The Knowledge Graph was a major initiative by Google in 2012 to help users find the answers to their questions without ever leaving Google for third party websites. In other words, instead of going to read a Wikipedia article about a topic, the Knowledge Graph would enable you to answer your question on Google.com. Here’s how it works: the Knowledge Graph is nothing more than a collection of information from places like the CIA World Factbook, Freebase, and Wikipedia (among others), on a variety of hugely important topics. For instance, an infamous figure like Osama bin Laden or Donald Trump will have lots of articles and facts built into the Knowledge Graph, and when you search, you’ll see a panel along the right side of the search frame that will allow you to start accessing information from those articles right on Google. Once again, the goal is to give you this commonly requested information without forcing you to leave Google.
Many people suspect that Google is building the Knowledge Graph in order to combat the problem of terrible content that makes people think less of Google. If Google can take the most commonly requested information and put it into a box that it owns, then it will have an easier time pointing people towards the answers to their questions without worrying about sending them somewhere “spammy.” This is yet another reason why “informational search queries” are becoming harder and harder to own for marketers (see this entry for more on the four main types of search queries). When you are searching for information, the authoritative sources like Wikipedia, and now Google itself through the Knowledge Graph, are going to have a tremendous advantage for the bulk of searchers. The only way to reliably fight this trend is to offer a much “deeper dive” into information that you are a specialist on. Or, you can focus mostly on “transactional search queries,” which is what most business owners tend to do, because that is where the fastest revenue is.