Why Are The Knowledge Graph And Social Signals Important For Rankings?
If you want to get under the hood of a search engine like Google to discover what you need to do to rank your pages faster and higher, look no further than their Knowledge Graph.
The knowledge graph is like a giant encyclopaedia of everything, with everything linked together no matter how tenuous the connection.
Being a graph, points on it have different values based on the context of the search query and connections and their values with other objects.
The engine that measures these results will also display some related data in a grid on the right hand side of the results page.
This should be brilliant once it is rolled out properly. But what has this got to do with rankings?
Well, if you also tie in social signals (likes and shares from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc.) then you also build up a picture of how these objects relate to people.
Whose Knowledge Graph Is It Anyway!
There is a similarity between Google’s Knowledge Graph and Facebook’s Open Graph here. Both claim to connect objects together. Facebook of course is all about the connection between people, but objects are absolutely a part of that and besides, Google+ is fast encroaching on this territory.
So here’s the thing. If a page on your site has increasing social popularity because you have enabled commenting and sharing, then it is self-evident that it will connect with more things on a knowledge based engine.
Throw In Some Authorship
If you also tie in Authorship using Google+ then it will start to make a strong case for your pages being noticed more than other less optimised content.
Google refer to this new system as being knowledge based rather than information based. The dictionary refers to both as being about information, knowledge being gained through experience and theory, and information through learning. It does sound like a bunch of semantics, but as all good marketers know, making it sound ‘new’ keeps it fresh.
Various experiments have been tried on some of these aspects including Peter Visser’s article on SocialMediaToday. He found that adding a small number of likes and shares produced a significant effect on his results.
The next time you create a post or page on your site, consider all these aspects, and also consider the links you include on that page, and the signals those links contain.
But Don’t Upset The Customers
Google want their platform to remain the best, and the only way that is going to happen is if they tighten up their algorithm and dig deeper when rating pages.
It’s not hard to do either. The problem for Google has always been to maintain the status quo as much as possible (i.e. not upsetting their major customers) by not changing the results too radically.
But the on-going battles with those who try to rank pages for profit rather than user benefit is a tough one, since the very people that Google are trying not to upset by radically changing results using their new fangled knowledge graph are themselves all about making money.