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All About Google Knowledge Panels

Feb 2

For years, Google’s SERPs have been including knowledge panels so users can find the required results quickly. In this article, we’ll discuss how knowledge panels are created and how they work.

Introduction To Knowledge Panels

Knowledge panels/entity boxes are information boxes that appear on Google’s search results page when you search for specific content. The main aim of these boxes is to provide users with the brief information they need. The content you search for (for example – people, places, organizations, things) should be present in knowledge graphs to appear in knowledge panels.

Only limited categories or entity types (books and book series, educational institutions, government, local shops, companies, events, movies & film series, music groups & albums, and more) are considered for the knowledge graph. Also, only the most relevant or popular entities of every category are included in the knowledge graph.

Knowledge panels are different from business boxes, as the latter is based on Google Business. The best way to spot a classic knowledge panel is by looking for a share button in the upper area of the panel. Also, the entity type is specified below the name & depending on the category, various attributes are assigned & the available content is filled.

The image below is an example of a classic knowledge panel. Google prefers using different templates for various entities.

graphic showing google search for Neil Patel

How Are Entities Selected For A Knowledge Panel?

Google has not given any criteria or procedure to select an entity for a specific category. But we have listed some of the most possible ways that Google uses to create a knowledge panel. Several websites that provide semi-structured data, for example – Wikipedia and Soundcloud, can be used by Google to select relevant entities for each category.

How Are Knowledge Panels Created?

In the Google patent, you can learn more about the basic methodology related to knowledge panels. The steps given below describe the basic process followed to create a knowledge panel:

  • Finding relevant entities in the query
  • Shortlisting relevant sources
  • Creating the most appropriate search results
  • Cross-checking whether the search query refers to the actual entity
  • Determining an entity type/category for the entity requested
  • Finalizing a suitable template for the panel (which should match the entity type)
  • Arranging relevant content elements for the main entity from a trusted source
  • Referring to another trusted source for content elements
  • Attaching placeholders in the selected panel template with the finalized content elements
  • Merging search results and knowledge panel on one SERP

How Are Images Selected For A Knowledge Panel?

The Google patent describes how images are selected for various entity types and incorporated into the knowledge panel. The steps given below are a shorter version of the same:

  • Most relevant images are selected
  • Cluster by similarity
  • Most popular clusters are identified and separated
  • Image format (portrait or not) is determined
  • A portrait score is assigned
  • The most representative image is selected
  • The image is attached to the knowledge panel

The clustering of images into various categories depends on the proximity to the entity as well as the aspect ratio. We can also determine the possible categories by looking at Image Search.

In Google’s patent related to images, the images are labeled with attributes and are assigned to specific entities. These attributes are primarily determined by considering the initial image. Additional attributes can also be added by referring to similar images. It is believed that Google selects relevant images by using data from popular sites (Wikidata, Wikipedia, Wikimedia, social media profiles, magazines, and more).

Reasons Why Knowledge Graph Is Gaining Importance

The SERP features are gaining more importance every year, so it’s expected that the Knowledge Graph will also follow the trend. Since the entities are at the center of the Knowledge Graph, it will definitely affect the rankings and overall search results. To conclude, SEOs should not miss out on the Knowledge Graph when preparing their SEO strategies.


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