Category Archives: Google tools

What is Google’s Knowledge Graph?

What the heck is Google’s Knowledge Graph and what does it mean for digital marketers? The quick and dirty of it is that Google search is getting smarter. A lot smarter.

Google Knowledge Graph digital marketers

Search queries drive modern interaction with the Internet and up until now it’s been pretty clunky. There hasn’t been another option so it’s never really bothered anyone. We use single words to narrow down all the websites on the Internet until we have just the right few pages that we’re looking for. That’s not a natural way to search. It’s not only prone to abuse, but it’s all based on the text of a website rather than the meaning of its content. Google’s new take on search is based on the relationships between keywords and how they affect each other rather than how they cut down search results by the presence of keywords on a page. Make sense? Lance Uloff gave a great example in his article (Google Search Just Got 1,000 Times Smarter) published on Mashable earlier today:

Google is switching from simple keyword recognition to the identification of entities, nodes and relationships. In this world, “New York” is not simply the combination of two keywords that can be recognized. It’s understood by Google as a state in the U.S. surrounded by other states, the Atlantic Ocean and with a whole bunch of other, relevant attributes.

Want to see it in action? Type a famous person’s name into Google. Google search now understands that when I type in Nikola Tesla I’m curious about a person and that I’m probably looking for some basic facts rather than a bunch of websites with that keyword phrase. You can also do this with geographic features, movies, countries, and brands! Check out the screenshot from my test:

Google Knowledge Graph in action

How will this impact those who are trying to optimize their websites for favorable Google site indexing? It’s a little too soon to tell, but in the meantime just do what Google suggests and just keep creating relevant and interesting content!

Post by Cricky Cicchetti

Author Markup: Link your Google+ profile to your blog posts

This is incredibly easy to do and incredibly satisfying to see. Author markup is just html that tells Google who wrote an article and where to draw information about them from. Here’s a little screen shot of a search result with author markup. It stands out from the search results around it because it has color, takes up more real estate, and shows a clear connection to a real person (yes, it apparently still matters.) Posts with author markup like this get more clicks than posts without it!

author markup chad pollitt kuno creative cricky cicchetti inboundtastic

Step One: Set up your Google+ Profile

Easy peasy. Just visit your profile on Google+, click Edit Profile, and on the right hand side, fill in the URL of the website you contribute to. In my case, this is the daily blog I run for the company I work for and good ol’ Inboundtastic.

Next is just adding the email that you want to be available to those who are reading your blog. I put both of these emails under the “Work” section of my profile. Once it’s added, click Save. Now you’ll see a little blue “Verify” hyperlink next to the email you added. Go through the verification steps as prompted. Easy.

Now your Google+ profile (and your Google+ profile photo!) are ready to be linked to the wonderful content you’re going to spit forth into the world, regardless of what site is publishing it! See the example above? See where it says “More by Chad Pollitt?” Because he’s linked his articles to his Google+ profile, you can find all sorts of cool stuff that he’s written just by clicking on his name. Whoaaaah. The web just moved to a whole new level, right?

Step Two: Set up the link within the blog post

You’re going to laugh this is so easy. I won’t tell you how long it took me to figure this out because it’s embarrassing, but the html below is all that you need to have in your blog post (obviously inserting your own information, I’ve put all of the places you need to do this in green.) There’s also some html for a little G+ icon included below, you need that somewhere on your page too.

<address>Post by <a href=”mailto:cricky@inboundtastic.com“>Cricky Cicchetti</a></address><a href=”https://profiles.google.com/104212631248024660526” rel=”author”><img src=”http://ssl.gstatic.com/images/icons/gplus-16.png” alt=”" width=”16″ height=”16″ />
</a>

Now, publish your blog post and wait. It took a few days before the link was processed for me, but it’s not some sort of static waiting period. In the meantime you can use the Rich Snippets Testing Tool to see if you’ve done it correctly.

Step Three: Enjoy

If you’re anything like me, when the link is processed, you’re going to call your friends and make them do an organic search for your blog post until they see your smiling face pop up in their search results. Feel free to repeat as necessary.

Post by Cricky Cicchetti

Rich Snippets Testing Tool: Totally Chill

rich snippets testing tool cricky cicchetti inboundtasticThere are a couple tools that I use all the time, but a particularly cool one is Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool. It took me a little while (and a number of handfuls of M&M’s from the office gum-ball machine) to figure this out, but it’s not as scary and foreign as it sounds. If you’re comfortable mucking around in the html of your blog post you’ll definitely be able to handle rich snippet markup.

What is a rich snippet?

Google has a great page that explains rich snippets, but the basic gist is that you can embed certain structured information in your blog posts that will flag information for Google’s search result snippets.

Here’s a rich snippet preview of one of my past blog posts. You can see what data Google can extract from your markup (in this example you can see the extracted author/publisher data for the page). Note that the Google search preview shows a little picture of me. That’s because I linked my post to my Google+ account. Here’s an explanation of how to do author markup. If you’re waiting for Google to index you, the Rich Snippets Testing Tool is a great way to make sure you’ve marked up your post correctly.

rich snippet preview cricky cicchetti inboundtastic

Why should my markup have rich snippets?

A search engine’s job is to connect people with the content that they’re looking for. Helping search engines out by telling them explicitly what they’re looking for will only help you get found by those who are trying to find you. I found this article from Google Support on microdata very helpful in figuring out how to do it.

Was this post helpful? What are some tools that you like using?

Post by Cricky Cicchetti