How I Became an Entity – Get a Google Knowledge Graph Result

By now we’ve all seen a Knowledge Graph result in Google Search. The box that appears at the right side of the search result page that provides quick information on a person, place, brand, or company. For those of you who don’t know what Knowledge Graph is, here is an example.

Tom Cruise Knowledge Graph Result

As you can see in the screenshot above, the Knowledge Graph result provides quick information to the user without the need to click through to a website. It can help improve brand resonance, search visibility, and engagement. As Knowledge Graph results become more common it will become a sign of trust and authority for users. So it’s very important for brands and companies to gain a Knowledge Graph result as soon as they can. Knowledge Graph should be a part of your SEO strategy for 2015.

How is Knowledge Graph Powered?

Google’s Knowledge Graph is powered by multiple sources, here is breakdown:

  • Freebase.com* – Primarily powered by Freebase which is a Google product. Freebase is community driven open source repository of facts.
  • Wikipedia – Wikipedia profiles are used in a large percentage of Knowledge Graph results. However, it is not required to have Wikipedia profile to become an Entity.
  • Schema Mark-up – Organization and Person Schema mark-up placed on a website can help influence Google’s Knowledge Graph.
  • Citations – Citations on other high authority sites can help influence Google’s Knowledge Graph.

*Freebase.com will be shutting down as of March 31st, 2015. All data will be transferred to Wikidata.org.

Here is Google Developers video that explains how the Knowledge Graph works.

Becoming an Entity

In November 2014 I decided to try to become an Entity after reading an article published on Moz about someone who had success with this. After much testing I was able to successfully become an Entity myself. Once the implementation was completed, it took three months for the Knowledge Graph result to appear in Google. Before we go into the process, here is a screenshot of my Knowledge Graph result.

Tony Edward Entity Knowledge Graph Result

So without further ado, here is a breakdown of the things I did gain a Knowledge Graph result. First, you need to ensure you have the following:

  • A personal website – For example Tonyedward.com. Ensure there is content on your website that speaks to who you are, what you do, where you work, etc.
  • Facebook Profile – Ensure your profile privacy setting is set as public so it can be crawled by Google
  • Twitter Profile – Ensure your profile is optimized with copy about yourself, profile image, etc.
  • LinkedIn Profile –Ensure your profile is up to date with where you work, publications, etc.

Step 1
Create a Wikipedia User Profile – I created a user profile on Wikipedia.org. This should not to be confused with a Wikipedia page. This is simply a user profile to participate in the community. Be sure to add content about yourself on the profile page as well as links to your website and social profiles. (Use my profile as an example)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Tonyeny

Wikipedia Knowledge Graph Result

Step 2
Freebase.com Profile – Visit Freebase.com and create a profile. Input as much information about yourself in the profile as possible. Add links to your website, social profiles, and other profiles about yourself. (Use my profile as an example)

http://www.freebase.com/m/0123k1rp

Freebase Profie Setup

Step 3
Person Schema Mark-up – Implement the Person Schema mark-up on your website. Utilize the sameAs itemprop element to highlight your Freebase profile. (Use my site as an example)

Here is an example of the code I used on my personal site, Tonyedward.com. This code was placed on the homepage of my site:

<div itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"><meta itemprop="nationality" content="West Indian"><meta itemprop="gender" content="Male">My name is <span itemprop="name"><link itemprop="sameAs" href="https://www.freebase.com/m/0123k1rp">Tony Edward.</span><br>I am a <span itemprop="jobTitle">SEO Manager</span> at <span itemprop="worksFor" itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/Organization"><link itemprop="sameAs" href="https://www.freebase.com/m/011n3cfc"><a itemprop="url" href="http://elitesem.com/"><span itemprop="name">Elite SEM</span></div>

Here is what the code looks like in the Google Structured Data Testing Tool.

Organization markup Google Structured Data Testing Tool

Step 4
Build Citations – After implementing items 1 through 3, I began to build citations about myself where possible. For example, crunchbase.com/person/tony-edward and about.me/tonyedward.

Finally, once you have implemented steps 1 through 4 you will have to wait about three to four months for the Knowledge Graph result to appear.

How a Brand or Company can become an Entity?

Along with personally becoming an Entity I was able to help Elite SEM and some of our clients to become Entities as well. Here is a screenshot of Elite SEM’s Knowledge Graph result.

Elite SEM's Knowledge Graph Result

As you can see this Knowledge Graph result enhances our brand search results. Here is a breakdown of how I did this.

Step 1
Freebase profile – Visit Freebase.com as create a profile. Input as much content as possible. Use Elite SEM’s profile as an example. http://www.freebase.com/m/011n3cfc

Step 2
Organization Schema Mark-up – Implement Organization Schema mark-up site-wide on your website. Include the logo and sameAs itemprop element with your logo link and social profile links respectively. Here is an example of the mark-up we used on Elitesem.com.

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Organization"><div id="id"><h1 class="site-title"><a itemprop="url" href="http://elitesem.com"><img itemprop="logo" src="http://elitesem.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Elite_SEM_Logo_2014" alt="Elite SEM" /></a></h1></div><!-- #id --><div style="display:none;"><a itemprop="sameAs" href="https://www.facebook.com/EliteSEM">Facebook</a><a itemprop="sameAs" href="https://twitter.com/elitesem">Twitter</a><a itemprop="sameAs" href="https://www.youtube.com/user/EliteSEMInc">YouTube</a><a itemprop="sameAs" href="https://plus.google.com/+Elitesem">Google +</a><a itemprop="sameAs" href="http://www.linkedin.com/company/elite-sem">LinkedIn</a></div></div>

This can help your logo and social links appear in the Knowledge Graph.

Step 3
Rel Publisher Linking –Implement rel publisher linking site-wide. You need to have a brand Google + page that updated frequently. Here is an example of the rel publisher mark-up we used on Elitesem.com.

<link rel=”publisher” href=”https://plus.google.com/116825813568242860048/” />

So there you have it, a full guide on how to become an Entity and gain a Knowledge Graph Result. Be sure to download and read our Knowledge Graph Case Study.

Tony Edward
About the Author

Tony Edward

is a Senior SEO Account manager, Adjunct Instructor at NYU and Contributor to SearchEngineLand.com.

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