Back in January, Google formally rolled out popups with Knowledge Graph information about certain sites in the organic search results. Now it appears these popups are being tested in ads.
Ariana Wolf, a search strategist at 90octane, provided screenshots of the Knowledge Graph popups appearing on ads for a couple of real estate focused searches last night. I haven’t been able to replicate the testing, and Wolf says she was only able to find them showing on a handful of searches. The results only display on the top ad spots, not in the right rail, and pull from Wikipedia like their organic counterparts.
The popup appears when a user clicks on the gray link for the site owner. Update: Wolf has sent me screenshots showing info box popups in the ads. The boxes are identical to what displays in the organic results. Here’s an example:
A concern about these popups showing in organic results is that they offer more opportunities to siphon traffic away from site owners — through the links to Wikipedia and Google+, which is linked to from the logo thumbnail displayed in each window. The fact that these popups are being tested in ads, though, leads me to believe that the traffic diversion to Wikipedia isn’t substantial. Google of course already includes links to sites’ Google+ pages in snippets, as shown in the Zillow example here:
Google said the criteria for having a Knowledge Box show on a search results are: 1. when a site is widely recognized as notable online, 2. when there is enough information to show or 3. when the content may be handy for the user. Having Wikipedia and Google+ pages appear to be unstated requirements.
Have you spotted this test yet?