Google’s knowledge panel interface is the next evolution of search capabilities online. Google has moved past a fully keyword-based understanding of the internet and now it’s all about understanding how one thing relates to another. Knowledge panels are complex, fascinating, and occasionally quite frustrating, but they are also highly valuable. Attaining one is arguably the best way to increase your organic search visibility.
In this article we highlight five tools that can help get your own personal knowledge panel. Keep in mind that the application programming interface (API), the code that allows you to communicate knowledge panels, changes quite often. These are some of the most relevant and important things you need to do to both create and influence knowledge panels in 2018.
Wiki platforms are possibly the most important resource for you to establish yourself on. To get started, set up an account, which can be used across all Wikimedia Foundation platforms. Wikidata is an open-source, collaborative bank of information that is free for all people. Google uses it as one of the primary sources to populate their knowledge panels. They used to use Freebase but have recently begun merging it with Wikidata, and are migrating all Freebase data over to Wikidata.
Wikidata utilizes SQL, which is a “standardized query language” for requesting information from a database. Mastering this can take some practice, so do some research before you begin. Take note of how reputable people in your field have created their Wikidata. This will help you understand this complicated system and pave the way toward filling out your own.
Working in Wikipedia should feel quite similar to working with Wikidata information, and is another key aspect of your personal knowledge panel’s development. However, Wikipedia has a very strict editorial process. You first must establish credibility as a trusted editor and relayer of information. This can happen after a tedious process of editing articles throughout the website to improve them. After enough edits, you will become “auto-confirmed” and be able to create articles of your own.
In order to be an entity on Wikipedia, you need a ton of sources from varying external sites. The article should be written in the style of an entry in an encyclopedia. This typically means a brief definition or description of the subject, followed by a broad examination of the topic using sub-sections. Every claim made must be backed up by some sort of reliable website.
Public Relations (PR)
Having a sufficient amount of reliable sources that are independent of your topic is important. If you begin your Wikipedia article and realize you do not have significant coverage in sources, it’s time to create a personal PR plan for yourself. You need have articles about you, video segments featuring you, and perhaps even a podcast that you’re a guest speaker on. This will help your organic search as a whole and contribute in its own way to your knowledge panel. Notability is a key requirement for Google to create a knowledge panel, and the more PR you engage in, the more notability you will receive.
A personal website is a must. It should link to your company’s website and build up your personal brand while still representing your organizational brand. Fill your site with structured data so that Google and all other search engines can read and understand your site. For best practices, visit https://schema.org/ to get an understanding of how you can utilize structured data on your site. There are many plug-in options that can help markup your website with structured data. I would recommend using the Schema Pro from Brainstorm Force.
Your social media channels provide information to your knowledge panel, but cannot without proper linkage. Schema markup comes into play here as well. You can put schema markup on your personal website. You may use this to link your social media to your knowledge panels. Structure it in this format, replacing the empty segments with your own information:
If you want this for your organization’s website as well, just change the type from “Person” to “Organization”. This markup should work for linking your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Youtube. You can use many other schema types to increase your sites optimization, but this one is a great start!
By doing these five things, you heavily increase your chances of Google generating a knowledge panel for you. Keep in mind that there is no guarantee, as Google’s algorithm for determining this does not always lead to knowledge panel creation. However, these are five things that are sure to increase your chances. If you want help developing your own knowledge panel to drive people back to your company’s website and drive sales, we can help!