What is a Knowledge graph and how to do graph SEO?

Do you want to know what a Knowledge Graph is and how it works? Follow us as we explore what a Knowledge Graph is, from the basic elements it holds to the finer details of how it’s built.

What is a Knowledge Graph

The knowledge graph is Google’s database of billions of facts about people, places, and things, used to enhance search results, it’s like a mini-encyclopedia within a website, bringing together a set of entities and their relationships to provide a holistic user experience.

The main properties are its attributes, descriptions, and characters.

What are the types of Entities that a Knowledge Graph can feature 

One keyword can represent multiple entities, for example, Apple can stand for either fruit, plant, or corporation. By using Knowledge Graph Search we can clearly see that:

Knowledge graph search example

All these entity types are different. However, they can be applicable to the same keyword. This is why labeling, or marking up the keyword with a certain @type turns it into an entity with a distinct feature.

Entity Types in Knowledge Graphs

Since these instances happen often, Google made a categorization of all entities, grouping them into classes like these:

  • People
  • Organizations
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Brands
  • Video games
  • Species, etc

Entity Properties

The assigned entity type now signifies that the entity has unique properties. Ideally, each entity would have as many attributes identified in a knowledge graph as the number of real-life characteristics.

Not all entities are well represented in a complete panel with all the properties. But some are really close.

For example, a French Bulldog is a Dog Breed [@Type]. French Bulldog color can be any of the following: White, Fawn, Brindle, Tan and a combination of Bridnle and White:

Example of Knowledge graph

A knowledge graph, therefore, features a variety of attributes that pertain to this specific entity name and type. 

How to generate a knowledge graph i.e. knowledge graph seo

Google’s knowledge panel creation is like a complex recipe! First, it identifies the main entity and relevant sources about it based on your search query. It then verifies if they match, categorizes the entity, and picks a suitable template for displaying information. 

Next, it gathers key facts from trusted sources and combines them with additional details to fill the template placeholders. Finally, it presents the knowledge panel alongside regular search results for a comprehensive information package. It’s all about understanding your intent, finding reliable sources, and presenting information in a clear and structured way.

In other words, the following steps are Knowledge Graph SEO steps:

1. Website content

Let’s say Apple doesn’t yet have a knowledge panel. The first thing Google would do is go through their site and analyze the content to determine in which category they belong.

website is a knowledge graph of the brand

Your website is your digital identity, and this is why it’s important to align your online presence with your niche. What does this mean? It means that Apple, an organization that produces technology, can’t start selling clothes or furniture out of the blue. Google has already established the niche they belong to, and it’s ranking them for that specific thing. Adding products that don’t overlap with the already acclaimed category would hurt Apple’s rankings since it’s confusing Google.

Your About Us page also provides Google with the necessary information about your business that is detrimental to making a knowledge panel. And same goes for your product pages.

So basically, when conducting a brand analysis and identifying a brand entity on a website dedicated to a single brand, Google looks at the whole site to figure out what the brand is all about. But for sites with lots of different brands, Google pays more attention to the product pages to extract the brand names and assign entities. It kinda depends on how much these brands show up online, especially on other prominent websites within your specific industry or niche.

2. Google business profile 

Your Google business profile should be claimed and verified, with all the information about your business. This is one of the main sources Google pulls information from when making knowledge panels.

This is why your Google Business Profile is the fastest and easiest Knowledge graph SEO front.

3. Social media 

Make sure to align company information across all social media channels. Google indexes pages from Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and so on. That means that your activity on social media is taken into account when making your knowledge graph. Most of the photos are taken from social media profiles. You should stay active and keep on growing your audience. 

4. Schema markup 

Another way Google to retrain information from your website is to go through your schema markup. 

Apple's schema markup

When reading your schema Google can see that Apple is an organization, their URL, logo, and also all the pages that belong to Apple, their social media that should rank alongside their main website, and not compete with one another. 

5. Entity by association

When an entity isn’t developed enough on its own for it to have a knowledge panel, one can still be generated for it if it’s associated with a larger, well-developed entity. For example, Tim Cook got his knowledge panel by being the CEO of Apple. If he wasn’t associated with Apple, he wouldn’t have one.  

Tim Cook's knowledge graph

And the way they become associated is through semantic triples! When Tim Cook is mentioned, Apple is mentioned. This happened enough times for Google to establish a connection between these two. And since the mentions are usually done by large and authoritative sites like Business Insider, CNN, Forbes, and so on, his entity was established and he earned himself a knowledge panel!

6. Make a major publication

A similar principle can be applied to major publications. Google analyzes information from Amazon, Spotify, eBay, IMDb, etc.  When you publish a book, it gets its own knowledge panel, and the same goes for movies and songs. By getting your name mentioned alongside your publication, google will form your knowledge panel. 

The Knowledge Graph Development Path 

From a keyword to a full-blown knowledge graph – this is development path knowledge graph follows: 

The knowledge graph seo development path

From Keyword SEO to Entity SEO, all the steps are important when developing a knowledge graph.

The Levels of Knowledge Graph Development

Not all knowledge graphs are on the same level. The level of development will determine factors like how good the user experience will be, how likely are you to rank for that keyword, and so on.

1. Side Panel

Side panel example

When the side panel appears you will get a short introduction to the entity you were searching for. For any additional information, you would have to continue making more queries. User experience is not the best with this one since it doesn’t contain a lot of information at first glance. 

Some Side Knowledge Panels can be claimed:

Side panel can be claimed

Claiming the knowledge graph (by a verified business owner, or PR manager) has many benefits – to both Google and the Business owner/manager.

By claiming the panel as yours, you are allowed to enrich this Google profile with new information that is later on used in Google Maps, Google Businesses, Google Shopping, and more.

Examples of information you can add:

  • Edit profile
  • Read reviews and reply
  • View Messages and answer directly
  • Add a photo (interior offices and exterior building entrance)
  • Performance (learn how people interact with your business in Google)
  • Advertise (promote the business)
  • Add and Edit products
  • Add and edit services, and service areas
  • Online Bookings for brick-and-mortar
What information to add about your business

Google Business Profile is the easiest way to do Knowledge Graph SEO for Companies. That’s a solid starting point.

2. Fully-developed Knowledge Panel

With fully developed knowledge graphs you get a better user experience, but it is harder to rank for keywords within this knowledge graph, since they are already entirely developed, integrated, and connected to various entities that present the best user experience. 

Also, these types of graphs can’t be claimed, unlike the side knowledge panels that can be claimed and improved by adding additional information.

Fully-developed Knowledge Panel example

By looking at this Knowledge Panel you find out Tim Cook’s age, net worth, and education, you also have an option to look at videos about him, news, and also take a look at his social media. No need for more queries.

Višnja

Višnja is a passionate digital marketing advocate that works with Aleph as an author, contributor, and consultant to our clients. She has a degree in psychology and a knack for content marketing.

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