Google has officially announced the addition of Knowledge Graph popups to search results. According to Google, this change is intended to help users select the “right result” by showing supplementary information about websites in search results and will be shown when a site is “widely recognized as notable online, when there is enough information to show or when the content may be handy for you.” In other words, if you’re not mega popular on the internet, you’re not getting it. In fact, all of the data included in the popups comes directly from Wikipedia (at least so far), though simply being on Wikipedia isn’t enough to get you into this exclusive club. Yes, this seems to be another example of Google’s preferential treatment toward big brands online.
I think that’s okay though, and I’ll tell you why.
At first glance, this added information seems like a worthwhile addition for businesses large and small. It’s non-obtrusive, provides a little ethos, and might even increase click-through. But at the end of the day, are businesses really receiving the most benefit from this change? You be the judge.
In the instance above, Google’s added a wikiHow link in the line directly under the page title, which engages the Knowledge Graph popup. Within the popup is a Wikipedia link to more in-depth information on the website as well as a link to Jack Herrick, the owner of wikiHow, which goes directly to yet another Google search results page (no, not in a new tab). I’m no mathematician, but by my count, that’s at least 3 clicks that could prevent (or prolong) the user from getting to your website. Based on Google’s goals to provide even more information about websites as their Knowledge Graph expands, the future may bring that much more competition for businesses.
So tell me: is this yet another Google rabbit hole like definitions, Knowledge Graph results, Google+ links, flight times, reservations, and delivery tracking? Will businesses have to contend with supplemental information that may not even be directly relevant to the topic searched? Will searchers even use it? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below!