etc. It helps to verify your site with Google Search Console, though verification does not guarantee that you will get a knowledge panel. Google also considers whether the business is relevant and whether the business’s website has a high-authority domain.
Because Google is the ultimate arbiter of who gets a brand knowledge panel, it can be very difficult for a brand or company to obtain one. Google decides whether you or your brand are worthy of a knowledge panel based on how well-known you are and how much authority and clout your brand has. If you or your brand has a Wikipedia page, you will most likely have a brand knowledge panel.
If you want a Knowledge Graph (from which Google sources the knowledge panel), it is extremely helpful to first have a Wikipedia page that is peer-reviewed and contains images and citations. How do you get a Wikipedia page? By getting online publications to write about you. This gives Wikipedia authoritative references that can be cited.
Note that you do not have to have a Wikipedia page in order to have a personal knowledge panel. If you are an established figure in your field with references in multiple publications to support your authority, you may also have one in that case.
Google also pulls information from WikiData, so it might be helpful to create a WikiData page and maintain a presence on that site.
Another piece of the puzzle is remaining active on social media. Social media profiles help Google learn more about your brand. Your overall online presence helps establish your visibility and authority as a brand, which are integral in the quest for a knowledge panel.
Another important step toward getting a Google knowledge panel is implementing structured data on your website.
Using Structured Data for Branded Knowledge Panels
The first step is to identify the “entity home.” This refers to the webpage that Google relies on for authoritative knowledge on the entity. Ideally, the page will be on your site, where you have complete control over the information rather than a Wikipedia page, where you do not control the information provided. You may think that your website’s homepage would be the natural entity home; however, it is actually better for your entity home to be an About Me page. This is because
The second step is to provide a simple description on the entity home. Divide the information into cleanly demarcated sections of simple, factual information with simple headings. Implement a schema markup to communicate this information in Google’s “native language.”
The schema markup should include links to authoritative sources that talk about your company. According to semrush, the ideal situation is an infinite loop of information that confirms itself with the entity home.
How to Claim Your Knowledge Panel
Once you have a knowledge panel, the verification process is pretty simple. You can verify your panel by following the steps Google outlines here. Once you are verified, you may suggest edits to the panel.
Common Problems with Google Knowledge Panels
- Personal knowledge panels – There may be any number of people who share the same name, which can lead to confusion. That’s why the use of structured data is important.
- The folly of relying on Wikipedia – If your company has a Wikipedia page, it will usually have a knowledge panel. However, getting a Wikipedia page can’t be your only strategy toward getting a knowledge panel: if Wikipedia admins ever delete your page, the knowledge panel will disappear. Furthermore, if the information on Wikipedia is wrong, that could be problematic. For example, in 2018, the knowledge panel for the Californian Republican party briefly listed the party’s ideology as Nazism; a verified Google user tweeted that this occurred because someone edited the organization’s Wikipedia page. “Both Wikipedia & Google have systems that routinely catch such vandalism,” Google SearchLiason (@searchliason) tweeted, “But these didn’t work in this case.” The erroneous information appeared in thousands of search results before it was corrected.
- The danger of misinformation – People complain that getting false information removed from the knowledge panel is a cumbersome process that can take months or even years. Bad actors can potentially exploit the algorithms. For example, in 2018, the knowledge panel for French president Emmanuel Macron contained an anti-Semitic nickname before it was brought to Google’s attention and removed.
Loaded Media is All About Google Knowledge Panels
At Loaded Media, we believe knowledge panels are crucial for online credibility. We know how to add and edit them. An industry leader in online presence services, Loaded Media can help you get a Wikipedia page and the necessary media attention you need to have enough clout to get a Google knowledge panel. We do it for you, so you don’t have to worry about it. This service is included with all our service packages.