Google’s knowledge graph has revolutionised lateral searching. It pops up on the right on the search results with information about the topic you have searched for, as well as related subjects that you may be interested in.
For example a search for Manchester United will bring up the team’s information in a knowledge graph, including manager, stadium, full team roster, latest fixtures and results, even their current share value.
For the ordinary searcher this is a great tool and a coup for Google over Wikipedia, but for the novice SEO, could it spell disaster?
With the introduction of Hummingbird and the deep-learning function Google is now using, coupled with the Panda and Penguin updates; it is now easier than ever for searchers to find what they are looking for. It’s not all about keywords and densities anymore; it’s about high quality and original content.
As the knowledge graph encourages lateral searching, it’s important that the content being created takes into account things that could be associated with the original topic. If it’s about a TV show or a movie, include as much relevant information as possible. Actors names, films they have been in, studios where it was filmed, director etc.
All this will allow Google to identify the relevance of the site and if it has quality links, it will increase your authority in Google’s eyes. This means Google will move it higher in the SERPS to work hand in hand with the knowledge graph. It will also mean that searchers spend more time on the site as the information they may be looking for in a follow up search is available.
Grasping the HTML required to successfully link relevant information into the content, including pictures and video embedding, can be daunting. If it’s successful it will create a vastly informative piece of original content, which has relevance to the topic and which will allow Google to move you up the rankings.
If it fails and bad links are made or the HTML isn’t typed correctly then Google will recognise this and move the site down the rankings, damaging your authority and even the relevance, so a lot balances on getting it right.
A tip to make SEO easier with the knowledge graph – would be to research the knowledge graphs in the field you’re working in. Google populates the graphs with information from the number of search queries, so if lots of people are searching for how tall Abraham Lincoln is this information will appear in his graph; whereas this may not be a top search query for George Bush or Kennedy so it will not appear in theirs.
This will give an insight into the popular areas of search, and allow you to optimise content accordingly to achieve the best results; think of the knowledge graph as a help not a hindrance.
So no, it’s not the end for novice SEOs, but a fundamental change in how SEO works. Changes to the way SEO is approached are needed to enjoy continued ranking and traffic success.