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Many brands want their own Google Knowledge Panel to further stand out from competing businesses, and it’s because of Google’s strong position online. Google alone has a 62 percent share of all web searches. In fact, the top three sources for web searches are all Google-related products (Google search, Google images, and YouTube).
Obtaining and utilizing a Google Knowledge Panel increases your brand’s exposure, and it also provides searchers with detailed information to convince them to visit your business. The question is: can you get one?
Maybe. Here’s how.
What is a Google Knowledge Panel?
Searching for prominent “entities,” which include people, places, organizations, and things on Google can bring up the knowledge panel on the right side of the screen next to the search results. Information on the panel can vary and includes details such as a short description, images, important dates, social media channels, and the location of their headquarters.
According to Google, these knowledge panels are “automatically generated”, and information that appears in a knowledge panel comes from various sources across the web.” Google also says it “may work with data partners” to get a more definitive answer for data on specific topics. These sources then come together in Google’s Knowledge Panel database which is combined to make the panel you see in the search engine results page (SERP). These panels are also updated automatically when new data emerges online.
How to Claim Your Google Knowledge Panel
Because knowledge panels are created automatically, there is no way for anyone to create their own panel. With enough time and increased branding exposure, you can eventually gain your own Google Knowledge Panel. If your brand does appear then you can claim it as your own, but you’ll need to be verified as an “authorized representative for the entity.” To get verified and claim your knowledge panel:
- Create a Google account if you don’t have one to use.
- Search for your business on Google and see if it has a Knowledge Panel in the SERP.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the panel and click the button with “Claim this knowledge panel” written on it.
- Review the information presented on the next page, which talks about the features provided to you if you are verified to edit the knowledge panel.
- Sign in to one of the following sites as a final verification to authorize your representation of the entity in the knowledge panel. If Google can’t associate one of the platforms below with the knowledge panel subject then you’ll need to provide additional information to properly verify your account.
- Google Search Console
Making Changes to Your Google Knowledge Panel
Claiming your knowledge panel is one thing. Making changes to the information displayed in it can be an uphill battle. This is because Google places a heavy trust on its automated system to display updated and accurate information. However, you can still provide changes to specific elements if you think the current information doesn’t accurately represent your brand.
For instance, Google provides an automatic title, subtitle, and description for the knowledge panel. To make these changes, you’ll have to provide “strong evidence that [Google’s] automated systems have not made the most representative selection.” Other items in the panel such as dates, location, or notable members of your company also fall under this same rule. In the case of the description, which is also pulled from multiple online sources, you’ll need to get in touch with the source used in the panel’s description to have it changed.
Thankfully, some assets won’t be as difficult to modify on your end, although you will still need to suggest those changes to Google rather than making the alterations yourself. This includes your social media channels and the featured image shown on the panel. When recommending a new featured image, keep in mind the following image requirements.
- Images must be a JPG or PNG file.
- The image must be at least 1,000 pixels and have a 3:4 ratio.
- Knowledge panels focusing on an individual should have a clearly visible photo of the person’s face.
- Logos must be in a PNG or SVG file format.
How Is a Business Profile Different from a Google Knowledge Panel?
Getting your own knowledge panel isn’t guaranteed, which is why you should also put your efforts into creating a Business Profile. Unlike the Google Knowledge Panel, which is automatically created, you can create your brand’s own Business Profile through your Google My Business (GMB) account.
You can create a GMB account by visiting https://business.google.com, and you’ll also need to claim and verify your business through GMB before you can edit its information. Only after you claim and verify your business can you add in crucial information that will show up in your Business Profile, which includes:
- Business Name
- Menu link (if applicable)
- Contact information
When adding these elements, make sure that the information you provide is not only correct but aligned with your other online listings. Listing inconsistent phone numbers, addresses, or even operating hours can hurt your search ranking on Google, which reduces your overall online exposure to potential customers.
Making the Most Out of Your Google Business Profile
Entering the pertinent information for your business isn’t the only way you can use the Business Profile. To further increase its value to customers you can use the Business Profile to engage with customers by answering their questions in the “Questions and Answers” section of the panel. Answering customer questions increases consumer trust as well as your overall engagement. People want to know that a business cares about them on a personal level instead of just another entry in the ledger.
Another way to maximize your Business Profile’s potential is through customer reviews, which is immensely popular on Google. Your Business Profile not only shows the overall star rating and the total number of reviews for your business; it also picks out specific reviews and highlights key words it believes best describes the experience. Ensuring that you have enough positive reviews on the profile is important because 63 percent of consumers will look at reviews on Google before they visit a business.
Regardless of the review’s sentiment it’s also important to respond to feedback. Just like the “Questions and Answers” portion of the profile, responses show your level of engagement and the value you place on reviews. At the same time, you should also have a strategy in place to get more reviews to keep up your online exposure and attract even more customers.
Start With the Business Profile and Aim for the Google Knowledge Panel
The fact that Google knowledge panels are automatically created means a lower chance for your brand to get its own time in the Google SERP spotlight. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of that valuable real estate on the first page of SERPs for yourself. By creating and optimizing your Business Profile you can still increase your online footprint and bring in more customers through the door.
With enough brand recognition online coupled with a plethora of positive customer feedback your brand will eventually earn an automatic spot in the Google knowledge panel.