What is the Knowledge Graph?
In order to understand the Knowledge Graph, you first need to understand how search works. Search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing, etc.) "crawl" the web looking for pages. They crawl by going link to link in order to navigate and index pages that webmasters wish to be found. Once they create the index of pages in their database, results are complied and categorized based on various factors -- mainly CONTENT! Remember that. Their algorithm determines what content is the most valuable for the person searching for a specific topic. Then, the page deemed most relevant will receive the top ranking and the others fall into place.
So, you're not ranking well for the search terms associated with your business categories? You may have a content problem. Of course, there are additional factors that can cause your site not to rank well, but that's another post.
Let's dig a little deeper into how search engines rank pages the way they do.
Companies like Google dedicate thousands of computer programers and engineers to write programs and formulas that attempt to better understand what you, the user, is looking for. Which brings us to the Knowledge Graph -- the knowledge base used by Google to enhance its search results with semantic-search information gathered from a wide variety of sources. So, once they think they know what the user is searching for, an algorithm returns results based on factors, including: site and page quality, freshness, personal browsing history and translation.
What the knowledge graph means for you...
You must provide content that is relevant to your users. When you give users what they are looking for, they flock to the content, making it easier for Google to discover. Remember those links they follow? A precise, well planned content strategy and the use of available tools to share that content (social media, email, web, apps, etc.) will result in increased traffic to your website.
It's important to keep in mind that users are increasingly asking more conversational style queries. For instance, my friends and I will often use a search engine to settle an argument. We will ask Siri or type into Google, "Who won the 2005 BCS National Championship?" A trusted webpage ranked highly by Google provides the answer: the Texas Longhorns. Siri will give us the answer or we will engage with the on page result and obtain the proof we need to settle the argument (and crown a winner).
According to besirious.com, 44% of iPhone 4S owners use Siri at least a few times a month. Technology is continuing to advance and both Google and Facebook are actively refining algorithms to connect common conversational searches together. Now and in the future, providing content that answers questions or adds depth to a conversation should become a necessity for business owners.
Our agency gets visits from unique and interesting search queries all the time, so we pay close attention and deliver content that drives more of those conversational queries. We get results from searches like: "who is the best website design firm in Memphis?" or "best internet marketing agency." Results for these terms can prove valuable and allow us to position ourselves as authorities in our industry. We recommend that you do the same.
What are you trying to rank for and how are you going about reaching the top?