Google Knowledge Graph Quietly Adds Social Profiles for People

knowledge graph social profiles people
On January 15, 2014 Google announced that the Knowledge Graph would now display social profile links for brands / known entities. I’ve been following this rather closely and even doing some research on the subject.

Earlier this evening, I was perusing Google’s documentation on this subject, and noticed that Google has quietly added in documentation so that people could have social profiles within the Knowledge Graph box.

social network profile google knowledge graph people

Upon closer inspection, it has been confirmed that not only has the documentation been updated, but social profiles might be appearing in the SERPs for popular people / entities. See this screenshot for “Lebron James.”

people knowledge graph social profile

I’ve only been able to confirm this for actors, musicians, and sports figures. Could this be that Google is treating these A-listers as the same type of entity as “Wal-Mart” or “Best Buy” or is Google rolling this new feature out? Perhaps Google is testing this feature with a small percentage of top entities? They’ve been known to do this in the past. I hope I did not use a misleading title. I am confident this is the direction Google is heading.

Examples of people that have social profiles within their Knowledge Graph:

Examples of people that do not have social profiles within their Knowledge Graph (but do in fact have a Knowledge Graph):

Either way, this is definitely something we’ve been expecting predicting for the past month or so.

To me, it only seems natural for Google to start including social network profiles in the search results. Another kicker, it appears that MySpace has been included as an “approved social network.” If you query “jay-z” you’ll see the MySpace logo within the Knowledge Graph. I could be wrong about this, but the fact that Google has updated its documentation is a pretty clear sign to me. If anyone is seeing social profiles for people in the Knowledge Graph for non-celebrities please ping me on Twitter or email Patrick [at] elite-strategies.com. What do you think?

Small update: Feb 17, 2015 3pm

Just did a small query and noticed that Kim Kardashian does in fact have a Knowledge Graph equipped with a social network box (including a Myspace).

social profile knowledge graph people kardashian

You can’t actually see the Myspace icon on mobile (or perhaps I cut it off) but it is there in fact on the web. Why did Google go out of their way to “add” MySpace to their repertoire? Is there something we should know? Why not Pinterest?

Major Update: April 1, 2015

Well, it seems as though Google has opened the floodgates and is now “allowing” social network icons for all civilians. I’ve been testing this about once a week, and now out of the 10 people that did not have it prior to April 1, 7 of them now have social network icons including yours truly.

patrick coombe social network icons SERPS SEO

Patrick Coombe
Patrick Coombe is the founder and CEO of Elite Strategies Llc. Patrick takes a hands on approach to managing Elite Strategies and loves to get involved with technical projects relating to clients inbound marketing needs.
Patrick Coombe
Patrick Coombe
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  • Written by: Kyle Shalp

    It’s been about 2 days and not a lot of movement. Yes the documentation has been updated since originally rolled out but not sure if they have cast their net wide enough to cover everyone. We’ll see what happens as the days progess.

    • Written by: Patrick Coombe

      Thanks for reading and commenting Kyle 🙂 Yes I haven’t seen much movement either, but I am only tracking a very small set of profiles.

  • Written by: Samuel Aktison

    Tough to say. Would have been nice if you monitored a number of people before this update was done. I do agree with you that this is the direction that they are going in, but until I see social profiles for non musicians / sports / celebs I am going to say it is just non people-entities for now.

    • Written by: Patrick Coombe

      Thanks for commenting Samuel. I am kicking myself, especially because of the fact that I just got finished researching this for brands a few weeks ago. Now that 12 hours have passed and I’ve really had a chance to think about it, I do think they are doing a small % test of the SERPs to see how it goes. In 7 days from now we see it disappear or completely roll out, who knows. I’ll keep my eye on it.

      Edit: I’ve also identified 5 high profile Knowledge Graphs for people that do not have social profiles, to check back in on.

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