Knowledge Panel, Things to Avoid, Mistakes I made

Mistakes I made when trying to trigger the knowledge panel

So triggering a knowledge panel might seem easy, but it really isn’t there are a lot of weird little quirks to this that you need to get right to be able to trigger the panel and get it to stay. We all want more of Googles landscape when it comes to searching for our brand and why the hell shouldn’t we have this. Guys like Jason Barnard has been going on about how important your brand SERP is for many years and yes he has made mistakes along the way too.

Like with anything I jump in two-footed to things including setting up my own knowledge panel and over the last 6 months have made a number of errors that have resulted in me losing the knowledge panel again.

So I will list the mistakes below and hopefully, they will help you get to the knowledge panel a lot quicker than it took me.

Mistake 1

I stupidly years ago listed on Upwork that I wanted someone to make me a Wikipedia page, yes I advertised using my own name and asked for any suppliers to come to me with their prices if they were able to provide this service. I actually didn’t go ahead with any of those vendors though I waited a while as I wasn’t sure of the benefits of a Wikipedia page back then and moved on to something else.

But a few years later I spoke to a friend who was an editor on Wikipedia and he agreed to help me out, so he sorted my page out and in the Wikipedia community there were a few grumblings from other editors that my page was being used for commercial reasons, which they dont tolerate. My friend said it definitely wasn’t and all of that good stuff.

But when it came to pushing it live, someone in their community pulled up a screenshot of my request on Upwork and said this is clearly for commercial use so it didn’t get to go live. I’m pretty much going to struggle forever now to get that Wikipedia page.

Do you need a Wikipedia page for the Knowledge Panel?

Absolutely NOT is the answer, yes for sure it will help you, but it’s not the be-all and end-all however Jason Barnard has a little tool on Kalicube which you can find here and you can see it definitely does help though. Make no mistake if you can get one, go for it it will help you along the way, but I’ve had to use other entities to trigger the knowledge panel and had success with that.

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Mistake 2

Wikidata, so after the Wikipedia fiasco I tried to get my stuff on wiki data as this seemed like a good resource to get on to join the dots up for Google to give me the knowledge panel. So off I went and found a wiki data specialist who was able to sort this out for me. Again there was trouble along the way, I wasn’t noteworthy enough, I didn’t have enough PR, I was an SEO which this community absolutely hate ( tip here is to not call yourself an SEO ) but this wasn’t the end of the drama.

So we got the page live after a lot of debate with the editors on there, it stuck and I was chuffed, my knowledge panel pops so I’m a happy man. So I look at others who have wiki data pages and see them adding all their social channels and everything else, my wiki data was pretty bland, so I log in using my own name and start adding some of my social media profiles and a few other bits and bobs thinking, who else is the best-placed person to add info about me, more than me myself?

I was bloody wrong, no one told me that you need a third party to edit your wiki data as editing it yourself is seen as self-promotion which is against their guidelines, so very quickly my wiki data profile was removed by the admins and my knowledge panel dropped off the face of the earth.

So DO NOT edit your own wiki data profile guys, it will end up in disaster.

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Claiming Your Knowledge Panel

Be patient here it’s not instant, once it’s triggered, you want to claim the panel that’s yours but it doesn’t happen instantly, I was getting frustrated at how long it was taking and I emailed Google support, twice, in fact, I did this, as it was taking longer than usual to get my knowledge panel claimed. This was supposedly down to people working from home and covid so things are slower than normal which is understandable.

However twice if done this, and twice when Google replied saying it takes longer than usual, my knowledge panel simply dropped out that day. Is that a coincidence?

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Knowledge Panels that Stick

We know a number of well-known SEO and Digital Experts have knowledge panels, so we all want one, be careful what you call yourself, or what your occupation is, Google aren’t known for liking SEO and Digital Marketers. Have a look at the job titles the other guys have and you will see what I mean.

So be creative and don’t make these basic mistakes that I’ve made when trying to trigger the knowledge panel.

You can also learn a lot more on knowledge panels and how they work via Jason Barnard who has a course out on this subject.

Feel free to get in touch if you need any help with knowledge panel. Find out more about the services we’re offering by clicking the button below.


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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 20 years.

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