Two days ago Google announced the roll out of it’s new Knowledge Graph search results. (See ” The Google Knowledge Graph“) Knowledge Graph is Google’s method of learning the connections between various data point on the Internet, no longer just by their hyperlinks, but in the same way that people understand connections (the Eiffel Tower is a building in Paris, France). Google will use those connections to display an information box in the right sidebar that anticipates data the searcher may be looking for.
While trying out various search queries today that might trigger the Knowledge Graph box, I ran across this one:
You can see that the Knowledge Graph box gives a pretty good overview of the basic facts about Barak Obama, including related people you might also be interested in (at the bottom). But I wanted to call your attention to the section I’ve outline in red: the latest Google+ post.
Google is now building Google+ into new products and features from the ground up. As the Knowledge Graph grows to eventually be able to display information about virtually any person found online, so will grow the importance of being active on Google+.
Why? Because you are creating one more place in the search engine results pages where you can capture relevant traffic for yourself.
The Knowledge Graph box might satisfy someone just looking for basic facts about Barak Obama. But if they want to dig further, or have an ongoing relationship, the Google+ post is there to make the connection. Clicking his name on the post snippet takes me to his Google+ profile, where I can then follow him and stay connected.
Active on Google+ = More Results on Google
If you are in any business or position where you want people to find you and hook up with you, capturing as much territory in Google search as you can is critical. Google+ is one of your best allies in that quest. Public posts are indexed, and if you have enabled Google author verification, will even show a rich snippet result (your author photo with links to your Google+ profile and more of your content). A number of times I’ve been able to get two of more results on the front page for the same keywords (one for an original blog post, and one or two more for Google+ posts sharing it). That’s search coverage even huge sites could only have dreamed about just a year ago!
While the Knowledge Graph box only seems to work for well known people and items now, Google is clear that they intend to keep expanding it until it connects everything possible. That means there will come a day when someone searching for information about you or your brand will get that special gift box in the sidebar. When that happens, you want to have good, enticing content there (a Google+ post) that affords the opportunity to capture that searcher to yourself and start a relationship with them.