What Is a Google Knowledge Panel and How to Get One?

Author's avatar SEO Aug 24, 2021 11 minutes read

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    Admittedly, scoring a Google Knowledge Panel for your business is a bit more challenging than optimizing for other SERP features.

    The reason? You can’t create one. Instead, you can only claim one, which is where things get tricky.

    But, of course, there are six proven best practices you can follow to increase the odds of Google creating a knowledge panel for your brand. And, those are exactly what we’ll talk about in this piece.

    In total, we’ll cover the following:

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    What Is a Google Knowledge Panel?

    A Google Knowledge Panel is an information box that shows up on the right side of your screen when you search for entitles like people, organizations, places, animals, and so on.

    Google Knowledge Panel example

    According to Google, they pull content for these knowledge boxes from:

    • Authoritative open web sources such as Wikipedia pages.
    • Authentic data sources that Google partners for specific info, for example, info on music and movies.

    For authoritative sources, Google also allows them to provide direct feedback on the content shown in the knowledge panel. Therefore, some of the information that you see might also come from the person such as a business icon, industry expert, or celebrity featured in the Google Knowledge Panel.

    What Purpose Do Knowledge Panels Serve?

    The search engine giant, Google, focuses on providing its users with answers.

    And, while it’s at it, it ensures that the information delivered is easy to read and quick to learn. In doing so, the search engine improves its users’ experience.

    Now to make information easily digestible, Google employs several rich results on the search engine results page (SERP) such as:

    • People Also Ask box
    • Related Searches section
    • Top Stories recommendations

    The Google Knowledge Graph is one such SERP feature – dedicated to providing information on what users search for quickly.

    Considering its importance in providing quick, at-a-glance information, several businesses are working to get a Google Knowledge Panel for their business.

    In our respondents’ pool alone, 60% have it. 28% don’t have the rich snippet with 12% unsure on whether they have it or not.

    Does you business have a Google Knowledge Panel?

    Having one is important though with 35% of our contributors agreeing that the Knowledge Panel helps businesses come across as professional and trustful.

    32% also think that the SERP feature adds to the discoverability chances of a business and 29% say it helps stand out from the competition.

    Most important reasons for having a Google Knowledge Panel

    When Do Knowledge Panels Appear and Where Do They Come From?

    Knowledge panels surface when you search for entities. These could be anything from businesses to people, animals, or movies.

    Essentially, Google pulls up a panel for any topic with lots of authoritative data available on the web. So the information featured is based on Google’s understanding of the topic.

    But here’s the thing, you can’t create a knowledge panel for yourself – you can only claim it.

    Kinsta’s Tom Zsomborgi comments on this. “Knowledge panels are automatically generated when searching for entities that are in the knowledge graph. But the search engine is not perfect and often shows incorrect or outdated information.” It’s here that you can claim the knowledge panel and contribute with solid information.

    “By clicking on the ‘Own this business?’ link you can claim the panel and after the verification process,” Zsomborgi says, “you can update the information there, helping Google to show the right information.”

    Put simply, here’s how the process of updating information in a Google Knowledge Panel looks like:

    1. Take to Google Search and sign in using the email you want to associate with the panel.
    2. Make sure your Web and app activity is on and search for the knowledge panel.
    3. Tap Suggest an edit (Suggest edits on mobile) at the top of the knowledge panel.
    4. Click the information you want to update and submit your feedback.
    5. Write a short description of the suggested change and why you think your suggestion should replace the existing information in the response box that shows up. You might also need to add accessible URLs to confirm the changes you’re suggesting.
    6. Hit Send.

    It’s also important to take steps to make sure there’s lots of information related to your business on the web. This means having an updated Google My Business profile, a Wikipedia page, and a high-authority site.

    In fact, we asked our respondents what they think is the most important way to get their own Google Knowledge Panel. And it turns out, roughly half of our respondents think that having your own Wikipedia page is the most influential thing to get your knowledge panel.

    38% think having your own Google My Business profile is crucial too. And, some 10% think that high domain authority is important.

    How to obtain a Google Knowledge Panel?

    How Long Does it Take to Get a Knowledge Panel?

    The question now is: once you’ve achieved these elements, how long does it take to get a Google Knowledge Panel?

    We asked our contributors. And, the majority, 48%, say it’s impossible to pinpoint a specific time. 28%, however, say it takes about a few weeks, whereas, 24% say it takes a few months to get a knowledge panel. 

    How Long Does it Take to Get a Knowledge Panel?

    Related: 49 Ways to Track Your Performance in SERPs Using Only Google Search Console

    6 Best Practices for Building a Solid Knowledge Panel

    With it being clear that you can’t make a Google Knowledge Panel with a few buttons, let’s look at the following ways to increase your chances of getting one:

    1. Get a Wikipedia page or earn a link from it
    2. Build and optimize a Google My Business page
    3. Grow an active online presence
    4. Work on creating a strong PR profile
    5. Add correct metadata to all relevant websites and directories
    6. Increase your site’s domain authority

    Let’s dig in.

    1. Get a Wikipedia page or earn a link from it

    As mentioned, Google tends to source info for knowledge panels from pre-available data sources such as Wikipedia.

    So a good step to increase your likelihood of having this SERP feature is making a Wikipedia page as Milkwhale’s Andre Oentoro suggests.

