How to change a Google Knowledge Graph entry
How to change a Google Knowledge Graph entry
Google knowledge graph results are set in the top right hand corner of the search page which makes them one of the first things the eye sees on a SERP (search engine results page). The clean design with a picture, large spacing, bolded topic headings and a box around the information all help to draw the attention of the eye to this area of the results page. For these reasons, Google Knowledge Graph results greatly affect the online reputation of a brand or person.
So how can one change a Google Knowledge Graph entry?
Google bought ‘Metaweb’, an American software company, in 2010 that aggregated data from across the internet and organized it using a smart way of categorizing data about individuals, companies or things (they call entities) which is called Freebase. The Freebase scrapper had gathered information (using schema language to structure the data) on over 570 million of the most searched for entities across the web. By updating and changing information within Freebase, you can control what is fed to Google and displayed in the Google Knowledge Graph area.
What kind of information can you control?
This is what’s so cool about freebase: you can control not just the information presented in Google Knowledge Graph but also the direct answers Google gives to some questions which it displays at the top of the SERP such as:
- What date is John Smith born?
- Where did John Smith go to school?
- Where does John Smith live?
- The list is scary and long: parents, siblings, children, ethnicity, religion, weight, height etc…….
- The list goes on for other types of entities such as companies, locations, or things.
Where is most information pulled from?
Most information displayed on Google Knowledge Graph and found within Freebase is pulled from ‘trusted sources’. This is generally places such as your Google+ profile and Wikipedia entries. These sources should be updated first to ensure all relevant information is up-to-date and correct before changing anything on Freebase.
How to change information on freebase?
My first point is DO NOT ABUSE THIS INFORMATION of how to change an entry on Freebase. I expect readers of this blog to truly add value to freebase and add relevant and truthful information. Be a good Freebase community citizen!
Freebase uses schema markup language to categorize results for each entity. A community of users add, edit and change things much like Wikipedia. Google is a strong believer in the power of having open resources and a community of trusted volunteers to ensure data quality. The reason why Google place Wikipedia at the top of nearly every search result is because they believe that this open style of editing ensures data quality and gives the best information to the user. This is why they have kept the same model running for Freebase. This also means regular people like you and me can create an account in Freebase and start to change details about entities so that the changes eventually flow through to the Knowledge Graph area. Of course, the more of a trusted user you are in Freebase with a history of quality, truthful and useful changes (called gaining providence), then your changes will ‘stick’ and also flow through to the knowledge base faster.
Let’s use my profiles I created in Freebase as an example:
- Paul Vesely person:
- Base account for Paul Vesely:
- Notes for Reference. Here is the terribly unclear Freebase explanation of how to set up a user profile: http://wiki.freebase.com/wiki/User_profile
Disclaimer: Freebase is not a user friendly system. It has very poor UI/UX and its help areas are complex with few clear answers. This is why I have simplified the process of becoming a user below.
Steps to create a Freebase profile:
- Add new account:
- Go to: http://www.freebase.com/
- Sign up (top right hand corner)
- Best to sign in using your Google account
- Add yourself as a person:
- Click the Gear icon in the top-right corner
- Choose Add Topic
- The name of the topic would be your First and Last Name
- Then add whatever public information you want to be openly available on that page (filling in the properties with the yellow down-down arrows on the left hand side of the property name. Note: the dropdown arrows are not visible until you rollover them with your mouse)
- Start to add/edit/update/correct other entities on the Freebase
- Currently no images but can be uploaded but nearly all the other information can be edited
The future for Google Knowledge Graph entries
As part of Google’s stated strategic direction, they wish to truly understand the user and understand what they are searching for and supply them with the exact answer they are looking for. Google, using the data in freebase and displaying it in the Knowledge Graph is trying to do just that. The most recent algorithm change called hummingbird was made in order to understand what you are searching for in an effort to supply better quality and more personalized results. Another online trend that Google is riding is the need to supply answers from the internet without a SERP. Devices like cellphone using systems such as Siri need to give results from the internet to users without showing them a SERP. Ditto for Google Glass – where there is no room for a whole SERP, just a single and correct result displayed to the user. This all means that strategically, the information located in Freebase will grow in importance to Google and be fed to users exponentially. It’s time to get involved right now, at the ground floor, before it gets too hard to join the community and become a member of Freebase with providence.
A big thank you to Andrew Isidoro for his great post on MOZ