It all began like this …
A friend asked me whether the new mascot for his brand was eligible for a Google personal knowledge panel (and all the organic search benefits that come with it).
A silly question, right? Google won’t give a knowledge panel to a cartoon-like illustration … right?
Wrong. Even the Pillsbury Doughboy has a personal knowledge panel. It would take some work to rank a new character for a company, but it’s not impossible.
Then, doing research online a little later that day, I noticed that a well-known SEO marketing personality hadn’t claimed her Google personal knowledge panel. I emailed her right away. She claimed it and thanked me for letting her know.
But hold it …
I’m talking about someone who is “in the business.” She is a bit of a big wig — speaks at national and international conferences, gets a zillion likes and comments on every article she writes, and is pretty well a household name in the fields of search engine optimization and digital marketing.
The juxtaposition of those two ideas: Someone who has abundant Google savvy, but is totally missing out on a free Google gift (aka “the personal knowledge panel”) shocked me. Many of us aren’t all that techie … but HER? She could write the book on branding.
But that was just the tip of the iceberg
I discovered there are many more celebrities who haven’t claimed their Google knowledge panel. Looking further, I found that people like Tim Tebow, Sarah Palin, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Sean Penn, and Robert Redford still show a “Claim this knowledge panel” link under their Google-generated personal panel.
Google is providing a valuable gift, and they won’t even acknowledge it.
But, “Hey,” you might say, “They don’t need the extra klout. They’re so famous everyone already knows who they are!”
Maybe there are more reasons to claim your personal knowledge panel than just to say “Thank you” to Google, though. Can you think of any?
Reasons to claim your Google personal knowledge panel
God bless Google. The procedure you have to follow claim your very own knowledge panel is fairly involved — but chances are it’s hackable. Wouldn’t you rather take charge of such a valuable piece of online real estate than let it dangle out there in the wind?
My #1 concern is security
Sarah Palin should be a bit gun shy. Remember when her email was hacked? And it’s tough to believe a mover and shaker in U.S. affairs like Nancy Pelosi has an unclaimed knowledge panel. Truth can surely be stranger than fiction. Granted, the house.gov webmaster takes care of Pelosi’s … so, the idea that the team running the website for Congress is not taking this simple step towards heightened security is even more of a concern.
Let’s face it, the Google person
My #2 concern is SEO
The knowledge panel is a straight route to getting your own prime territory on the first page of Google (or Bing) search and it doesn’t cost you a DIME.
Who would pass up a deal like that? So, wouldn’t you want to optimize that personal panel and milk all the branding and SEO juice you can from it? Jumping crawdads! Wake up, people. That’s not just “leaving money on the table,” it’s throwing money in the garbage can deliberately.
My #3 concern is personal branding
Doesn’t it kind of bother you that Nancy Pelosi has an unclaimed personal knowledge panel? It bothers me. I can forgive Brother Tebow, I mean you’d expect a sports figure to be a bit technically under the weather. And Sarah Palin? She’s probably busy snowmobiling somewhere in Alaska … but Pelosi? Give me a break. She has the staff and should have enough concern to keep her profile prominent and safe. She runs Congress, for Pete’s sake.
Note: Pelosi’s panel is still unclaimed (as of November 19, 2021)
How do I get a Google Knowledge Panel for myself?
You can’t apply for or buy a personal knowledge panel, but there are some things you can do to make it more likely that Google will provide one:
- Get more active online, and publish more content in your name
- Make sure your writer bio is consistent across all platforms
- Use schema markup on your website
- Publish a blog, paying special attention to SEO and content marketing strategy
- Author a book, then list it on Amazon and other platforms
I’m working on a case study about how to get a personal knowledge panel. For further info, you can check out the transcript of a recent chat interview I gave for Ann Smarty and the Content Marketing Chat.
If you need help with or have more questions about the knowledge panel (or any other facet of SEO and content marketing), do let me know. Let’s talk.