Google Knowledge Graph – How could it affect search engine marketing?
Yesterday saw the introduction of the Google Knowledge graph and it has set the search marketing world’s social feeds alight! Basically, Google are attempting to bring search queries to life, with one of the quotes being thrown about summarising the changes simply as:
“In geek-speak, [the knowledge graph] a ‘graph’—that understands real-world entities and their relationships to one another: things, not strings.” Google Official Blog, May 16th 2012
Whenever searching the web, there are always going to be different meanings to your search and that is what the Knowledge Graph is trying to interpret, what do you exactly mean when you search for something generic such as ‘Ford’? Do you mean the motor company? A shallow water crossing? As you can see, there are many queries that you could face when searching the net, but Google is attempting to utilise a semantic approach with the Knowledge Graph by understanding that what you are searching for is not only a word or string of words but actually a real thing that has real life connections and connotations. One of the key things mentioned in the launch video is that this is the early phases of moving from a “Information engine and becoming a knowledge engine”
Just in case you haven’t seen the introduction video, here it is -
Here are some images of the Google Knowledge Graph in action!
But how will all of this affect you and your search engine marketing?
- No evidence of Paid results – From all of the screen shots we have seen of the new search interface there is a distinct lack of paid results. I’m sure Google would not remove paid ads completely but will this new interface impact click through rates and make appearing in the top 2-3 results even more important? Or will this introduce a new kind of paid advertising?
- Link building will be key – We all know not to spam sites with tonnes of unrelated links, but there are certainly businesses out there that have secured some authoritative links, but from unrelated industries or companies. With Google already having rolled out the Penguin update targeting spammy links, the Knowledge Graph seems to go one step further. Relationship analysis of all content in and around your site will be vital that it is not related to off topic industries or companies as this could seriously affect your chances of naturally ranking at all. Quality and relevance of content surrounding your brand or search term needs to be as clean and user friendly as possible. Building information about your brand could become just as important as building links.
- Information building will be crucial if you want your website to appear on page one natural results. Because of the way Google is trying to build out the Knowledge Graph, related subjects surrounding your brand or service needs to be relevant in a common sense manner. With Google populating results dependant on relationships, what control will search marketers have? Will there be the introduction of new HTML tags that will aid how your content relates to particular search terms? There is much to answer surrounding this, which we will endeavour to do as the Knowledge graph roles out worldwide.
What do you see as the future of this update? How do you think it will affect search engine marketing? Let me know in the comments below.