Google’s knowledge graph system is well-known in the SEO world, and incredibly popular with webmasters and searchers alike. It offers instant access to a lot of information, facts and tools, and is a huge time-saver for those moments when people just want to know what time a store closes, or how many calories are in a banana. However, the knowledge graph is limited in what it can display and what subjects it is useful for. That’s why Google is working on the Knowledge Vault.
The knowledge vault is being described as a knowledge graph on steroids. Unlike the knowledge graph, the vault won’t rely on crowdsourcing to get its information. This is important because it will help Google to avoid a repeat of the Greggs logo faux pas, which saw the logo of the popular UK bakery replaced with an offensive parody in the knowledge graph.
The knowledge vault will use a combination of an automated algorithm and some ‘prior knowledge’ to put together a comprehensive database of knowledge. The extractors will pull data from raw text as well as semantic metadata and structured text, while data will be ranked against existing information, making it harder to fool the system and insert erroneous information.
What This Means for Webmasters
The announcement of the knowledge vault has led some webmasters to question whether they need to keep using structured data. After all, if Google can, and will, pull data from standard web pages, there’s no need to invest time in structured markup, right? Google disagrees. They believe that it is still important to use structured markup because it may well be important for other parts of search.
Structured markup is not ideal, and the markup may evolve over time, but at the moment it is the best thing that we have for making complex data machine readable, and if you want to be involved in the future of search you should try to work with the technology that exists right now.
The data from the knowledge vault will start appearing in knowledge panels soon, so getting involved with knowledge panels now is a good idea. This is a great opportunity to get your content featured prominently in Google’s results. Appearing in a knowledge panel adds an air of authority to your domain and your content, and will be very good for public perception of your website and brand.