Does Google hate The Daily Show? This is a strange question to ask, but many users find themselves wondering just that after they read the show’s description on the SERP.
This captured image appears as part of the “Knowledge Graph,” an informational box that appears to the right of the SERPs that provide more information the user may be looking for. The Knowledge Graph can contain a diverse collection of data, depending on how pertinent it is to the nature of the subject that is being searched.
The Daily Show Question
This particular graph contains information, such as writers, genre, and theme song, which are tidbits many users will find helpful considering the subject is a television show. But the section that users rank as the most important – and can be found in almost every entry – is the description.
This gives users who have no prior experience with the subject a preview of what they can expect to see if they continue their search. Making the description an important gateway for potential traffic, views, and clicks.
Most websites put a lot of effort to ensure that their description puts them in the best possible light, but The Daily Show description reads as follows:
Accused by some as of misinforming its core audience of young adults about international news, this series doesn’t hide the fact that it’s not a news program and only uses newsworthy stories as a jumping-off point to satire.
It’s a fair enough summary of what the show is all about, but it hardly shines a favorable light on the program. In fact, the very same description appears on several other TV websites, such as Verizon:
Fortunately for the producers, the success of the show doesn’t primarily depend on gathering new viewers on the Internet. This is, however, a major concern for businesses that need to put themselves in the best possible position on Google’s SERPs to get the all-important digital boost.
Several questions need to be answered before anyone can feel at ease with the situation.
What is the Knowledge Graph? Who decides what goes on there? Does the content of the graph affect the traffic of a website? Is everyone subject to the preferences of Google? Will businesses need to be in the search engine’s good graces to get a favorable description?
What is the Knowledge Graph?
Google first gave SEO companies hints and finally launched the Knowledge Graph back in 2012 as a step towards a new way to search. Gone are the days when search engines simply match the queries with the answers to find relevant information. Knowledge Graph uses keywords to collect a number of appropriate objects and connect them into a cohesive presentation of data that best represents the entity that the keywords describe.
Using The Daily Show as an example, people know they’re talking about a television program, but Google does not. A search for The Daily Show back then might have included results that had nothing to do with the show, and may even include real news sources, that would confuse users. This was a level of search quality that Google thought was unacceptable.
Knowledge Graph crawls through various sources, determines the information that gets the most searches, displays it, and then links it to other pages that may contain pertinent information. The Daily Show graph includes information from IMDb and TV.com, and even suggests other comedy shows for a user’s reference.
Knowing how Knowledge Graph works actually answers many of the questions that website owners have. In the case of The Daily Show, the information may have come from a licensed third party provider, though. Google has yet to provide a formal statement regarding this particular issue.
Using Knowledge to Your Advantage
All of this is great to know, but how does it actually affect the operation of a website? The Knowledge Graph actually ran into some controversy with site owners as it displays information from the site. The argument was, users have less reason to click on a website, because the information is already on the SERPs. Google shot back, stating that its purpose isn’t to promote companies, but to provide as convenient a search experience as possible.
This is only bad news if a company’s marketing doesn’t know what they’re doing. The Knowledge Graph actually presents a perfect branding opportunity that’s more convenient for site owners if used correctly. Businesses can’t directly put anything on the Knowledge Graph, but they can update it to reflect them in a positive light.
The best thing about the Knowledge Graph is that it lists information from third party sites. Customers will often trust what other people say about a business than what the company says about itself. The Knowledge Graph is an icebreaker that can help a company earn a potential customer’s trust instantly – if the results are good.
The strategies to accomplish this depend on the nature of the business itself. For example, the default source of information for most things is Wikipedia. Restaurants, on the other hand, get more mentions on review sites, giving them more credence on the graph. Your SEO partner should know which sources of information would work best for the advantage of your knowledge graph.
If you’re looking for an SEO company in Denver that can give you the strategic advantage through every tool available, contact us today. We’ll work with you and ensure that no stone is left unturned in our quest to land on the first page.