Google’s knowledge panel is the block you’ll find on the right side of your screen in the search results. Nowadays, you’ll see it for a lot of queries. It presents the results of Google’s Knowledge Graph, which can be seen as an engine connecting all kinds of data Google finds on the web. If you have a local, branded or personal panel, you may be able to influence what Google shows in the panel. Here, we’ll explain how.
What is a knowledge panel?
Knowledge panels are a type of rich results in Google’s search results pages. They can show information about all kinds of things. Things that are also known as entities: businesses, people, animals, countries or plants, for instance. This panel appears on the right side of your screen in the desktop search results. It shows details on the particular entity you’re searching for. This is meant to give users a quick preview of information on this topic. The text, images and other information that you see in this panel are powered by Google’s Knowledge Graph.
Why should you care about knowledge panels?
If you want to be found for search terms like your name, brand or business name, a knowledge panel is really useful! If Google decides to show you or your business in this panel, you’re pretty much dominating the search results on the right side of the screen in desktop search. On mobile, the panel will appear between other results but is pretty dominant as well.
A knowledge panel will make sure your company or brand stands out in the search results when people are specifically searching for it. That’ll give you lots and lots of clicks. This does make sense. If people are searching for you or your brand name, they probably want to find information on you or your website. So Google’s providing them with the best result.
How do you get a knowledge panel for your business?
As with all types of search results, Google will decide whether or not it shows a knowledge panel in the search results. But Google does offer ways to provide information that can be used for your panel. If you’re a local business, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances to get one. For a brand or person, it can be much harder to obtain such a knowledge panel.
If you want a chance of Google displaying a local panel for your business, the first step is to open a Google My Business account. You’ll then be able to verify that you’re the owner of your business. After that, you can add or edit all relevant information about your business, such as address information, opening hours and photos. Information that can be shown in your knowledge panel.
What also helps, is verifying your site with Google Search Console and adding structured data markup for businesses, as our Local SEO plugin does. We discuss this topic in-depth in our Local SEO training.
In the end, Google will decide whether or not to show a knowledge panel for your business. Relevance, distance, and the prominence of the business are all important aspects for Google in determining if it will show one. Making sure your website is working properly and on a high-authority domain could enhance your chances.
Branded or personal panels
It’s not possible to apply for a branded or personal panel. Google will decide whether you or your brand is worthy of a knowledge panel. If you or your brand has enough authority, a panel will appear. Brands and people who are well-known and have, for instance, Wikipedia pages dedicated to them, often have knowledge panels as well.
For Yoast, we have a knowledge panel about our company. Our founder Joost de Valk also has a personal panel and since a while, as you can see, I have one too!
There are ways to increase your chances of getting in, as discussed in our podcast with Jason Barnard or this webinar with Jason and others. But it will take lots of time and effort and unfortunately, success isn’t guaranteed.
Yoast SEO and the Google knowledge panel
Our Yoast SEO plugin outputs a complete Structured data graph for the pages on your website. Structured data offers Google relevant information about you, your business and your website in a way that’s understandable for machines. Therefore it’s a great help for Google’s Knowledge Graph.
By doing so, Yoast SEO’s structured data graph helps Google’s Knowledge Graph connect the dots. This doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily get a panel, but you will offer the necessary data for the panel in the best possible way.
In Yoast SEO, you can also add your social profile information. Yoast SEO will also use this data to output the correct Schema markup. This means that, if you get a panel, the right social profiles are shown.
How to verify your panel
If you have a personal knowledge panel, make sure to verify it. Verifying is not all that hard, just follow the steps Google outlines in this article. You need to log in to your Google account and sign in to one of your official sites or profiles to get verification for your business. Once verified, you’ll be able to suggest changes in the panel to influence what it looks like.
Conclusion on Google’s knowledge panel
Knowledge panels are a great asset to have in the search results. For local business panels, you should make sure you’re doing everything you can to get one. For branded or personal panels, it’s much harder to influence your chances of getting one. It all depends on your level of authority, and that’s something that probably won’t be fixed overnight. Make sure to work on your branding and hopefully you’ll get one step closer to that brand panel as well!
Keep reading: What is Google’s Knowledge Graph »