Google Knowledge Update
Brand Your Band
If you’re a musician and/or in a band, you probably already use social media to engage with and attract fans. This post isn’t about how to do that. Rather, it’s for what Google now shows (including social media) in their knowledge graphs and panels when users search for your branded name. I’m calling it Google’s Knowledge Update, and you can even share it! More on that below.
Excited so far? Good! Here’s more.
First, Google yourself or band and see if the results look updated or more organized. Bands are brands to Google. Let them brand you! The bigger your band is to them, the bigger your brand is to them. As of this writing, this change may still be rolling out.
Since we’re talking about Google knowledge graphs and panels, I should show you what they are. Google knowledge panels are elements of Google knowledge graphs that appear in search results which are more organized in their Knowledge Update. Or, a visual and proof I’ll never be a graphic designer:
Searching Google for any company name, not to mention musicians, actors, or athletes have always just been what so many of us do. Maybe it’s a lazy thing to not type in “.com”. I don’t know. With Google’s new knowledge update, these branded search results may now be more visual and organized for you to click on exactly what you’re looking for. In a way it can be like a perfect free home page that you can claim.
This new update integrates new design and data elements for celebrities, musicians, universities, actors, and other authority-type figures. I first noticed this from a recent LocalU article.
The tabs in the top nav knowledge panel is brand new. I checked my alma mater and their panel even blends in with the CWU school colors!
The image above just shows my alma mater, but the look and the categories change depending on your search. Where universities have tabs like Cost, Programs, and Notable alumni, bands and musicians may have tabs like songs, albums, listening options, and sometimes even tabs for interviews, and different movies and musical groups members are (or have been) in.
In addition, Google’s visual is more prominent in their design element. Here’s some more under The Hold Steady info.
This would be done with Google’s AI, but they’re able to identify and time what they consider important areas of the video itself. I was surprised by this!
For local bands and musicians, I consider Google as The Helper. Not all bands even have websites and that’s fine! If you have info out there, Google will pick it up. It’s just knowing the different sources that Google pulls their data.
Most of the info you see with the exception of organic search results come from licensed data from 3rd parties, publicly available information, and your own content that Google has indexed. Google’s AI does their best to provide all this in the best way for the user in one simple branded search.
A few general data sources can be Wikipedia, Bandcamp, Spotify (yep, Spotify) and your official band website. There are more. These are just the ones I initially see.
Most local bands and musicians have Bandcamp sites for obvious reasons. Get your music out there! Whether it’s displayed in the results or not, Google picks up this info. Here’s info displayed for local artists portal iii which is currently a knowledge panel displayed on their knowledge graph.
Yep, Spotify. Both Bandcamp and Spotify are large enough that Google considers them valuable data sources to use and display for their users. Here’s the Google knowledge graph for Elle PF.
They take this info from their Spotify artist bio. It almost looks hand-picked right from the middle of it.
Protip: Unless there’s a specific reason not to, it’s a good idea to keep your artist bios consistent across the different music platforms you use. Google likes consistency, and sometimes it’s just best to do what Google likes.
How do I get our info up in these ways?
The good news is you already may be doing most of this.
First, claim Your Profile. You can scroll down on any device and often see the option to do so. You should definitely do this, if at least to help stop others from putting in erroneous info.
In the search engine marketing world, it’s common that if you produce great content, links and overall interest will have a natural way for both people and Google to love you. If your content sucks, not so much.
The same principle can apply to musicians. Great music can provide you some very beneficial Google love. If it’s not great, again, not so much. With that said, music is SO SUBJECTIVE! How does Google know what’s great and what’s Trapt?
Disclaimer: I have written plenty of sucky music before so I’d probably fall into the latter.
Engaging in different social media channels to attract fans is nothing new. I’m sure you’re already doing this! Google just happens to now be a little better at picking these up to display your channels. The more active and engaging you are, the more visible and up-to-date you’re displayed as shown in this partial Google result for Careful Gaze.
You can see that Twitter updates aren’t just for fellow Twitter users. They can also be for Google searchers who are searching your name. They keep it current, too!
Note, it’s not new for up-to-date Twitter posts to be in Google results. It just really integrates well now with their new updates.
Of course, keep on using social media to engage with fans and followers. Google keeps your displayed content pretty current, especially for users who just google your name. Plus, many your social profiles tend to be towards the top of search results so you get even more branded exposure. All this displays a larger number of choices that fits users particular interests.
Share your Google Knowledge page!
I mean, it’s not a bad idea. These pages are mostly seen by users who search for your name. Why not give them the choice of what site, music platform, or social media channel that they’re interested in? Here’s a sharing visual option for Durry.
You can share this link wherever you put content. In fact, in this post I actually linked to all mentioned artists’ knowledge panels when mentioning their names!
You can also edit your panel by clicking “send feedback” from the same 3-dot vertical link. Note, anyone with a Google account can do this so it makes sense for you to be proactive and ensure correct info is displayed.
Since Google uses all of these 3rd party sources for their results, you know that they have your data and I just hope you’re cool with it. Even embrace it and let Google Brand your band or self!
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