Google has announced a relatively small, but important update.
Does a Google Knowledge Panel result come up when you search for your brand's name in the search engine?
A Knowledge Panel result looks like this (below), and will appear to the right of screen on desktop, or above the main search results on mobile.
If it does – and a lot of companies qualify for such listings – Google's now giving you more capacity to control the information listed within the Knowledge Panel itself.
As explained by Google:
“Individuals and organizations with Knowledge Panels can use our verification process to claim their panels and provide authoritative feedback on the information and images presented. Now we’re updating that process as well as extending verification eligibility to more entities.”
As shown here, now, when you find the relevant Google listing, you can click on the ‘Do you manage the online presence of X?’ prompt and be taken through to the verification process.
The process is fairly straight-forward, but it does take some time – in order to prove you're in charge of the web property, you need to upload photos of your details when logged onto the relevant admin site, when you're logged into brand social profiles, a selfie, an official letter, Google’s process is designed to ensure they check and double-check every element.
Once approved, however, you’ll be able to update the Knowledge Panel info with hand-picked information.
“…you can suggest factual changes to information in your Knowledge Panel and suggest a featured image. “
The initiative is part of Google’s ongoing effort to give brands more control over their appearance in search results. Last year, Google also added Google My Business posts, small text and image updates, unique to Google, which can be listed within relevant search results. The effort seems like Google’s way to fend off search competition from social platforms, incorporating social-type elements into search.
And given the prominence of Google search as a discovery tool, it’s worth brands taking note of such features – as noted, in the broader scheme, being able to edit your Knowledge Panel listing may not seem like much, but it’s another opportunity, and could prove more relevant than you’d expect.
Worth exploring for your business.