What is the Google Knowledge Panel and how to control it?


What is a Google Knowledge Panel?

We’ve all grown used to seeing Knowledge Panels pop up to the right of the search results when making queries on Google. It’s a quick, bite-sized summary of the most relevant information on whatever it is you’re investigating that pops up in a box to the right of your screen, or in between search results if you’re on mobile.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Google Knowledge Panel example

Having an accurate and informative knowledge panel is important, as it’s often the first (and possibly last) thing one looks at when perusing the search results about a person or celebrity. Hence, you want for the panel to include all the most relevant information about you or your personal brand, including an appropriate picture and links to your websites or socials. Look at it as another way of maximising your brand awareness and contributing to your SEO.

These panels are compiled by Google’s Knowledge Graph, which is a data-driven engine connecting all sorts of information that Google finds in the web. They also collaborate with data partners who provide them with authoritative data in their respective areas. Whether a knowledge panel shows up at all for a given search is up to Google, meaning you cannot apply for a personal or branded panel. Hence, the more accurate and pertinent information are available online about you or your brand — for example, through a well-maintained website or a Wikipedia page — the higher the likelihood of a Knowledge Panel appearing.

It may sometimes be the case that the panel contains information that could be considered to be a repetitional disadvantage. For example, it may be outdated information that misleads the reader. Fixing such a situation is not always 100% possible and requires patience. However, it is certainly worth using the tools Google provides to influence the content of the Knowledge Panel.

If there is a personal, brand, or local panel relevant to you, you might be eligible to access it and suggest changes to Google. Here is how.

How do you access your Knowledge Panel?

To gain access to your knowledge panel you will first need a verified Google account. To verify your account, Google will ask you to sign into one of the official profiles or sites associated with you or your brand (such as Twitter, YouTube or Facebook). If Google has trouble identifying your associated profile, they might prompt you to provide additional information in order to securely verify you.

Using your verified account, you will want to search for yourself or your brand using the Google search engine. Once you locate your Knowledge Panel, at the very bottom of it you will find a “Claim this knowledge panel” button.

Once your account is verified, you’re also at liberty to authorise other Google accounts to be your representatives and allow them to suggest changes to your Knowledge Panel. This might come in handy if you’d like someone in your team to be able to suggest edits as well.

What can you do with your Knowledge Panel?

Once you’re verified, you’ll be able to suggest edits. While you can’t completely change the whole panel, you are able to change the featured images, the title and subtitle of the panel, its description, as well as affiliated social media profiles. Some of the information in the panels is dynamic, meaning it gets automatically updated as data changes on the web.

Of course, any changes to the knowledge panel will first have to be approved by Google. They check the suggested edits to make sure they are in accordance with their policies. They might not implement a suggestion if, for example, they can’t confirm its accuracy or if it’s an advertisement. You can also provide feedback on the “people also search for” and “more images” sections of your panel to have more control over where people will be directed from your panel.

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