On December 16, 2015 Google released their Knowledge Graph Search API which allows you to query their Knowledge Graph for entities. The announcement was made via the Freebase Google + profile. This is a great tool that will help online marketers better understand what brands, companies, people, places and things are entities.
Last year I wrote a blog post about how I was able to make myself an entity. The Google Knowledge Graph Search API now allows me to see what elements are powering my Knowledge Graph. This is very insightful and can help you to craft a strategy to generate a new or expand your existing Knowledge Graph results. You’re also able to see what other notable entities are competing for the same query.
Using Google Knowledge Graph Search API
Below are three ways to identify if you are an online entity.
1) Google’s Knowledge Graph Search API
The Knowledge Graph Search API can be accessed via the Google API Explorer homepage. Visit https://developers.google.com/apis-explorer/#p/ and search for Knowledge Graph.
Click on the Knowledge Graph Search API which will then take you to the following page.
Click on the item above which will take you to the Search Entities Page – https://developers.google.com/apis-explorer/#p/kgsearch/v1/kgsearch.entities.search
On the Search Entities Page you will see a variety of query parameters. To learn about these parameters click here. However, you do not need to use all the parameters to conduct a search query, just simply use the “query” field. As outlined in the image above, enter a keyword, phrase or name into the query field and click on the execute button. For this example, I searched for Elite SEM and here are the results.
This may look a bit confusing at first but it contains the elements that indicate that Elite SEM is an entity. First, notice that Elite SEM is defined as the following entity types (@type) Corporation, Organization and Thing. There is also a description “Search engine marketing company” and the Elite SEM site URL “http://elitesem.com”.
An important element that is highlighted is the @id (MID : machine-generated identifier) which is originated from Freebase.com. For example, the result highlights the MID /m/011n3cfc. This was originated from http://www.freebase.com/m/011n3cfc. Which is interesting as Freebase was closed last year to edits and the data will be transferred to Wikidata.org. So eventually we may see the MID number change to Wikidata’s format, Elite SEM’s Wikidata MID is Q20736641. The reason this is important is Freebase is one of the main sources for Google’s Knowledge Graph.
There is also a score assigned to the result. This is important to pay attention to when you have other entities competing for the top Knowledge Graph result. Here is an example, in a search for “Isaiah Thomas” the results include current NBA Basketball Player Isaiah Thomas (Score: 506.06), American Author and Publisher Isaiah Thomas (Score: 382.26) and retired NBA Basketball Player Isaiah Thomas. The current NBA Basketball player Isaiah Thomas is gets the top Knowledge Graph result because he is the most relevant. He currently plays for the Boston Celtics, is a popular player and was recently selected to play on the NBA AllStar Game.
2) Google Trends
Google Trends highlights entities in search suggestions and also provides the MID numbers. In the screenshot below, notice that “Elite SEM” is highlighted as a search term and as a “Search engine marketing company” which means it is an entity.
When I clicked on the entity search option it took me to the page with a URL that contains the Freebase MID number.
3) Google Yourself
A great and easy way to check if you’re an online entity is to simply perform search queries about yourself such as “Who is Tony Edward” “What is Elite SEM” “When was Elite SEM founded?” etc. If Knowledge Graph results such as the Branded Panel or Rich Answers appear answering detailed questions then you are recognized as an entity. You can use the Knowledge Graph Search API and Google Trends to validate this.
Here are some examples of Elite SEM’s Knowledge Graph results.
In conclusion, be sure to leverage these three ways to check if you’re an online entity and to better optimize your Knowledge Graph presence.