What is the Knowledge Graph and why is it so important?
By Joey Perera
Recently Google started touting a new feature called Knowledge Graph. What is the Knowledge Graph and why is it so important?
Is it a Graph?
Well yes, but not in the Excel spreadsheet kind. Think curated and summarised data so that users can find information faster or have it presented to them instantly. Basically answer someone’s questions faster, more concisely and with the right facts and data.
Where did it all start?
Well for that we need to go back to the news and facts that came up every now and again about the huge data server facilities Google runs around the globe.
The majority of the world’s data and searches pass through these servers. Sites are indexed every millisecond. If the internet ever went down? Serve sites such as these would be the backup copy, or at least a version of it.
So how does it work?
Simply put the Knowledge Graph algorithm searches the internet, collates and sorts data to be presented in a summarised or easily digestible fashion, whilst minimizing the search time and surfing by the user. Its ultimate aim is to answer your questions directly.
How can I get into Knowledge Graph? Simple, if you have been doing onsite SEO for a while, then you are on the right track. Simply keep doing what you are doing but focus on fine tuning content, titles etc.
Facts and figures play a big part in how the Knowledge Graph operates, try and include as many well explained facts, figures and numbers that Knowledge Graph can extrapolate. Also if you run an ecommerce site, then focus on structuring and ordering your product listing and profiles in a consistent and easy to index manner.
Schema, if your site ever needed schema, it is now. Make sure your products, services and profiles are correctly categorised under schema. This format of data indexing helps Knowledge Graph index and classify data faster thereby increasing your chances of gaining a higher rank in SERPS or being included in a Knowledge Graph summary.
Meta tags, you thought those are obsolete, well guess what? They are needed, start making sure your entire site has a meta tag, make sure no page is left without a proper title and description. Ensure your optimisation of the tags is informative but has all the key triggers for what people are searching for.
Sitemaps, ensure your sitemaps correctly cover your website and all its pages. Set the frequency and priority correctly. If a page gets regular content updates, then make sure to prioritize it over other pages, even the homepage.
Load times, this should go without saying, but your sites load times should be quick, make sure to not have excessive amounts of media that will hinder load times. Compress, optimise, streamline.
Mobile Friendliness, does this even need to be addressed? You are probably reading this on your phone as it is. This is an important factor in the dissemination of data by Knowledge Graph as it pulls a good chunk of its analytics from mobile data. As mobile usage slowly outstrips desktop and laptop usage, this figure will eventually be the only requirement.
Social media, if you do not have a good presence on SM by now you are as good as dead. More and more users seek info on social media as opposed to search. Search saw numbers threatened in recent times by social media based information hubs. Build your presence, engage, get shares, views, likes etc. Knowledge Graph assesses content importance based on social media popularity as one its indexing criteria.
One final and important take away is, it is not only Google’s Knowledge Graph you need to worry about, but the algorithms of Bings and the smaller players as well. Many are finding that the smaller Search Engines are friendlier and safer, so make sure to include them in your optimisation efforts. Gain search market share.