The goal of a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is to land among the first 10 blue links on a SERP, right? Well, not exactly.
While this is still important, intelligent services like the Knowledge Card are drastically changing today's search landscape. Today, when customers search for your business, they no longer receive static blue links — instead they receive intelligent, direct answers.
Your business's information exists on more than just your website and app. It also exists on maps, apps, search engines, directories, and intelligent devices powered by AI and machines. Because of this, your SEO strategy must shift to ensure that the direct answers provided about your business on these entities are accurate and up to date.
When Google launched the Knowledge Graph in 2012, they created a new source of truth by providing searchers with single, direct answers to their queries. Google compiled over over 3.5 billion facts, including information about 500 million people, places, and things. This information and the relationships between these entities populate the Knowledge Graph. The Knowledge Card pulls information that users typically search for, such as the addresses, hours of operation, websites, and other basic information about a business. Google utilizes these 3.5 billion facts and entity relationships to present all of the facts a user would search for in a given query. It is estimated that 25% of all Google search queries –– or a whopping 875 million searches a day — evoke a Knowledge Card. With the development of the Knowledge Card, Google transformed its SERP from consisting solely of blue links to specific answers that reflect real world entities and the relationships between them.
Google doesn't populate a Knowledge Card for every search you generate, but when Google feels it's relevant, and can pull the necessary facts, the Knowledge Card functions as a very useful tool. The Knowledge Card automatically pulls answers to your customers' most pressing questions, limiting the time they have to spend searching to get the information they need.
The growth of the Knowledge Card and other intelligent search services are important for understanding the evolving ways consumers interact with search. Knowledge Graph answers, sourced by Google, leave searchers no longer needing to visit your business's website. Instead, they take the answers Google provides them as fact, making it imperative that your online data is accurate and consistent across search.
A 2014 Meditative eye tracking study on Google SERPs revealed that users focus their attention on three main areas of the page: near the top, the local search results, and the first organic search. Google has reconfigured its SERP to reflect this, leaving only the local pack and ad blocks visible to searchers. The Knowledge Card is often part of the local pack and positioned at the very top of Google's SERP, making it the most likely place for users to look to for answers.
With Google populating answers for your customers, it's now more important than ever that you have control over the public information about your brand. Direct answers provided by Google compete with organic traffic to your site.
The Knowledge Card is here to stay, so here are some tips for optimizing your digital knowledge to reach more customers.
Snippets now display much more information than when they were initially released and are now evolving over time. It is crucial to make sure your markups are as detailed as possible and that your information is consistent and accurate.
Aggregated search results, where entities are similar, are ideal for carousel displays. Carousel displays depict a selection of images related to the search. Similarly to the Knowledge Card, these displays are direct answers provided by Google; they do not require a user to specify an image search. Add enhanced content to your site and your listings for carousel display opportunities.
Mark up as many attributes as possible with Schema.
Knowledge Graph information now competes with organic search traffic. While search engines ultimately elect what information they display, marking up as many attributes as possible with Schema and using structured data will position you well for future changes.
Business attributes also allow you to add specific details about your brand to your Google listing, ensuring that your business performs well in branded and unbranded queries. For example, if you own a restaurant you can add attributes like "outdoor seating", or "gluten-free options," that way if a user searches for "restaurants near me with outdoor seating" your listing will appear in the local pack, driving traffic to your location.
As consumers search on the go and look to search engines like Google as their source of truth, your business must ensure its information is accurate everywhere in order to reach them.
The Yext Knowledge Engine can help your business manage and update its digital knowledge across all platforms, ensuring that searching customers can easily find accurate information about your business.