Why is Wikidata essential to search engine results?


admin - June 5, 2019 - 0 comments

Wikidata is critical for your business’ search engine results because optimised Wikidata content will heighten your brand visibility through a Google Knowledge Card placement. Heightened visibility will then lead to an increase in inbound marketing, traffic to your site and customer satisfaction. So, what are Wikidata and the Google Knowledge Graph, and how do they accomplish all this?

Abstract Visualization of data and technology in graph form. 3D Illustration

What is Wikidata?

Wikidata is the backbone to the Wikimedia family; it is a bank of information about people, businesses and all ‘topics, concepts, or objects (Wikipedia, 2019)’. The data hosted on Wikidata is collaboratively edited and open source – free for public use. As a document-oriented database, Wikidata stores information in a structured manner, which allows search engines to process it efficiently (Cazier, 2016) and makes the information readily translatable and available in all languages.

How does Wikidata content help me?

Optimised Wikidata content will improve your chances at ranking higher on a Google search engine results page (SERP) and should be part of any good search engine optimisation (SEO) campaign. On top of being great SEO and landing you higher on SERPs, well-edited Wikidata content can potentially land you at the top of those SERPs with a Google Knowledge Graph result, making your company ‘hyper-relevant’ to user’s needs (Barysevich, 2018).

Google Knowledge Graphs

Google rolled out its Google Knowledge Graph tool back in 2012. According to a blog by Google, these Knowledge Graphs pull in data from a variety of sources such as Wikipedia, Wikidata and the CIA World Factbook (Singhal, 2012). This data is used to understand user search intent and to answer search queries directly as a Google Knowledge Graph Card (an infobox to the right of search results) or a carousel (which appears at the top of the page).

Image of Google card
Example of a Google card

Knowledge Graphs are useful from a business standpoint because they have the potential to:

  • Increase brand awareness and inbound marketing

Your business being the first thing a user sees when making a search query is the most powerful impression on the SERP.

  • Drive traffic to your site and increase CTR

According to a study run by the team at Advanced Web Ranking, over 70% of searches result in an organic click on the first page, and 67% of users will click on one of the first five results (Petrescu et al., 2014). This study shows that the higher-ranking pages are more credible and receive more click-through rates, and a lot of the time nothing sits higher than a Knowledge Graph result.

  • Increase customer satisfaction

Optimised Wikidata content will aim to understand your customer’s intent by strategically placing keywords that may come up in their search queries. That way, when the Google Knowledge Graph mines information off Wikidata, it will be relevant to the user’s needs.

Still unsure you need Wikidata or a Google Knowledge Graph result? Let’s run a real-world scenario. I’m on my way to Union Street, London to meet a friend, so I Google ‘cafe near union street London’. If your company is a café near Union Street, London, you want to rank for this search query. Right? 


Example of a Google Knowledge Graph Card

Well, if you are the Union Street Café by Gordon Ramsay (who happen to have a Wikipedia page), then I’m on my way to try the delectable food in the infobox preview. However, if you are any of the numerous other cafés in the local vicinity, you just lost a potential customer. This result isn’t solely down to content, there are many other factors at play too (keyword in the title, credibility, backlinking, site speed or metadata), but it is easy to see how the Petrescu study comes into play here – with the potential customer clicking on the highest result.

How do I get my business on the Knowledge Graph?

Some of these methods are easier to try yourself than others; building a credible Wikipedia and Wikidata page is not easy. If you have the time and energy to create and continually update/maintain these methods, then I recommend you start with Google My Business and Wikipedia. Alternatively, you could hire a professional Wikipedia consultant and editor to do it for you. Whatever you decide, Wikidata is undeniably essential to your business growth through its deep-rooted connection with Google’s Knowledge Graph.

So now you know you want to hit the top of those SERPs with a Google Knowledge Graph result, but how? Getting a Knowledge Graph result is not something you can guarantee because Google has not disclosed any definitive method on how. However, to increase your chances of fitting Google’s unspecified criteria, there are a few things you can try (Barker, 2018):

  • Create a Google+ account
  • Sign up to Google My Business
  • Include social media links
  • Build back-links
  • Include customer reviews
  • Use structured data
  • Create/optimise your Wikipedia page.

Bibliography

Barker, S. (11/04/18) Everything you need to know about Google Knowledge Graph and how to get included. Retrieved from WordTracker: https://www.wordtracker.com/blog/seo/everything-you-need-to-know-about-google-knowledge-graph-and-how-to-get-included

Barysevich, A. (03/05/18) How to Maximize Your Reach Using Google’s Knowledge Graph. Retrieved from Search Engine Journal: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/maximize-reach-using-googles-knowledge-graph/144579/

Bouchard, J. (03/11/15) SEO Professionals: How to Get Started with Wikidata. Retrieved from SEM Rush: https://www.semrush.com/blog/seo-professionals-how-to-get-started-with-wikidata/

Cazier, C. (10/02/16) Wikidata 101. Retrieved from Search Engine Land: https://searchengineland.com/wikidata-101-241844

Edward, T. (01/05/15) Leveraging Wikidata To Gain A Google Knowledge Graph Result. Retrieved from Search Engine Land: https://searchengineland.com/leveraging-wikidata-gain-google-knowledge-graph-result-219706

Philip Petrescu, D. M. et al (01/10/14) Google Organic CTR Study. Retreived from Digital Nature: https://www.digital-nature.com/uploads/blog/GoogleOrganicCTRStudy2014.pdf

Singhal, A. (16/05/12) Introducing the Knowledge Graph: things, not strings. Retrieved from Google Blog: https://www.blog.google/products/search/introducing-knowledge-graph-things-not/

Toonen, E. (01/05/19) What is Google’s Knowledge Graph? Retrieved from Yoast: https://yoast.com/google-knowledge-graph/

Wikidata. (20/09/18) Main Page. Retrieved from Wikidata: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Wikidata:Main_Page

Wikipedia. (04/04/08) Union Street Café. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Union_Street_Caf%C3%A9&oldid=834110331

Wikipedia. (13/05/19) Wikidata. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikidata#Items

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