Local SearchSEO

My Local Knowledge Panel Doesn’t Show on Google – What can I do?

By October 27, 2014 April 22nd, 2017 24 Comments

mybusinessMy local Knowledge Panel does not show in Google when I search on my company name. Why not and what can I do?

We recently got this question in the Local U forum. We are repuplishing my answer here as we think the answer will be of general interest AND we are hoping to entice you to join our forum, where questions like this are asked and answered every day in a low noise, high signal environment.

It's great question and one that is asked frequently. While we have no concrete proof of specifics that lead Google to show the Knowledge Panel, we think that it has a lot to do with the consistency and authority of your local “brand”.

Firstly be sure that there is no NAP (name, address, phone) confusion around the name and location. If your address, phone or business name has changed, Google's knowledge graph algo can be confused, leading to Google not understanding enough about your business. Screwing up there is a great way to NOT get a Knowledge Panel to show.

Secondly there is a time factor. If your business is new or newly verified in Google, there might be a 6 to 12 week delay for Google to have the confidence to show the Knowledge Panel.

But if neither of those conditions apply to you, then here are my best guesses, both educated and not, as to what might lead Google to show the Knowledge Panel more regularly for any business. Clearly all of them are not necessary, but as you accomplish more of these, it will not only increase the likelihood of showing the knowledge panel but will broaden the variations on your name for which it will show:

KP only copyGet a Wikipedia Entry - Google relies very heavily on Wikipedia to indicate the importance of people, places and brands. An article there a bout your business will guarantee that you show a knowledge graph for your brand. It's difficult but not impossible and I wouldn't  attempt it unless you have a great story and some historical or social significance. The chance of any given local business getting this is very small.

Do a citation campaign - Be sure that your business is listed in all of the relevant authoritative local & industry specific sites that Google looks at in your country. Creating a strong and consistent image of your business across the internet sends Google the signal that you do in fact exist and have some prominence.

Create a Freebase entry - Freebase is an open source, community curated database of well-known people, places, and things. Google acquired it when they acquired Metabase in 2010. We know that having accurate data there can help clean up erroneous Knowledge Panels and we think it might increase the likelihood of one showing if it doesn't already.

Get your business name mentioned in authoritative online news sources - Google looks far and wide for mentions of your business. Getting it noted in a local or national online, trusted news source is good way to increase Google's trust about your brand.

Branded links (i.e. links with your business name in the anchor text)– Create some content that generates links to your site with your company name and it's variations in the anchor text from other authoritative local websites. Despite rumors to the contrary, Google still looks at links and still values them. Just be sure that they are earned not bought.

Get >100 followers to your G+ page - OK, that is an arbitrary number but one that has been bandied about as a way to gain brand authority on Google. While not substantiated, its a good goal and one that we think will increase the likelihood of the Knowledge Panel showing. This tactic offers the most benefit if the followers are in your local market.

Make sure that some of the G+ followers are authoritative While Google doesn't use any sort of author rank for ranking of content there are some indications that authority does flow from one G+ user that has lots of followers to posts that he/she comments on and possibly to the person, place or brand they are following. Even if it has no value, it has the benefit of getting you more exposure with folks who can broadly share your content. So there is nothing to loose by engaging users on G+ with strong authority and everything to gain.

Post at least once per month to G+ - Again, there is no proof that this will increase the likelihood of your Knowledge Panel showing but we do know that if you post at least every 3 weeks or so, Google will show that post on a Knowledge Panel when it does show on the front page of Google for a search on your company name. Google is saying in their odd way, that they want you to post at least this frequently. It has been my experience that on should listen up when they offer this kind of signal.

Get some reviews for your local business - Get reviews at a slow and steady pace over time. Its like a heart beat. Google knows your alive and can see that your customers think you are alive. Again no proof that it will lead directly to your Panel showing but it has other benefits and certainly can't hurt Google's understanding of your authority.

I don't think that you need to do all of the above or do everything at once. These recommendations are meant to provide you a long term path to increase the visibility of your Google Knowledge Panel and they will have the side benefit of increasing your exposure on Google in general.

Barbara Oliver“, my pet custom jewelry client in Buffalo, has managed to get greater KP exposure over time on her full trade name and on may variations and shortened versions of it. Over a period of 5 years she has accomplished many but not all the items on the list above. Google has rewarded her with national exposure of her Knowledge Panel. It's a goal worth achieving.

24 Comments

  • Cori Shirk says:

    Great points, Mike! Post-pigeon I’ve noticed that smaller businesses seem to need at least one review to get the full knowledge panel to show up. That’s just based on a few of my experiences, but its been pretty consistent when I’ve tested it.

    • Mike Blumenthal says:

      Cori
      Thats an interesting data point. I think it can probably be any or several of the things I mention but reviews is certainly something that Google notices.

  • Bill Brokaw says:

    Thanks Mike,

    I have started doing Business Views for local stores the past few months and sometimes this is big issue. Your posts are really helpful for me to explain to my customers and potential customers how all this works and how they can use it to their advantage.

  • Great post Mike!

    What if your knowledge panel shows but it doesn’t have reviews showing (taken that business does have reviews) and other information like G+ posts (again, taken that they do exist)?

    Thanks!

    • Mike Blumenthal says:

      @Sergey
      Assuming you are talking Google reviews then either they will catch up or you have a duplicate listing and the reviews are on the other listing.

