Google: from search engine to answer machine
If you type a search query on Google, if there is enough information available, you will see an overview of the most relevant information on the right. That way the user always finds what he or she is looking for. As an online marketer or entrepreneur you can also benefit from this.
Google is increasingly profiling itself as an answering machine. You notice that when you search for an actor on your mobile, such as Sean Connery. Google provide an overview from Wikipedia, films, video results from YouTube, related actors ... you will find the first real search results much further. This is called the Google Knowledge Graph, and it has a particularly significant impact on you content marketing.
How does the Google Knowledge Graph work?
Google Knowledge Graph shows information about your website in a so-called Knowledge Graph Card. In addition, Google uses a carousel, which is displayed at the top of the page. It shows short, specific and accurate information about people, places and things. The user only has to enter the search query and the best answer is put together. Clicking through pages yourself is almost no longer necessary.
That is good news for users and Google: but bad news for companies that depend on search traffic. Google already answers visitor questions in advance, so your traffic is falling. The role of branding becomes more important because your content is no longer displayed in your context. And because storytelling only comes into its own in your context, you will have to make a distinction between targeting customer questions and telling your brand story. For one person Google's Knowledge Graph becomes the determining factor, for others your own channels.
Be included in Google Knowledge Graph
You can be included by creating a Local Listing for your company. You can then show the most relevant information. You do this with Google My Business. This way you will be found faster in searches. If you also get positive reviews, it is a bonus. These are also shown in the card.
Social media are also important: by becoming active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, Google knows where to find you. The Google Knowledge Graph also indexes the social networks. For a search, the social media profiles can therefore be displayed in the card.
It is important that your website is set up correctly. You do this with a good code and structured data. This way, the search engine can better crawl your website and create rich snippets. For this must a schedule can be built.
How does Google determine if you are relevant?
Google determines whether you will be included in the Graph based on relevance. The search engine knows exactly what users are looking for, what they click on and how long they stay on a page after clicking. In addition, Google reads the texts on the website, based on automation.
The search engine also uses 'Entity Indexing'. This means that Google aggregates and catalogs all kinds of information. A difficult process is used for this, which they call 'Entity Recognition and Disambiguation'. From now on, factual information about companies is (almost) always produced.
More reach thanks to Google as an answer machine
If you want to make your brand better known, then Google Knowledge Graph can also be a useful tool. It ensures that your potential customers learn more about your brand without having to visit your website. The most important details are already shown in the search results.
Thanks to Google Knowledge Graph, customers not only know where to find you, but you also give them a better experience. Everything they need to know about your company is in a well-arranged card. This saves time and makes searches more efficient than ever.
Why is the Knowledge Graph so important? Because it is the springboard for voice search: the ability to perform searches via voice commands. With smart speakers and virtual assistants (such as Siri and Alexa) the chance that we surf to a website is even smaller. Instead, the virtual assistant tells you the answer. Then as a company you want to be sure that Google also knows about your existence in this way.