Do You Fear Google's Knowledge Graph?

Mar 21, 2014 • 8:33 am | comments (12) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Knowledge GraphDoes Google's Knowledge Graph scare you? It isn't a new topic, we talked about it before when asking if we should markup our pages and during Amit Singhal's swiss army knife. If searchers can get the content and the answer directly in the search results, why would they click to you?

Amit said that Google just gives a quick snapshot of the answer but the details will be on the publisher's site and thus the searcher should click deeper. That being said, Google wants to answer more and more detailed questions right on their search results page or via Google Voice/Now/Glass/Android.

A WebmasterWorld thread thinks some webmasters are overreacting and there is not that much to be concerned over. His example, search for [doughnuts] and Google doesn't tell you how to make doughnuts, but it does give you nutritional facts on them. So if you run a recipe site, you are okay for now but if you run a nutritional facts site, you are in trouble.

One person responded to that saying, Google rolls "things out in the least controversial way they can...and then turn the knobs later." Maybe.

Here is another example that hits more to home for me. A search for [what is seo] brings up an answer from Wikipedia:

what is seo google wikipedia

Right below that listing is an article from Search Engine Land missing out on that traffic. Google did have the answer from Search Engine Land months before that but it was replaced by Wikipedia and now, that traffic either sticks on the Google results page or Wikipedia gets it.

If you are the source Google picks, it isn't all that bad, assuming the user clicks through.

click for full size

But when you are not but you are the number one organic result, it can feel like a zinger.

Do you fear Google's Knowledge Graph?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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03/21/2014 01:57 pm

Bakers of doughnuts may not fear the knowledge graph, but people who run nutrition websites probably do. And I wonder what bakers would think if Google where to roll out recipes as part of the knowledge graph? It's all fun and games until Google crashes your party. Especially when they start crashing your party by scraping your content. Personally though, its a very helpful feature I use frequently especially for sports scores and schedules. It's something that will be here to stay since it works great for Googles move on mobile and users like it. Is anyone against it except site owners? Probably not.


03/21/2014 02:36 pm

If Google used one of my sites in Knowledge Graph I would be delighted. The benefits (the chance of a click through and the fact that Google considers your content "The Knowledge") surely outweigh any drawbacks. Most info I see on the KG is in the public domain anyway.


03/21/2014 05:28 pm

If you sell a product, I don't think you're worried, and you're probably just hoping that Google will recognize your "knowledge" of a particular product or product line and use it, whenever Google inevitably gets to that point. If you're someone who just produces content for affiliate marketing, adsense revenue, etc., then you're worried. If you're the latter, then I would recommend you change your business :)


03/21/2014 06:27 pm

The way I see it, more or less, is that if a visitor only wanted to know the number of calories in an average doughnut and then move on with their life, they weren't a good visitor, anyway. Google is basically saying "time's up" to people who have been earning ad revenue by providing fast and widely available facts. Despite everyone whining about Google being a monopoly, it's under a lot of competitive pressure to answer straightforward answers (Siri and WolframAlpha, for example, can answer how many calories are in an average doughnut without redirecting you to Wikipedia).


03/21/2014 08:12 pm



03/22/2014 02:00 pm

Google's Knowledge Graph? is that Google's algorithm that steals content from other websites? yes, I have fear.


03/23/2014 08:28 pm

Speaking as a Wikipedian, I'm no fan of the Knowledge Graph. Sure, it's strictly legal as a result of the open license on the content, but it feels unethical to me. While most sites might benefit from being highlighted as knowledge bases, Wikipedia is well-known enough that the benefit is negligible. It still suffers the drawback all these sites suffer by being featured: a visitor who's satisfied by the Knowledge Graph doesn't actually visit the scraped site. This isn't just about views, or even ad revenue (Wikipedia has none) but about visitor interaction, which is more valuable. That's what Google is parasitizing, and why the Knowledge Graph deserves criticism.

Jitendra Vaswani

03/25/2014 08:51 am

Webmaster may fear due to knowledge graph weird boxes

Jitendra Vaswani

03/25/2014 08:52 am

Boch, some may benefit from this , some may lose


03/25/2014 01:18 pm

I mostly fear the increase in data collection (via Knowledge Graph) than I do the possible negative repercussions on SEO.

Rohit Jain

03/27/2014 07:10 am

Well it is scary for content/data based sites since there are millions out there spending on creating one. I have a data driven site and it does worry me.

Think Tank

03/30/2014 04:53 am

As a google's consumer, I find these features useful. I think it is their competitors who would fear these advancements in search technologies...

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