  • Randy says:

    Many thanks for Darren Shaw of Whitespark for drawing my attention to this article. That you as well for the comments in Google Plus Mike. In one of the comments, Mike Bays noted that a similar thing occurs with Adwords. Has this been your finding as well? – Randy (noob) Milanovic

    • Mike Blumenthal says:

      @Randy I have trouble staying up on Local so I am afraid that I am not qualified to speak on Adwords.

  • Hank Miner says:

    Hi Mike and hope you can provide some direction and help.

    I am a GBV photographer and am experiencing a problem with a clients Knowledge Panel in that it does not display the “See Inside” link photo for SWIHA. http://goo.gl/5jLqJa .

    The people at Google Maps have been of little help

    “Unfortunately we do not have control over what may or may not appear on Search because most of that has to do with Search Engine Optimization. If this is a rather new business listing, it is very likely it is still building credibility and over time, the preview may appear on Search. Our project only guarantees that it will appear on Maps and their Places page.”

    SWIHA is not a new business and had no problem having “See Inside” show on there sister property SOY http://goo.gl/i34725 and has never been an issue with over 20 tours I have completed for Google.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  • Hank Miner says:

    I agree the knowledge panel for SWIHA but the “Ssee Inside” portion below the map does not show from my computer nor the clients and that is my issue.

  • Mike Blumenthal says:

    There are two types of Knowledge Panel. Informational and navigational. The former shows the photos and the latter is more map heavy and does not show the interior photos.

    When I execute the search you gave me above, on my phone, I see the informational KP and it includes the inside photos. When I do the search above on my desktop I see the navigational KP that does not include the interior business photos.

    However by changing the search slightly on the desktop I do see it.. Try this search.

    Google is making the assessment that the one query is navigational and the other one is informational.

  • Mann Sharma says:

    Mike, thanks for such a nice post.

    I am facing an issue with KP. ClearOS is my business name, located in UT. When I search for “ClearOS UT” or “Clear OS” on Google.com, KP is there. But when I search for ClearOS only, there is no KP. I have reviews (3), and I have provided appropriated details on my listing. Even I have a wikipedia page for my business (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ClearOS). Still not able to figure it out.

    Can you please help, as my requirement is showing the KP for ClearOS.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Mike Blumenthal says:

      Mann
      Some things to try:
      1- Get your home page ranking on your trade name.
      2- Create a brand page
      3- Use lots of rich snippets on your site for logo, social, G+ etc.

  • Diane says:

    Be careful of wanting a knowledge panel on your Google search. You have no control over the review snippets Google puts on it. Their choices have led to many tears, much frustration, and lost business.

  • Rick says:

    Hi Mike, thanks for the article. I have a doozy…

    What happens if when searching for your business, your competitor ‘sometimes’ comes up in the knowledge panel?

    It only happens when doing the search from some locations, including when searching our own name in our own office (we get the competitor). But go 300m up the road – and we get us.

    Crazy!

    • Mike Blumenthal says:

      Rick – you don’t really give me enough to go on. But in some industries the business names are so similar that Google makes the choice based on partial name matching.

      • Rick says:

        Thanks Mike, yes we can search for the business whilst inside the business and get the competitor on the right, but go a few hundred metres up the road and it’s fine.

        And it only happens if you have a space in the name. So I think you’re right. I don’t want to say the name of the company but their name is one that is often autocorrected by Google during search to a product that both of them sell, so I imagine Google is getting confused.

        So partial name matching sounds about right. Alas we’ll keep adjusting until we change something and it stops happening. 😀 Thanks for replying.

  • Ellen says:

    Hi Mike! Thanks for the post. Going to check out the forum for more.

    Is there a way to get the KP to show for common variants of a brand name query? Or for modifiers of the brand name?

    Curious if all the following variants for an automotive group of car dealerships could eventually pull the KP.

    Example: Brand Name — triggers the KP
    Brand Name + Auto Group — no KP
    Brand Name + Auto Stores — no KP

    To put it another way and another example:
    Gap – triggers KP
    Gap clothing store — triggers the KP
    Gap clothing stores — triggers the KP

    I can provide more info in an email if required.

  • Hello
    I need help to display KP of our college.
    If you search for “arya college” on google.co.in it shows KP of someother college whose domain is aryacollege.in and not ours aryacollege.org. Whereas aryacollege.org domain is the oldest domain. Now I want when somebody searches for Arya College then our g+ page & our wikipedia KP shall be shown. How can this be achieved ?

  • Linday E says:

    A citation campaign has shown to work really really well for my clients. We use a company that submits a ton of citations and can even choose what niche. I mainly use it to hit the bigger citation listings like google, bing, yahoo, etc. Great post and look forward to reading more!

  • Hi Mike,
    A search for our brand Artistic Tile does not bring up any knowledge graph despite having added and testing organization and website markup. Searches for our brand plus location brings up the local KG.
    How can we get our brand KG to show?

    • Mike Blumenthal says:

      @Artisitc it is very difficult to get enough prominence/relevance for a brand page to show in the search results. The best way is to get your business a Wikipedia page.

      On the other hand getting your Local KP to show for a brand search is easier as it already has some prominence on the Brand +Locale search and you just need to get enough prominence/relevance to show on the Brand only search.

      If you search for “Barbara Oliver Jewelry” or even “Barbara Oliver” you can see an example of this.

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