Google’s Knowledge Graph: What You Need to Know

Thumbnail: Google Knowledge Graph Illustration

In this article you will get a definition of Google’s Knowledge Graph, where the information comes from, and how to leverage it for your SEO performance.

What is a Knowledge Graph?

Google’s Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base of facts about the world. Google uses its Knowledge Graph in many of its algorithms across many of its different services, including Google Search, Google Gemini and Search Generative Experience. Google’s Knowledge Graph is like a machine-readable version of Wikipedia, but thousands of times larger.

Here is Google’s official explanation of how the Knowledge Graph works

Google’s Knowledge Graph is like a machine-readable version of Wikipedia, but thousands of times larger.

A comparison of the size of Wikipedia and Google’s Knowledge Graph

As of 5 May 2024, there are 6,820,322 articles (entities) in the English Wikipedia, whereas Google’s Knowledge Graph contains approximately 54 Billion entities and has over 1,600 billion facts (see this article on Search Engine Land that confirms the size of Google’s Knowledge Graph)

Where Does the Knowledge Graph Appear in Google Search?

Google’s Knowledge Graph is shown in its Search Engine Results Page (SERP) in the form of information boxes called Knowledge Panels (on the right-hand side when you search on the desktop).

If an Entity is in Google’s Knowledge Graph Does it have a Knowledge Panel in Google Search?

Yes, if an entity (person, corporation, film, music group, topic or other thing) is in the Knowledge Graph, it will usually also have a Knowledge Panel when you search the name on Google. The Knowledge Panel on a Google SERP is a representation of the facts in Google’s Knowledge Graph.

If an entity is included in the Knowledge Graph, it will usually also have a Knowledge Panel when you search the name on Google.

What is the Difference Between Google’s Knowledge Graph and Google’s Knowledge Vault

There is no difference between Google’s Knowledge Graph and Google’s Knowledge Vault. At Kalicube we refer to the Knowledge Graph as Google’s Knowledge Vault or Google’s Main Knowledge Graph. This terminology reduces confusion and ambiguity since Google has 6 or more Vertical Knowledge Graphs including Google Books, Google Maps and Google Scholar. From here we will use the terms Knowledge Vault and Knowledge Graph interchangeably.

What Information Is Included in Google’s Knowledge Graph?

The factual information contained in Google’s Knowledge Graph comes from a variety of sources (see below) that are determined 100% algorithmically. No one inside or outside Google can directly control the information in the Knowledge Vault itself. This means that we (or Google) have only indirect influence on the factual information in the Knowledge Graph.

Importantly, although they cannot change the factual information in the Knowledge Vault, Google employees can change information in Knowledge Panels (read this article to understand the difference between a Knowledge Graph and Knowledge Panel).

Furthermore, we do not know exactly what information is contained in the Knowledge Vault. Google provides an API that allows us to take a look at the Graph (Kalicube Pro has a Knowledge Graph Explorer that allows you to take a look inside), but the information that the API provides is very limited and certainly incomplete.

What we do know is that the Knowledge Graph contains information that Google considers to be fact that it uses in many of the Search algorithms and other products. It contains a machine-readable understanding of –

  1. Entities, which includes Things such as people, companies, films, podcasts, music groups etc and Topics such as Economics, Marketing, Music, History etc;
  2. Attributes for those entities such as date of birth, location, parents, founders, host, production company etc;
  3. Relationships between Entities such as who worked for which company, who played in which music group, which person is expert in which topics, who founded which companies, which companies manufacture which products etc

Where Does the Information in Google’s Knowledge Vault Come From?

Wikipedia is often cited as the source of facts for Google’s Knowledge Vault. However, when one considers that Wikipedia contains 6 million articles whereas the Knowledge Graph contains over 1600 Billion facts, of course there are millions of other sources. These include:

  1. Google’s own sources such as Google Podcasts, Google Books, Google Business Profiles;
  2. From feedback provided by users through the “feedback” link in Knowledge Panels on Google SERPs
  3. Data sources such as Wikipedia, Wikidata, Crunchbase, IMDB, MusicBrainz;
  4. The World Wide Web – any site that Google’s algorithms consider authoritative for the information such as Rotten Tomatoes, LinkedIn, Facebook, Inc.com.

At Kalicube, we track and measure the different sources of knowledge Google uses for its Knowledge Graph

How Does Google’s Knowledge Vault Fit into Brand SERP Optimisation and Knowledge Panel Management?

Google’s Knowledge Graph is the single most important thing for modern SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). The Knowledge Graph is Google’s understanding of the world, and that understanding drives the search results it generates from Brand SERPs (what your audience sees when they google your brand name), to informational searches around your brand to generic queries such as “best headphones for noise cancellation”.

If you are in Google’s Knowledge Vault, then you can be sure that Google will present you to your audience in a positive, accurate and convincing manner when they google your name. It will also present a Knowledge Panel containing accurate and helpful facts about you on the right hand side on desktop. 

One way to look at this is that, once you are in Google’s Knowledge Vault, your Brand SERP will be positive, accurate and convincing… and you will have the “stamp of approval” from Google. Which is priceless.

More information about Knowledge Panels and Google’s Knowledge Graph:

Here is an article differentiating a Knowledge Graph and Knowledge Panel.

Check out also this article where Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) explains about the Knowledge Graph and its importance in digital marketing

Kalicube specialises in Brand SERP optimisation and Knowledge Panel Management (triggering, maintaining and enhancing). Learn more about our done-for-you Knowledge Panel Services (you’ll also find a form so you contact us to discuss how we can help you).

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