Google is downgrading the incorporation of social profile mark-up language within websites. Social profile mark-up tags were in the past necessary for the social media buttons to get displayed in the knowledge panels.
Sources from within Google have stated that the search engine will, going forward, automatically notice pertinent social media profiles. Once discovered, these profiles will then be included in the knowledge panels.
As such, any person who already has a claimed knowledge panel will now be able to recommend social media profiles that have not been added automatically by the company. Users can do this by searching for their knowledge panels in the search engine and then clicking on the ‘suggest an edit’ button.
If you are not able to see this button, then it means that you have not been logged into the account that currently has verified ownership of that particular knowledge panel.
Once a user has suggested an edit, the search engine will then proceed to verify the accuracy of that particular edit. Accuracy will be determined by looking into the social media profiles associated with the brand in question. Google will check all the social media profiles available on the web before approving the edit.
The suggested edit will be shown on the knowledge panel once it has been accepted by Google.
What Happens If a User Does Not Have Ownership of a Given Knowledge Panel?
It is important to note that only verified knowledge panel owners will be in a position to suggest edits. For those that do not have ownership of their own knowledge panels, they should understand that the process of owning one is quite straightforward.
The first thing to do is to locate the entities that they represent. Once located, proceed to lay claim to the knowledge panel that you would wish to claim. From here, all you need to do is to click on the ‘claim this knowledge panel’ button located at the bottom of each page.
Before you can claim ownership to any knowledge panel, Google will require you to first log into other profiles that are associated with that entity, e.g., Search Console, YouTube, or Twitter.
Once you have signed in to these profiles, you will now have ownership of the knowledge panel. You can then proceed to make changes and manage it as you see fit. Google has also stated that the order in which the social profiles appear cannot be changed in any way.
As a knowledge panel owner, all you can do is suggest the addition of new profiles. You can also be able to edit the profiles already in place to meet your preferences or style.