What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the term search engine? While some minds might default to Yahoo and others to Bing, most people immediately conjure up that famous six-lettered word: Google.
That’s right. Over the past decade and a half, Google has grown to become one of the most expansive, recognized search engines in the world—and that’s not even accounting for its email, social media, calendar, map, and other services.
But in 2012, Google redoubled its efforts at world domination (in a good way, mind you) by launching its Knowledge Graph. What is this Knowledge Graph and how does it impact online marketing for your business? Read on to learn more.
Google Knowledge Graph: Fancy Gimmick or Online Revolution?
Google’s Knowledge Graph is like a virtual face-lift to even our modern notion of encyclopedias. It brings a different aesthetic to Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs). But unlike a pricy cosmetic nose job, the Knowledge Graph offers impressive functional and pragmatic perks.
Case in point: When you enter “Ghostbusters” into Google’s oh-so-minimal search bar, you get your traditional list of blue-colored links to relevant websites (about 23 million of them) and you have your choice to click, scroll, and change pages. But what’s that big box to the right?
That’s Google Knowledge Graph. And you’ll see just what the Graph is all about: it boasts images, critical ratings, run time, release date, cast, summary, and even related searches. All the fundamentals about the 1984 film are there for your researching pleasure.
What’s the Point?
The whole idea behind Google Knowledge Graph involves something more than algorithmic spiders—it’s a move towards a more human understanding of meaning. Knowledge Graph can differentiate nuances of meaning (such as the difference between Al Gore’s book The Future and Miranda July’s film of the same name). It supplies comprehensive, concise, and relevant information to answer your queries without ever leaving the SERP. It can even anticipate what you might search next.
Google’s nifty tool streamlines web searches so you can find what you’re looking for quicker. Imagine Knowledge Graph as a person in a conversation who receives information but who also contributes new information, in addition to answering questions. Such a person facilitates understanding and provides meaningful feedback.
So, the point is that Google Knowledge Graph innovates the way we conduct online searches. We might be going too far to label it a revolution, at least for now. But keep searching Google, and you’ll begin to notice just how helpful those Knowledge Graph boxes are.
How Does the Graph Affect Your Business?
Google Knowledge Graph may spruce up the search scene, especially for 7th graders looking for quick info about Plato for their book reports. But what influence does it have on your small business?
Let’s tackle your biggest fear first. When you want your company to grow, you use SEO resources to boost your presence online. One way your business gains exposure is through the amount of organic search traffic to your company website. But you may think Knowledge Graph will steal your thunder by taking your website’s blurbs and putting them in its own box.
Is this bad? Well, yes and no. It’s bad in that it may steer potential customers away from browsing your products or services. But keep in mind that your most serious clients will be the ones more likely to skim over the Knowledge Graph and click their way to your website.
How to Maintain a Strong Online Presence No Matter What
So it might seem like a catch-22: Google Knowledge Graph enhances the search process but, at the same time, can stifle traffic your website.
But don’t worry, your brain need not turn to mush as you try to figure out the logistics. The trick is to produce enough high-quality content to be included in the Knowledge Graph results panel. You’ll want your website to appear in the top three or four spots on Google’s SERP. And the higher up your website ranks, the higher the chances Knowledge Graph will use your data or cite your web page.
This process will take time, especially if your business is brand new or recognized only locally. However skeptical you may feel about the Graph, in reality, it should lead you to expand your marketing skills and learn how to make your company even more accessible to potential customers.
Take Advantage of the Knowledge Graph
It’s safe to assume that Google Knowledge Graph will continue to evolve over the next few years. In conjunction with this evolution, you’ll want to step up your online marketing game. Remember these tips as you do so:
- Construct a visually appealing, user-friendly website
- Create a Wikipedia page for your website
- Use keywords consistently but not excessively
- Reach out on social media, especially Google+
- Advertise your company brand, including your logo
- Focus on what users want more than what you want
- Consult trustworthy, white-hat SEO resources
You don’t want your business to have a weak ranking. You also don’t want to see the Knowledge Graph showcasing your competitors’ products or services. The above-listed tips are just some ways you can make the Graph your best friend.
The beauty of Google’s Knowledge Graph is that it encourages—even compels—businesses and organizations to understand how to truly succeed at search engine optimization and internet marketing. There’s no better time than now to make the future of your small business a promising one.