What Does Google's New Knowledge Graph Mean for Local Businesses?

by Russ Catanach

Even minor changes that Google makes to its algorithm or search engine results page (SERP) can have a big impact on local businesses—we saw this with the recently deployed Panda and Penguin algorithm updates. But will this new change affect your business? Probably not.

What is the change?

Basically, Google wants to be able to deliver results to its users more quickly. Let’s say you want to know something about Donna Summer, the ’70s disco artist who passed away this morning. When you search her name on Google, you’ll see a photo from Amoeba.com, a bio from Wikipedia, a discography and links to further details about her many albums. All the Knowledge Graph information is displayed in the right side bar next to the search results.

Aside from biographical information, the Knowledge Graph will display information about cities, sports teams, movies, art and more. As you can see, the change could potentially affect traffic to informational sites like Wikipedia or IMDB, but many search engine optimization experts predict it will have very little effect on local business sites.

The Knowledge Graph also has a feature that helps users narrow down their results to a preferred topic. For example, if you search “Giants,” you’ll be able to choose either the New York Giants football team or the San Francisco Giants baseball team. When you select the San Francisco Giants on the right side bar, the search results are adjusted accordingly.

As a local business, why should I care?

Staying on top of Google’s latest changes will help you understand what you should be doing on your site. Google values real content and rewards sites that deliver informative articles written by real people. If you want your site to succeed in search results, create valuable content that consumers actually want to read. Build your site for people, not search engine robots. It’s a simple approach, but it works.

Remember, we want Diamond Certified companies to succeed and we’re here to help. Sign up for a digital audit of your local business website and I’ll personally go through your site and advise you on the best practices of search. Ask your service director for more information or contact me personally.

For more information about the Diamond Certified Digital Program, click here.

Read more about Google Knowledge Graph on Search Engine Land, CNN and Google’s Blog.