Knowledge Vault Update: A Period of Unprecedented Volatility

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Google’s Knowledge Vault has always been a cornerstone of how search and assistive engines understand and display information about entities across the web. 

Traditionally, the Knowledge Vault has provided stability in how information is connected and displayed. It draws from a wide array of sources across the web to build a network of facts about these entities. This includes their attributes (like birthdates or headquarters locations) and their interrelations (such as who founded which company or what products a business offers).

However, recent updates have introduced  a level of volatility that hasn’t been seen in years. 

Volatility is when Google reshuffles the pack of entities and redistributes the confidence score, so it reassesses its confidence in its knowledge.

This volatility refers to fluctuations in how entities are recognized and connected within the Knowledge Vault. These changes could be due to updates in Google’s algorithms or adjustments in how it collects and verifies data from its sources. This increased volatility means that there may now be more frequent changes in how entities appear within search results. 

Let’s dive into what these changes mean and how they affect search results.

What Happened in the March 2024 Knowledge Vault Update? 

The Knowledge Vault Update that happened in March 2024 represents a pivotal moment characterized by a surge in the number of entities within the Knowledge Vault, soaring from approximately 50 billion to an impressive 54 billion. This expansion is not just about the numbers; it’s indicative of a period of “unprecedented volatility”.

(This means there was a lot of movement and adjustments within the Knowledge Vault, likely involving adding new entities, refining existing ones, and potentially changing how certain entities are connected.)

During this update, the volatility metric on the Kalicube Pro platform spiked dramatically, signaling a significant reassessment and realignment of the confidence scores attributed to the entities in the knowledge vault. 

Such a spike in volatility suggests that there was a major reshuffling in the ranking and visibility of these entities, which could have profound implications for search engine optimization and online presence management.

The Original Killer Whale Update

The Original Killer Whale Update, which took place in July 2023, marked a significant expansion of the Knowledge Vault with an emphasis on E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). 

During this period, there was minimal volatility (reassessment in the confidence) observed—meaning that Google made relatively few changes to the confidence scores it assigns to its stored knowledge entities.

However, despite the low levels of volatility during this time frame, the Knowledge Vault experienced a massive growth. 

The update is notable for three key developments:

  1. It accelerated the expansion of Google’s Knowledge Vault with a particular focus on personsprofiles.
  2. It restructured the Knowledge Vault to prioritize subtitles that enhance user trust and better apply E-E-A-T signals.
  3. It rapidly reduced reliance on Wikipedia and other human-curated sources in favor of more automated methods.

We therefore concluded that the March Killer Whale update was all about Person entities, focused on classification and designed to promote E-E-A-T friendly subtitles.

What Are the Effects of March Killer Whale Update on SEO and Entity Representation in SERPs?

The March Killer Whale update appeared to concentrate specifically on Person entities by classifying them in ways that support E-E-A-T-friendly subtitles.

The increase in the number of entities and the reassessment of confidence scores can affect search results by potentially introducing new entities into the Knowledge Panels, changing the visibility of existing entities, and altering the relationships between entities. This can lead to more comprehensive and accurate search results for users.

This update has led to a period of unprecedented volatility, meaning there have been more frequent and drastic changes than usual.

While volatility remained low during the period with the significant entity increase (March – July), a later period (November onwards) saw a substantial rise in volatility alongside a moderate increase in entity count. This suggests a focus on refining confidence scores for existing entities during the latter period.

Here are some key points about this update:

  1. Increased Fluctuations: The update has caused noticeable shifts in how entities are displayed within the Knowledge Panels on search engine results pages (SERPs). This could mean that some panels appear, disappear, or change content more frequently.
  1. Impact on SEO: For those working in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), these fluctuations can be challenging as they try to maintain visibility and accuracy for their brands or clients within the Knowledge Panels.
  1. Depth and Breadth of Data: It’s possible that the update has affected not just the visibility but also the depth—meaning how much information is available about each entity—and breadth—how many different entities are recognized—of data within the Knowledge Vault.
  1. Potential for New Opportunities: While volatility can be challenging, it may also present new opportunities for entities to be included in the Knowledge Vault that were previously overlooked or underrepresented.

How Does Kalicube Measure Knowledge Vault Changes?

Kalicube measures Knowledge Vault changes with Kalicube Pro.

Kalicube has been tracking Google’s Knowledge Vault through the API and Knowledge Panels since 2015. Kalicube Pro tracks Knowledge Vault updates using multiple metrics across three knowledge algorithms – the Main Algorithm (Knowledge Vault), Vertical Algorithms (podcasts, books, etc.), and Corroborative Algorithms. These updates can be tracked using tools such as Kalicube Pro’s Knowledge Graph Sensor, which monitors the timing of updates within the Knowledge Vault. This tracking allows for better management of Knowledge Panels for clients and helps mitigate the risk associated with these updates.


Kalicube’s Knowledge Graph Sensor

An announcement about our Knowledge Graph Sensor is that we’ve changed this to show the number of entities in billions in the Knowledge Vault, which is much more understandable for people, alongside these, which are re-assessment (volatility).

The graph above shows the Magnitude or Volatility in purple and the Depth in red. 

Another Knowledge Vault Update!

Kalicube is excited to share the news of a significant Knowledge Vault update on May 11th, 2024! 

ANOTHER Big update.

From November 2023 up until today’s date marks one of the most volatile periods we’ve seen in years—a testament to the ever-evolving nature of search and its underlying structures.

And Kalicube remains at the forefront—tracking and analyzing every ripple and wave within this vast ocean of data. 

Stay informed about future changes and adjust your SEO strategy to ensure your website and content remain discoverable in the ever-evolving Knowledge Vault.

Stay ahead of the curve with Kalicube’s products and expertise, and harness the full potential of the Knowledge Vault through our Knowledge Panel Course in the Kalicube Academy. We cover how this Knowledge Panel Algorithm functions and strategies you can use to feed it with factual information about an Entity.

The Knowledge Vault is fundamental for your digital marketing efforts. Find out why in the DIY Knowledge Panel course. 

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