For years now, Google has been working on optimizing its search engine for users. From bringing more local results in the map pack to instant answers and related questions, Google has been focused on delivering the most useful information first.
Related: Is Google trying to kill URLs?
One of the biggest features to help users find information fast in search is the knowledge panel.
What is a Google knowledge panel?
Google describes the knowledge panel as, “Information boxes that appear on Google when you search for entities (people, places, organizations, things) that are in the knowledge graph. They are meant to help you get a quick snapshot of information on a topic based on Google’s understanding of available content on the web.”
How are knowledge panels created?
Most of these knowledge panels are automatically generated by Google’s secret algorithms. Depending on the information available online from various and trusted sources, a knowledge panel could be as basic as a name and website address, or detailed enough to include social profiles, summaries, and executive members.
Google uses various sources of data to automatically generate a knowledge panel result. The largest sources of content used are third-party data providers, such as Wikipedia, or brand websites if they are using the appropriate organization structured data markup.
Claiming your brand’s Google knowledge panel result will unlock better functionality in editing information.
Unfortunately, there is no manual process for quickly getting a knowledge panel up in results—outside of creating a Google My Business Profile, which is limited in availability and use. If you do see that your brand or business has a knowledge panel result in search, you can claim that result to unlock better functionality in editing information.
Major brands with unclaimed knowledge panels
When Google implemented the ability to claim your brand’s knowledge panel, this process should have become a foundational step in any search strategy. There are barriers and processes to prevent someone from maliciously or falsely claiming a knowledge panel, but it’s still possible that someone may claim your brand and limit your ability to edit that information and create posts. Many features are currently limited, but future updates may open more tools to brands that have claimed their knowledge panels.
Just for fun, here’s a quick list of brands or businesses that have not claimed their knowledge panels:
Food & Drink
Three of the biggest brands with unclaimed knowledge panels
The most surprising entry on the list has to go to Alphabet, the parent company of Google itself. It’s not uncommon for Google-related brands to not follow their SEO policies, but this is still of note to see someone at Alphabet Inc. hasn’t taken the time to claim their own knowledge panel.