Web Reviews in Google's Knowledge Graph: The Growing Prominence of Third Party Reviews
You know Knowledge Graphs, those nifty-looking, specialized search results from Google? Here are a few visual refreshers in case you need them:
When users conduct a brand search (like one for our favorite local pizza joint, OTTO), Knowledge Graphs are usually displayed on the right hand column of the Google search results page:
These search results offer relevant information to users right on Google, meaning searchers don’t always have to click through to another site to get the info they want. Recently, Google has added third party reviews of companies to their Knowledge Graphs. This change further increases the prominence and visibility of your company’s reviews for searchers online. Here’s what that looks like:
At Energy Circle, we’ve always been big advocates for paying close attention to your reviews and effectively managing your reputation online (see exhibit A, exhibit B, exhibit C and exhibit D). Was the move to add third party reviews to Knowledge Graphs coincidental with these sites’ increasingly good rankings in organic search? Very likely. This update, yet another one that adds a buffer between your customers and your website, presents both a challenge and an opportunity to companies dedicated to comfortable, healthy, efficient buildings. Here’s why:
Which reviews are showing up?
Here’s what we’re observing about which review sites’ reviews are most often showing up in Knowledge Graphs. This is based on a 100+ set of companies spanning the home performance, HVAC, insulation, solar and remodelling industries:
There’s been an unequivocal boost in Facebook reviews showing up in Knowledge Graphs and organic results for branded searches. Facebook reviews seem particularly dominant among HVAC providers.
HomeAdvisor reviews are a strong contender among insulation provider Knowledge Graphs.
Other prominent review sites
Other prominent review sites coming up include Customer Lobby, Houzz, Yellow Pages and Review Buzz.
Reviews that customers leave directly on a company’s website, when properly formatted with schema, do occasionally appear in the Knowledge Graphs. On our platform designed for companies in the HVAC, home performance and green building industries, all on-site reviews have schematic formatting in place to maximize the chances your on-site reviews will show up in your company’s search results and Knowledge Graph.
Many companies are finding that the review sites showing up in their Knowledge Graph are unheard of, or certainly unexpected. Every heard of iCastle? Does is make sense that an HVAC contractor would be listed in the beauty contest that is Houzz? All the more reason to check your specific results.
This is an opportunity! Here’s what you should be doing
Firstly, check your company’s Knowledge Graph by just Googling your company name. What reviews are showing up, and from which sites? Are these reviews positive, negative, neutral? Next, check your organic search engine results (example screenshot below). In those results, which review sites are showing up first? Are your reviews on those sites positive and plentiful, or would it be better to get more?
Now that you’re aware of which sites are of highest priority for your company’s search results, send your happy customers to leave you reviews there! Consider tactics like leveraging your customer email email list or leaving instructions for customers after a house visit that tell them how to write a review on one of these sites.
To give you an extra boost to high-priority review sites, our team provides software and support for review management, including customer list uploads and outreach, negative review filtering, and on-site review publishing. By sending satisfied customers to these high-priority review sites, you’ll enhance the quality of service conveyed by your Knowledge Panel and increase the likelihood of a searcher turning into a customer.