Google’s Knowledge Graph is a very prominent part of organic search results. By now, searchers are accustomed to seeing the panel that appears on the right side of the search result page that provides information about entities such as people, places and brands.
Individuals and companies alike are striving to acquire, maintain and monitor a Knowledge Graph listing. At the moment, however, there is no easy way to report on Knowledge Graph performance and changes. In 2016, Google’s John Mueller did mention that links in Knowledge Graph panels would be counted in the Search Analytics report in Google Search Console. However, this still does not give us insight into the algorithmic aspect of Knowledge Graph rankings and changes.
Why monitor your Knowledge Graph result?
So you may be wondering why should you should care about changes to your personal or company Knowledge Graph result. Here are a couple of reasons.
You (or your business) may share a name with another entity, or maybe you’re competing against a generic term. Whoever has the most relevance and highest score within the Knowledge Graph algorithm will rank better, and their Knowledge Graph panel will be the one to appear in search results for an unmodified query.
Here is an example of a basketball player, author and actor ranking for the name, “Isaiah Thomas.” As you can see, each entity has a score and a different classification type.
Not all Knowledge Graph panels are created equal, and Google will add more information to the panel as it discovers information about a person or company.
Monitoring changes to a Knowledge Graph result can help you better understand how Google perceives you or your company. It can also validate certain optimizations you may be doing on your website — for example, using structured data. Also, if Google makes a mistake with your information, which can definitely happen, you will know before it’s too late.
Monitoring your Knowledge Graph entry
In my effort to find a simple solution for tracking Knowledge Graph changes for me and my clients, I found the following solution. It involves using the Google Knowledge Graph API and a tool called VisualPing. By generating an HTTP request for the Knowledge Graph API results and using VisualPing, a tool that monitors web page changes, I can easily track changes within the Knowledge Graph API results. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to set this up.
1. Set up a Google API Manager account and generate an API Key.
2. Once your API key is generated, visit the Google Knowledge Graph API tool and conduct a search for an entity.
Once the results have loaded, grab the URL under the “Request” section, which outlines the HTTP request URL format. Here is URL for my query:
3. Add the API Key you generated into the request URL.
- Original URL: https://kgsearch.googleapis.com/v1/entities:search?query=Tony+Edward&key=YOUR_API_KEY
- Updated URL with API Key: https://kgsearch.googleapis.com/v1/entities:search?query=tony+edward&key=AIzaSyDlqL-acWjyy7UAXZPVOpXw3q1gMiQ8apc
Here is what the updated URL looks like in a browser. As you can see, it loads the Knowledge Graph API results for my query directly on the page. Now that this is set up like a web page, we can easily track changes on it.
4. From here, create a VisualPing account and set up a job to track changes for your API Request URL. The free version of the tool allows you to set up two jobs with limited credits; you can sign up for a pro account to add more jobs.
The tool provides email notifications and screen shots when changes occur. It also outlines the change percentage. I currently have the tool set to check for changes every 24 hours and to notify me for all changes. Here is what the job dashboard looks like.
So there you have it! You can now easily track the following items (and more) within the Knowledge Graph API results:
- Score changes (resultScore)
- Classification type (@type)
- Detailed description
To learn more about these elements, go here: https://developers.google.com/knowledge-graph/reference/rest/v1/
I have not seen any major changes for myself, as my name is not in a competitive space; however, I have seen significant changes for some of my clients, which I’m monitoring closely.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.