Understanding The Google Knowledge Graph And Knowledge Panels

Understanding The Google Knowledge Graph And Knowledge Panels

Information to improve your dental website SEO

Regular readers of this blog will know that periodically we publish articles designed to help dentists understand key elements of search optimisation, particularly how the Google search index works and how best to use it to promote dental practices prominently.

Not everyone outsources their SEO and so our regular updates are designed to be easy and straightforward for those who are trying the DIY approach. Equally, dentists who are successful on the web usually have more than a working knowledge of how search optimisation works, even if they do outsource the bulk of the work to companies like ours. What we try to do is distil the key concepts and then present it in the dental context so that you have the right information quickly and without having to wade through the raft of misinformation which often accompanies SEO discussion.

Typically we go straight to the ‘horse’s mouth’ when we need to update our own comprehensive SEO knowledge i.e. we refer direct to Google’s own sources. Today we’ll take a look at the Google Knowledge Graph and Knowledge Panels and how these can be targeted and used to boost your own ranking performance.

What is the Google Knowledge Graph and why does it matter?

Google tells us that their Knowledge Graph is like a “giant virtual encyclopaedia of facts” which they glean and then collate from multiple sources around the web. This has existed since 2012 and has over 500 billion facts and 5 billion entries about people, places and things – that’s an awful lot of information. Google gleans this from other references on the web and also from open source and licenced databases. The information is very carefully vetted to try to ensure that the content only comes from current, bona fide sources.

Google then uses information from the Knowledge Graph to create the Knowledge Panels which show up prominently in the search results.

What is a Knowledge Panel?

When you search in Google, you will often see an extra information box pop up at the top of the search results. This will contain key information related to the search query you made, including images, short descriptive text and links out to social media channels and official websites. So you can already start to see why featuring in a knowledge panel is very beneficial. On desk-top devices, you typically see one panel at or near the top of the results to the right-hand side. On mobile, the information is split into several panels which are interspersed with the rest of the results as you scroll down.

Is the Knowledge Panel information ever inaccurate?

The answer to this is “yes” but frankly not very often. Not only does Google have automated systems to gather the information in the first place, it also has systems for cross-checking and validating that information when it’s used. This is also backed up by human researchers who spot-check to ensure that consistency and accuracy is being maintained.

There is also a mechanism where users can feedback about erroneous information to Google so that they can remove or amend it – this is linked from the base of the panel on desk-top and from the three dots at the top of the mobile panels.

Claiming a Knowledge Panel

In some circumstances it is possible to claim a knowledge panel and then suggest changes to it. This is known as “getting verified”. A similar process also exists for small businesses to claim their knowledge panels and amend information such as opening times, contact numbers and so on.

How does this help dental SEO?

Alongside claiming the “My Business” information panel, it is possible to gain knowledge panels if you are an authority in a particular subject or if your business provides class-leading information or treatment in a specific area. These panels are very prominent in the search results, both on desk-top and mobile searches and consequently attract a lot of clicks. So if your SEO team knows what they are doing and the content you publish is excellent, it is possible to target knowledge panels in addition to the basic business ones.

If you’d like to understand more about this topic or SEO for dentists more generally, please call the digital marketing team at Dental Media on 01332 672548 for a no-obligation discussion.