One of Google’s most used features, much to the annoyance of many website owners who are denied clicks, are the Knowledge Panels. The cards appear as the “answer” when people type in a particular question or search term. For example, typing in “Smithsonian Museums” into search will give basic information about the various locations in the national museum with information provided by Wikipedia. Google is now making it easier for businesses and other users to update the panels created about them or their organization after passing a verification process.
Google’s Knowledge Panels have often been the source of controversy because they rely on AI and the internet to provide answers, which has led to incorrect information being displayed. To combat this, Google is making it easier for people with verified Google profiles to make edits to the Knowledge Panels about themselves in certain situations.
“When you search for well-known people, organizations and things on Google, you’ll often come across a Knowledge Panel on the results page—a box with an overview of key information and links to resources to help you go deeper,” explained Product Manager Lauren Clark in a Google blog post. “Individuals and organizations with Knowledge Panels can use our verification process to claim their panels and provide authoritative feedback on the information and images presented. Now we’re updating that process as well as extending verification eligibility to more entities.”
This is important to business owners for a variety of reasons. Depending on the size of a business, they may already have a Knowledge Panel created for them by Google, especially if the brand is searched for often. Google likes to fill this information with data from Wikipedia when possible, but sometimes, they rely on less accurate sources. Now, marketers can directly update inaccurate information that comes up on Knowledge Cards related to their business.
Any person, organization, sports team, event and media property with a Knowledge Panel is eligible to get verified and suggest edits to the information shown. Simply search for the name or organization on Search and click or tap the prompt below the Knowledge Panel to begin the verification process.
Once verified, the new representative will be able to make changes to factual information. For example, some stats in the knowledge panel are specific to the type of entity (e.g. a movie’s run time or a person’s birthday) can also have changes suggested.
Most importantly, as the topic’s representative, if a suggested image is accepted, it takes priority over other images. The suggested image must be appropriate, represent the topic well, and cannot be an ad.
Some parts of the knowledge panel cannot be changed, such as:
- Wikipedia snippet
- Images other than the main image
- People also search for section
Business owners should Google their business to see what information comes up. If they have a Knowledge Panel already, they should consider getting verified so they can make sure the information shown is as accurate and up-to-date as possible.
For more recent news about updates and changes to Google, read this article on Google’s plan to let people opt-out of more ad formats.