Jason Barnard - Australia and Italy

Most people don’t really consider the fact that a Knowledge Panel will look VERY different across countries, not to mention languages. This is an interesting question and a a HUGE hidden problem for international companies that Kalicube can easily solve.

In this article you’ll see the massive variations from country to country and language to language, as well as a successful experiment in lightning-speed Knowledge Panel management.

Language and Country Vastly Affect the Contents of a Knowledge Panel

The first hugely important point to take into account is to differentiate language and country.

Most of us think about language. A Knowledge Panel on Google is always different according to language. But, according to Kalicube data, it will be VASTLY different across countries that share a language (UK and USA, for example).

This short case study aims to demonstrate both how different a Knowledge Panel can be depending on Geo and also language. And how you can manage that.

International Knowledge Panel in One Language

You’d probably imagine that in any given language (English in this example), people would see the same information in a Google Knowledge Panel. Not so. Google pays attention to relevancy. And it also has different features in specific countries. Internationally, you audience is almost certainly seeing vastly different information and presentation (at Kalicube we proactively track and manage what your audience sees in every location that is important to your business).

Here are some examples:

The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in New York
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in New York is good
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in London
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in London is significantly richer (and need to be managed)

International Knowledge Panel in Multiple Languages

The information Google understands about your Entity (person, company, book, product…) is universal. If it understands in one language, that understanding is universal. That is hugely reassuring. But what Google displays in a geo-language specific search is HUGELY different, as you will see.

Google’s International and Multilingual Representation of Your Entity Just got More Complex

For most international companies this is not even on the radar. Huge mistake.

What Google shows on the Brand SERP (including the Knowledge Panel) for any specific language is HUGELY different country by country and language by language

What Google hows depends on three things:

  • the information available in that language;
  • the geo location of Google’s user;
  • Google’s understanding

If you have International Ambitions, Your Knowledge Panel is Key

At Kalicube, we manage Knowledge Panels across countries, regions and languages.

There are three steps / considerations here
  • Managing a single Knowledge Panel is a huge task.
  • Managing a Knowledge Panel across multiple geo-regions on one language is 5x harder.
  • Managing a Knowledge Panel across multiple geo-regions in multiple languages is “off the charts” – 1000x harder. Manually, this is simply not an option.

Example of an International Knowledge Panel:

Google’s presentation and information is significantly different both by country and by language.

English Language International

The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in Sydney, Australia
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard looks great in Sydney, Australia

Other Languages International

The PASF stay the same, but the description comes from a source that offers the description in the correct language? In this case, in french, Wikipedia (which, like Google Books, is a Dominant Knowledge Source).

The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in French in France
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in French in France is VERY different

No description exists in German – after taking this screenshot I created a German version of my Entity Home and got that to appear in just two days.

The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in German in Germany
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in German in Germany has Filter Pills but doesn’t have a description.

My friends at Wordlift helped me with an Italian version of my Entity Home in May 2022… this is the most authoritative description of me in Italian, so Google uses that in the Italian version of my Knowledge Panel.

The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in Italian in Italy
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in Italian in Italy has a description that I provide.

And Sometimes Knowledge Panel Improvements are Simple and Fast

Update: 12 November 2022. After writing this article, I thought I’d see if I can get the description in other languages too. TWO DAYS after publishing a Turkish version of my Entity Home on my personal website, I had the description in the Knowledge Panel. Groovy ๐Ÿ™‚

The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in Turkish in Turkey
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in Turkish in Turkey has a description that I provide (2 days to get this).
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in Polish in Poland
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in Polish in Poland has a description that I provide ( 2 days to get this).

How Does a Knowledge Panel Change When you Mix Country and Language?

And just to start the conversation… have a look, do some mix and match of language and country and you’ll see this gets REALLY confusing very quickly. That said, when you think it through, the algorithms are often making a reasonable choice. Most of the time it makes sense.

The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in Turkish in Germany
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in Turkish in Germany has doesn’t show the Turkish description because the Turkish description doesn’t rank in Germany (yet).
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in German in Turkey
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in German in Turkey has a description that I provide, but in English. Go figure.

Why is Considering Language and Country Crossover Important for Knowledge Panels?

This data gives an idea of just how many people are not living in their country of nationality. To keep things simple, this is just using European Union as an example. In many cases (not all), the country where they currently live has a different official language to theirs.

EU Member states – number of citizens living outside their home country (2016). Source : https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/07/which-eu-country-has-the-largest-number-of-citizens-living-overseas/

What is a Polish speaker living in the UK seeing when they search in Polish? Over a million Polish people were living in the UK in 2017.

The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in Polish in the United Kingdom
The Knowledge Panel for Jason Barnard in Polish in the United Kingdom has no description.
We uploaded a Polish version to my site on 11 November 2022 and got my own Polish description in Poland 2 days later.
Question now is, how do we get that to trigger around the world in Polish searches?

Using Polish people as an example, we can see that the extend to which people are potentially searching in a language that is not an official language of the country where they live.

Polish-speaking community by country worldwide
Polish-speaking community by country worldwide (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_diaspora)

Tracking, measuring and managing what your audience sees when they google your name

For anyone who cares about their personal brand message (or brand message) on Google, Knowledge Panel tracking and maintenance is the single most important aspect of your digital marketing strategy you never thought about…. but is “make or break ” for you, your company, your book podcast..

Kalicube (and Kalicube Pro SaaS) is all about using over 700 million datapoints to better understand how Google’s Knowledge Algorithms work at every level – brand, topicality, regionality… and using that understanding to control Google’s understanding, its representation and your audience’s perception of your brand through Google’s “lens” (the Brand SERP).

Getting your linguistic and culturally relevant brand message in front of you audience when they are using Google should be your #1 priority.

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