As you may be aware, Google unveiled it’s plans for the Knowledge Graph yesterday. Its essentially an enhancement to the Google SERPs that will allow people who are searching for terms that have multiple meanings and references to find exactly what they’re looking for more efficiently.
Google uses the term Taj Mahal as an example. A user entering this phrase may want to research the landmark or maybe, instead, they’re trying to find info on the Taj Mahal, the musician or maybe you’re just trying to find the local Indian Food restaurant that happens to go by the same name. With Google Knowledge, you will be presented with a sidebar of examples loaded with rich graphics from around the web to assist in your query. Not only will it present results in a way that you’re more likely to notice, but it will also present them in a manner that’s more informative at a glance without having to click deeper. According to Mashable, it’s a switch from simple keyword recognition to the identification of entities, nodes and relationships.
Of course my immediate question was what will this do for Online Reputation Management and Personal Branding? People are currently thinking big in terms of Taj Mahal and Frank Lloyd Wright but it would make sense that Google would include it anytime there were various results for any given keyword like… say… almost every name on the planet typically being shared with hundreds of people if not millions.
So today, I was doing my routine proactive reputation Search Engine check for my name, when I noticed something different:
The by Lauren Starling and the More by Lauren Starling that had not been there yesterday. Not without a sense of borderline-geeky excitement, I clicked the two links. One led straight to my Google+ page and the other to a Google custom search for Lauren Starling, ME!
A double check on my last SERP result screenshot for Lauren Starling on May 8th shows that, no, I’m not imagining things. I was also logged out at the time of all of these screenshots (very important, if you want unbiased search results). However, upon looking at my logged in screen I see a notice informing me that my profile is not complete.
Considering this sidebar is pulling information directly from my Google + account, it’s no surprise that when I click through to update the profile, I’m brought to the page where practically gives you the third degree:
I imagine once I complete the Google profile, my little side bar will be even more enriched. (I’ll be sure to post back with updates) Clearly, though, Google has introduced a new player in the game of Online Reputation Management. I guess it remains to be seen who comes out the biggest winner.