Google continuously updates their search results to provide a better experience for the searcher. Recent algorithm changes have been moving towards a greater understanding of what the user is intending to search for. This is a step towards Google’s complete understanding of the user, rather than simply matching the exact keywords that were typed into the search bar.
Google is attempting to provide the user with smarter and more relational search results. The knowledge graph feature is an extension of this. Below we highlight what the knowledge graph actually is and how you can better optimize it to improve your search engine traffic.
What is The Knowledge Graph?
The knowledge graph is a database that collects millions of different data points that relate to keyword data and the search intent behind those keywords. The knowledge graph then takes all of this information and creates a quick reference of information about and related to the desired search.
The knowledge graph will appear different based upon what you searched for.
Let’s look at a few examples below:
This is a common result when searching for keywords that’ll give you a list of people.
The single result will usually take and summarize one of the articles that Google deems the most relevant and valuable.
The sidebar result will pull all of the relevant information on a specific person or company.
Can I Optimize for the Knowledge Graph?
As we mentioned above the knowledge graph is a way for Google to showcase the most relevant and useful information in a way that provides the best experience for the searcher.
In order to optimize your content and website for the knowledge graph you need to give Google indicators of what your site is about, while creating very high-quality and relevant information for your readers.
Since the long-term goal of Google is to give the searchers exactly what they want, it’s a smart move to position your content strategy to do the exact same thing.
1. Write for Human Readers First
No longer can you afford to simply write to appease the search engines. You must write in order to entertain, educate, and delight your readers. The more you can solve your readers’ problems the more useful and authoritative your website will become.
When creating content that’s based upon certain keywords, ask yourself why the user would type that keyword. Determine their reasons for typing that specific keyword and tailor your content around completely answering that question for them.
2. Include SEO Elements to “Tip Off” Search Engine Crawlers
There’s no way your content is going to make it into the knowledge graph, or even rank at all, if you don’t utilize certain indicators to tell the search engine crawlers what your website is about. Some of the main ways to do this are:
- Include your target keyword within your headline and subheadings
- Add your keyword to your meta description
- Integrate it (and related keywords) into your content in ways that don’t impact the readability of the article
3. Focus on the User Experience of Your Content
User experience means a lot these days. If your site has all of the content your reader is looking for, yet makes it hard to find that content, or is hard to read, then you won’t be receiving any favorable rankings.
Focus on what it’s like for a reader to consume the content across your website. Optimize and improve this experience by using a readable font, adding more whitespace, making your content more readable, and including relevant links to supplement the information.
The overarching goal of the knowledge graph is to provide the right search results to visitors without making them dig around for it. By answering the right questions, creating useful content, and providing a good user experience you’ll be creating content that’s in alignment with the future of Google’s search engine rankings.