Google is testing sponsored ad placement in Knowledge Graph search results. As detailed in Search Engine Roundtable, SEOBook’s Aaron Wall spotted the new format earlier this week in a search. Wall noted that the ad’s stand-alone panel replicated the look of an organic Knowledge Graph, bumping the rest of the search results further down the page. While ads are not entirely new to Knowledge Graph, in the past they have been location-specific and their placement less prominent.
Clicking the “i” icon next to the Sponsored tag brings up a pop-up message that reads “Based on your search query, we think you are trying to find a product. Clicking in this box will show you results from providers who can fulfill your request. Google may be compensated by some of these providers.”
Knowledge Graph was introduced by Google in 2012 as a way for to generate more meaningful and relevant search results for users. The aim was to allow Google to move toward a new method of searching for “entities” or concepts rather than for specific pages.
The new ad format could be a positive development for B2B brands looking to dominate the brand-specific search space. Knowledge Graph has been a useful tool to B2B marketers since its launch two years ago. A Beach Head Marketing article from 2012 wrote:
“When users who already know about you search your brand they will get instant information on who you are, where you are, what you do and what others think about you. This is powerful information which can quickly shape a person’s opinion on your brand. If they like what they see, people will likely be more inclined to learn more about you and your products/services.”
Knowledge Graph aims to provide easy to digest information and highlights any recent content activity, which could make blogging and other content marketing initiatives a vital component for standing out in search engine results.