Google Adds A Knowledge Graph Popup To Search Results, But Is It Good For Site Owners?

google-knowledge-mortar-board-graduationGoogle has announced the formal rollout of a test that some searchers have been seeing for a few days now — a test that associates a Knowledge Graph popup with certain web pages in desktop search results.

The popup adds more information about certain search results, which sounds like it should be good for searchers. But, as I’ll show below, the implementation may not be great for site owners.

“You’ll see this extra information when a site is widely recognized as notable online, when there is enough information to show or when the content may be handy for you,” wrote Google’s Bart Niechwiej in today’s blog post.

Since it’s Knowledge Graph data, the popups rely heavily on Wikipedia. In my searching, I didn’t see a single example that didn’t have data from Wikipedia.

The data provides background on the website listed in the search result, and it appears in a small popup window that’s accessible from a clickable link on the second line of the result. Here’s a sample that I noticed on a recent search: google-knowledge-graph-popup

In that example, each boxed area — “Wikipedia,” “Toronto Sun” and “Canoe.ca” is clickable and shows the Knowledge Graph popup.

Good News Or Bad News For Site Owners?

For site owners, this could be seen as a welcome addition because it adds extra information about the website and may encourage users to click the search result. There’s maybe also an element of accomplishment — i.e., “we’re important enough to get this special search result feature.”

On the other hand, as the screenshot above shows, the popup adds up to three extra links to the search result that don’t go to your website:

  • The avatar/logo links to the site’s Google+ page
  • The “Wikipedia” credit at the end of the text links to the Wikipedia page about the website
  • The “Owned by” text links to a Google search (in this case, for “Québecor Média”)

If this becomes a popular feature with searchers, it could lead some to click away from the actual web page that Google included in its search results.

In any case, Google says it expects to show more information about more websites as it expands the Knowledge Graph.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: Knowledge Graph | Google: Web Search | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://www.seoskeptic.com/ Aaron Bradley

    Thanks Matt – interesting stuff.

    After reading this piece I looped back to the queries where I had this change myself, as one of those queries was “microsoft office” and I was somewhat skeptical that the logo displayed (if there was one) would be linked to a Microsoft Page on Google+.

    The logo did indeed accompany the result, but instead going to a Google+ Page it was linked to Logopedia. So I guess there’s at least the possibility that some of these links may point to some other place than Wikipedia, Google+ or a Google query.

  • http://www.hostingkingdom.com/ Matt @ HostingKingdom

    Just another observation here. I played around with a few queries, most logos point to a G+ profile but on a query for SEO I noticed that Moz logo don’t link to their G+ page or an image/logo site, but it links directly to moz.com (screengrab on http://tinypic.com/r/1zea69g/5)

  • Colin Guidi

    I think this move is pretty crappy on G’s part.

    SEO/brands/webmasters whoever it may be, work on getting their actual webpages to render properly in the SERPs. Now, with this move Google is controlling and adding a layer of links that take the control out of the hands of webmasters, as well as placing links to take traffic away from these organic listings (wikipedia links, several instances of the logos not going to G+ pages…).

    For right now, this is not a move I can get behind.

  • Durant Imboden

    I have a feeling that this new feature won’t be a keeper. It adds more visual clutter to Google’s already busy search results.

    As to whether it’s good or bad for site owners, my guess is that most searchers won’t use it, so it probably won’t have a lot of impact on organic search traffic.

  • http://www.epicnewmedia.co.uk/ Marty Rogers

    To be honest, I don’t think the majority of searchers will even notice it.

    I’m not concerned.

  • http://www.glynndavies.co.uk/ Glynn Davies

    I suppose anyone who clicks away wasn’t that committed to the actual result anyway (with the possible exception of accidental and curious clicks), so may not have clicked through even without this feature.

  • Jim Payseur

    So what I’m hearing is webmasters might create a Wikipedia page for their website to help get a knowledge graph pop-up.
    Certainly not all of the information is being pulled from Wiki, though. For WebMD, it has the little blurb describing the site (from Wiki), then has a Founded date (which is wrong for this company) and Awards (which aren’t mentioned on the Wiki page).

  • http://www.kyleeggleston.com/ Kyle Eggleston

    This feature will probably fizzle out over time. There’s only so much real estate on the SERPs. And won’t this distract searchers from looking at Google ads, the ultimate goal for Google? Maybe after their CTR drops 0.01% they’ll remove it.

  • Andrew Neal Jenkins

    It’s exciting to watch the semantic web develop in front of our very eyes – whether or not this works/fails, it’s neat to see Google testing new ideas. I suspect it won’t be too long before this data (in part or whole) is served along with the meta description (without clicking). Exciting times!

  • Andrew Neal Jenkins
  • Rajesh_magar

    I think these feature quite helpful for business owners at some point. As it’s like extension we using in Google adwords campaign.

    But of-course major post-impact will be like all business owner will start spamming wiki pages and that may become trouble for all search engines and users.

    What you think?

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