Google makes over 500 changes to their search algorithm each year. Some of these changes are so minor that they go unnoticed. Some are important enough to inspire a slew of conversations, debates and blog posts. And some have the potential to be complete game changers to the search industry.
Google’s new Knowledge Graph is one of those potential game changers. When searchers type in a movie, celebrity, popular location, or other commonly searched query, the knowledge graph feature pops up on the right side of the screen, providing essential information for what the search user is looking for. Searchers may not to have to click on any results, if the information they are looking for is already available on their screen, but Google’s early data shows that the knowledge graph actually encourages even more searches. People continue searching to find additional information relevant to their initial query.
Does the knowledge graph change SEO? Yes, depending on what keywords your site is concentrating on. The knowledge graph is still fairly limited, but if your keywords are a part of the currently available topics, you might see a change in traffic. The knowledge graph is already giving searchers the basic information, so you need to focus on providing more, especially if your webpage is already near the top of the SERPs.
You should also be targeting related terms. Google provides links to various related search queries; if your site is included in the results for these additional searches, you’re going to see an increase in traffic. If you’re not included in any of the related search terms, consider adding some of these terms to your current SEO efforts.
The big concern about Google’s knowledge graph is that it gets most of its data from Wikipedia and similar sources, instead of looking for current, more relevant results. While these results are usually accurate, it doesn’t do anything to help websites that provide a better, more in-depth level of information. The plus side to this is that search users who are looking for more information are going to look for a site that can provide that. If you have a highly informative, well-maintained site, the knowledge graph could turn out to be a good thing.
It’s still too early to know exactly how the Knowledge Graph will play into SEO, but it really comes down to making sure that you’re creating a quality site with quality content, and making sure that you’re targeting the right keywords. That hasn’t changed at all. Focus on quality and usability, and Google’s updates, no matter how tiny or monumental they are, will usually only help your site to do better in the search results.
Have you explored the new Knowledge Graph features? Do you think it’s as big of a game changer as some people are saying?