Claiming your Knowledge Graph: seems easy enough, right? You’d be surprised how many big-name companies forget to do this small step.
Follow these three steps to ensure you don’t miss this crucial piece of your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Plus, we have some quick tips to get the most out of your newfound ownership of the first thing people see when looking for you or your business on Google.
What Is the Knowledge Graph in Google?
Chances are you’ve seen the Google Knowledge Graph. It appears on the right of Google search results on the desktop of a laptop and provides a variety of Google-compiled information about a person, place, or thing. For example:
- Martin Luther King Jr.
- Betty White
- Washington Monument
- Puma (the animal or the brand? Google had to pick one. The knowledge graph shows the brand.)
The Knowledge Graph pulls information from various trustworthy sources, but Google recently added the “Claim the Knowledge Panel” feature. This would allow Betty White or Burger King to claim and edit their panel.
Note: Knowledge Graphs are also called Knowledge Cards and Knowledge Panels by Google and others. It’s all the same!
Your Knowledge Graph is an important SEO tool you can use to increase search engine visibility for yourself or your business as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. But you have to claim it to realize those SEO and brand-building benefits.
Benefits of Claiming Your Knowledge Graph
You become the owner and editor of your Knowledge Panel — with some caveats, which we’ll explain in a minute.
- Have more control over the information and images that Google shares about you and can use that control to your benefit.
- Are responsible for ensuring that it’s accurate. This information couldn’t be in more capable hands.
- Can prevent misinformation from being shared about your business in this very prime location.
3 Steps to Claim Your Knowledge Graph
You can claim your knowledge graph in three simple steps:
Step 1: Verify your identity
Understandably, Google doesn’t want to hand this responsibility over to just anyone. Malicious people could spread misinformation, but you stop that by claiming your card. To do this, log into your Google account. If you have an account directly associated with the card, then this is very straightforward.
Quick tip: Turn on your web and app activity if it isn’t already.
If you’re logging in from your personal Google account, you will have a few tiny side steps to take. But you can do it in no time! Google lays out a process to get verified by logging into one of the social media accounts you manage for the entity you want to claim.
Step 2: Find your Knowledge Graph
From your verified account, search for the Knowledge Graph you want to claim and edit. You should see the person or place you represent at the top of the Knowledge Panel.
Step 3: Suggest an edit
If your account is already verified, click “suggest an edit” at the top to request to add, remove, or update information. If Google doesn’t recognize your account as a verified account on that Knowledge Graph, you’ll see “claim this Knowledge Panel” underneath the panel.
Now, just click on the information item you’d like to change. Be sure to clearly and succinctly state what you’re trying to change. If Google personnel have to guess what you’re trying to do, they’re likely to ignore your request.
Google also wants a reason for the change. After all, Google is an expert at finding accurate and reliable information online. Not only does your explanation support the difference, but it may also reveal a flaw in how Google is pulling its facts.
However, word of caution — stay professional and polite. Don’t appear to be pointing out flaws. Just support your requests, and the Google employees review these edits before they go live.
You may also choose to support the change by including a trustworthy URL that consists of the information.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Knowledge Graph
This image is the first thing people see when searching for you, so it should be perfect. Depict what the card discusses, not a face in a crowd. Make it at least 1000 pixels at a 3:4 aspect ratio.
Don’t try to change the title. Unless the entity is misspelled, a person with wrong credentials, or has some other blatant error, Google will not change it. Period.
Similarly, the subtitle is hard to change. It might say something like American Activist. If the entity were also a preacher or author, Google would pick what the algorithm thinks is more relevant. You, of course, can dispute this with evidence if needed.
Go to the source first. If the description is wrong, go to the source providing that description listed on the card. If they refuse to correct it, you can request that Google change it directly. But don’t forget the supporting evidence. And make sure all of your social profiles are there and accurate. They represent your online reputation and are an important part of your online advertising and marketing strategy, whether you’re a startup or an established business.
Since these cards are one of the first things people see in Google, they’re also a great way to drive traffic to social media and increase your presence.
Above all, remember, Google has the final say. They do their best to be fair and accurate. They see you as a partner in the accuracy of this information. Recognize this partnership and claim your Knowledge Panel to get the most out of this prime search results real estate.
Claim Your Google Knowledge Graph
So, what are you waiting for? Follow the above steps to claim your Knowledge Graph and experience greater control over your online reputation! Sure, you can’t edit everything exactly as you’d like. But the power you will have to ensure accurate information can go a long way toward supporting your brand’s online presence.