    “Work on getting a Wikipedia page. Wikipedia or Wikidata are the main sources of information for Google when it comes to knowledge panels,” writes Oentoro.

    “So, to increase the chances of getting a Google Knowledge Panel, you have to work on having a solid presence on these two platforms.”

    If you can’t create one for whatever reason, consider getting a link from it.

    More importantly, aim to get links not just from Wikipedia pages, but also from as many authoritative sites as possible. These include Reddit and Yelp, for example.

    2. Build and optimize a Google My Business page

    Multiple contributors share this as their best tactic for earning a knowledge panel.

    Donna Duncan from B-SeenOnTop considers this step fundamental. “Build-out and verify an excellent Google My Business page,” Duncan writes.

    “Ensure it is 100% complete and accurate. Add rich, engaging images, helpful product and service descriptions, and timely posts. This helps convince Google you are a legitimate business worthy of a knowledge panel.”

    Xtractor Depot’s Elizabeth Weatherby agrees, “Because users can’t apply for a Knowledge Panel themselves, it’s important to include detailed, informative copy/content on your website and your GMB profile.”

    “Frequent posts to your GMB profile can’t hurt to help Google recognize you. When you’re putting out consistent and accurate information to Google, you have a better chance of Google deciding you are worthy of a knowledge panel,” points out Weatherby.

    And adds, “Schema Markup on your web pages can also help encourage bots and spiders to crawl your content more effectively & efficiently, so this would also be another good option in your efforts for obtaining a Google Knowledge Panel for your company.”

    Finally, Lauren Walter from Online Optimism Digital Marketing Agency DC advises, “ensure your Google My Business profile] has accurate, robust, frequently updated information.”

    “Verify your website with Google Search Console as well and make sure you have structured data markup for your local business listing, including information like your company name, street address, website, phone number, hours, etc. As with your GMB profile, fill out as much of this local business information as you can.”

    To learn more about building and optimizing your GMB profile, check out Databox’s complete to Google My Business optimization.

    3. Grow an active online presence

    Since you’ve to make sure your brand comes off as authentic to Google, it’s a useful idea to start building and growing your online presence.

    Some ways to develop an active online presence include:

    • Being active on social media
    • Participating in podcasts and webinars
    • Getting mentions from other high-authority sites

    Nick Shackelford from Structured Agency talks about this last way to show Google your online presence.

    “Many companies just don’t have the authority from branding, Wikipedia, or social media to establish recognition from Google on their own. Therefore, you can get a knowledge panel for your brand through third-party mentions with high authority sites.”

    “Using backlinks, press mentions, and visibility on these pages will show Google you as a premier player in the SEO world,” explains Shackelford. “Speaking at industry conferences and writing for relevant publications can also get you publicity across third-party sites, which will help support the claims you’re already making on your own site.”

    Related: How to Optimize Your Website for Branded Keywords

    4. Work on creating a strong PR profile

    Closely related to the best practice above is this one from Alpha Efficiency’s Brian Dordevic.

    “One tip that we’ve used many times for obtaining knowledge panels for our clients is consistent rounds of high-quality press releases,” Dordevic comments.

    “You don’t want the generic PR services, make sure that they get you published on very well-known, trusted, and credible websites such as Yahoo, Business Insider as an example.”

    Once done, Dordevic recommends “including the published press releases URLs within your websites schema markup/structured data as same as markup helps to associate you or your brand with the PR content to help Google more easily identify and connect the dots.

    It may take a few rounds, but as they start to build up with more about your name, or your brand that you want to appear in the knowledge panel then it will reach a tipping point and display one.”

    Related: How to Write a Great PR Pitch

    5. Add correct metadata to all relevant websites and directories

    This is often neglected. But making sure metadata on all industry-relevant directories and websites is correct helps a lot according to Charlie Patel from 99 Robots.

    “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” Patel points out. “Google collects information from various online sources and adds it to their Knowledge Graph about your company.

    When all the metadata is added correctly on these external websites, it expands your Knowledge Graph entry in Google. For example, these could be your site, Google My Business profile, Wikipedia, Wikidata, Crunchbase, third-party mentions, or business databases.”

    6. Increase your site’s domain authority (DA)

    Another important tip is to make efforts to increase your domain authority. Prerender’s Zoltan Bettenbuk commends link building for this.

    “Essentially your goal is to get linked mentions on websites with a higher domain authority rating. That way it boosts your own website’s domain authority.

    Google Knowledge Panels often cites authoritative sites like Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Crunchbase, Reuters, and Bloomberg, which makes these great websites to target. Once your website becomes more authoritative, Google will then start to recognize your brand and increase your chances of triggering a Knowledge Panel qualification.”

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    Earning a Google Knowledge Panel is a great way to boost your business’s authority and trustworthiness. The information box can also help you get new business while helping you stand out from your competitors.

    But, good things never come easy. So go ahead and follow these expert best practices we’ve shared to ensure you get a solid knowledge panel in no time.

    Remember: it’s all about authentic online presence and providing yourself as a legitimate business to Google. Here’s to your business making it to more SERP features. ?

    Keep a close eye on SERP features opportunities for your target keyword with a combination of powerful marketing reporting software like Ahrefs, Moz or SEMRush, and, yes, Databox.

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    Masooma Memon

    Masooma is a freelance writer for SaaS and a lover to-do lists. When she's not writing, she usually has her head buried in a business book or fantasy novel.

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