During the latest SES conference in San Francisco, Matt Cutts shed some light on the structure of Google's Knowledge Graph and mentioned that Google was definitely headed towards social. In its transition from "strings" to "things", Google now seems to be willing to rely on its Knowledge Graph more and more to return real-world answers to the searchers' real-world questions.
Now, where does this leave us, Web marketers? Google's Knowledge Graph may soon become an indispensable ingredient in one's recipe for online success. Luckily, Matt Cutts did reveal the source that underlies much of the Knowledge Graph data - and that source is Google's Freebase.
Freebase, an entity graph of people, places and things
Freebase is a Google-owned database of topics/entities that are associated with real things, people, etc. It is open-source and anyone can contribute to it.
Freebase most basic elements are topics. For example, there are several topics titled William Shakespeare (one talks about the famous poet, another one is about the singer from the 1950's, etc.). Each Freebase topic is assigned a unique ID.
In its turn, topics can be grouped into bases. Bases are similar to YouTube channels. For example, I could create a base titled English Literature and add William Shakespeare, Agatha Christie or other topics to it. Within bases, one can also set up so-called views that resemble playlists to some extent.
Another important aspect of Freebase is schemas. Schemas are essentially forms one enters data into. Thanks to schemas, the information in Freebase gets automatically organized and catalogued in such a way that it's easy for Google to use it for the Knowledge Graph as well as other purposes.
Adding your business to Freebase
Now, where does one begin? First off, you need to create a freebase account or sign in with an existing Google/Yahoo account.
Then, check if your business already exists in Freebase (Freebase uses a whole lot of Web resources to collect data on various entities automatically). For that, use the little search window on the left.
If no desired topic can be found, go back to Freebase.com and browse through various categories to find one that best describes your business. Note: you'll be able to associate your topic with more categories later on.
For instance, let's navigate to the category Business.
I click on the name of the category and get taken to the corresponding Freebase Commons section. While on that page, I choose the appropriate subcategory (a type in Freebase terms), which would be Employer in my case.
Once I click on the subcategory/type, a list of topics that contain this type of information appears. On the upper right, I click Add More Topics to add my biz to this type.
Towards the end of the drop-down menu with suggestions, I choose Create new Employer, click Save and my new topic gets added to the list of topics associated with the type Employer.
Next, I click on the name of the topic I just created (Link-Assistant.Com) and am taken to the topic view mode. In order to further edit my topic, I click Edit this topic on the right.
When in the editor mode, I enter the employer information into a special form (schema) designed for this purpose.
But, as I said earlier, one can add many more types (a-la categories) to a topic. To add more types, click the Add a type button next to the Types section.
Each new type will produce a form (schema) for you to fill with information. For example, when I added Software Developer as a type, a schema appeared where I could enter the names of our SEO PowerSuite tools and the licenses we offer.
Besides, one can create their own custom types in Freebase. For that, go to your user profile and edit the My types section on the right.
One can also add aliases to the topic, which are basically alternative names for it. These are provided in case someone looks up your company under a slightly different name, or misspells its name.
In the topic section on the right, one can mention web resources associated with the topic, add images to the gallery or start a discussion.
If there is a Wikipedia page associated with your company, do add it to the list.
Google did say that they use Freebase expansively to supply the Knowledge Graph with data. However, many people (including me) have observed that, if one has a strong Google Plus (or a Google+ Local) profile, information from it often pops up in the Knowledge Graph. For example, here is the result for Link Assistant:
As stated by Google themselves, the company is now moving away from being about webpages to being more about real-world things. In the course of this shift, many marketers are looking to better present their information to Google.
According to Matt Cutts, an important role in the change is being allocated to Google's Knowledge Graph and social media on the whole. And, as Google's Freebase is an important source of Google's Knowledge Graph data, it's high time digital marketers look into it to gain extra exposure for their Web businesses.
back to SEO blog