Google offers opportunities to make your law firm more noticeable on its results pages than your rivals. The Knowledge Graph is the main method that the search engine offers to help you increase the visibility of your firm on Google. The Knowledge Graph is a database of facts about people, places, businesses and events and the links between them. Google has been using this database as a contributing factor towards its ranking algorithm since May 2012. The Knowledge Graph also provides a quick answer box at the top of search results and it is used to provide answers in Google Now, which is a speech-based search system. Getting your business into Knowledge Graph will give you a great advantage in visibility. The search engine pulls data for this database from Wikipedia, Google+, YouTube, official company Home pages and government sites. Search Engine Land, Search Engine Roundtable and Search Engine Journal have news on Knowledge Graph. You will also read a few other tips on search engine visibility with information from Search Engine Watch.
There is no definitive list of the sources that Google uses to assemble Knowledge Graph data. However, Knowledge Graph answer boxes on search results pages do include the source of their information. So, gradually, a list of sources is being revealed. In this article, the example information used for illustration was extracted from LinkedIn. If you use Google Chrome and you have it logged in to a Gmail account, Google’s search pages can detect your relationship to any information source associated with that Gmail account. Google now prompts the visitors it can link to source information to check and update the Knowledge Graph information on them or their business. So, using Chrome and having your law firm’s primary Gmail account activated in your browser’s settings will help you retrieve any data that Google has on your firm in its Knowledge Graph. Search Engine Roundtable has a very similar article — Google Knowledge Graph Edits By Owner Happen Quickly, which shows an example of information sourced from Google+.
This article offers another way to get to see what is in the Knowledge Graph. Unfortunately, it is very technical. You can access the Knowledge Graph through Google’s API Explorer. The results this application returns are in the JSON-LD markup language, which looks like a computer program. The writer explains how to use applications to interpret this code into a visual representation. However, the whole process is very involved, so you should reserve some time when you are not working on your legal caseload to concentrate on this complicated task.
In our predictions for 2016 we highlighted that the next hardware move in search engine access is probably going to be towards smart watches. These small gadgets do not have room for a keyboard, and so voice search is an essential part of that move. Google Now sources Knowledge Graph for its answers. That shows that getting details of your law firm into the Knowledge Graph is important, because that will get you ahead of the game for voice search.
If your law firm is new and/or has a new website, you may struggle to get onto the first page of Google’s search results. Getting up into the top three is generally believed to be make-or-break in a website’s visibility. You can shortcut the SEO process by simply paying for top position on Google’s results. One problem with that strategy is that paying for first place can be very expensive. There are other options available for your pay-per-click budget – paying to appear in a side bar, or getting your link onto Google’s partner network. Both of those options are cheaper than paying for top position in Google’s results. This article shows that getting the top position is way more beneficial than getting your link in a side column of Google’s results pages, or just on a partner page.
This article explains the standard SEO strategies that everyone needs to go through to get to the top of search engine results. This is the sweat-equity route you would have to walk if you don’t have a paid search budget for your law firm, or you can’t get into Knowledge Graph. You will see that this involves a lot of work. You should decide whether the savings you make on avoiding paying for your position warrants all the hours this task will occupy – taking you away from your core purpose of serving clients.