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Google Search Results Explained: The Knowledge Panel

Google Search Results Explained: The Knowledge Panel
Written by Amy Sorter

What is a Google knowledge panel? A knowledge panel is an informational box that appears on a search engine results page (SERP) in response to certain queries. These widgets appear on the right side of a SERP, near the top of the page. 

Knowledge panels are informational boxes that appear on a search engine results page (SERP) in response to certain queries. These widgets appear on the right side of a SERP, near the top of the page. Their goal is to provide you with a concise and quick overview of a particular topic, based on information pulled from Google’s knowledge graph.

Knowledge panels are forms of rich snippets. These, in turn, are a specific type of information, one that stands out from the massive amounts of information that show up in response to a search query.

Google knowledge panel example

Knowledge panels crop up when you search for a variety of entities. For instance, the following knowledge panel appears when typing “Mahatma Gandhi” into the search engine. From this snippet, you learn who Gandhi was (a political ethicist), and what made him famous (he helped gain India’s independence from Britain).

Typing “Nike” or “Nike Inc.” into your search engine offers a knowledge panel with a business overview, customer service contact information, when the company was founded, and by whom. This snippet also offers the current CEO, headquarters location and subsidiaries.

Finally, if you’re interested in something from the animal kingdom, typing “cat” in the search engine will provide an overview of these fluffy purring machines, including their scientific names, how long they live, and various breeds. You’ll even see cute photos of the critters.

Knowledge panel attributes

Knowledge panels provide a variety of information, based on the search query.

General features of a knowledge panel include:

  • An overall paragraph of the topic being researched
  • Interesting bullet points and/or data pertaining to the subject
  • Photos pertaining to the topic
  • Various links to help you delve further into the topic

These widgets also offer additional information about other, related topics. For instance, in the above example about Gandhi, you could also click on links to other topics, such as Nelson Mandela or Jawaharlal Nehru, who was India’s first prime minister.

What type of content is used for knowledge panels?

Google finds content for knowledge panels in two ways:

  1. Various open sources from the web (such as Wikipedia or other third-party resources)
  2. Direct feedback from entities and/or data partners

It’s possible for businesses and individuals to direct information on their own knowledge panels by becoming verified by Google. Knowledge panels are a way to obtain information quickly and concisely. If you or your company feature prominently in them, you’re dominating search engine results.

Want a quick overview of a topic? Knowledge panels were created for that purpose. Based on information from Google’s knowledge graph, these widgets offer concise information in response to queries. Learn more. Click To Tweet

About the author

Amy Sorter

Amy Sorter is an award-winning journalist, copywriter, and principal of The WordSorters. Her work has been published in regional and national business and consumer publications. Amy's focus is on creating customized, highly engageable content in a variety of formats for non-profit organizations, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies.

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