Tag Archives: Google Plus

A few good things to know about Google’s knowledge graph

Tiziano Ferro Knowledge Graph Search Result
Tiziano Ferro Knowledge Graph Search Result including event rich snippet and Google+ data! Click to enlarge.

I just finished documenting Google’s new display of fact boxes in selected search results, enabled through Google’s use of what it calls a knowledge graph, as preparation for the next edition of my SEO Course (June 13 & 14). I thought I’d share a few of the salient points communicators probably should know:

  • Google fact boxes, created from their knowledge graph, are limited to selected searches conducted in English on Google.com. I put in English in italics as query terms are often ambiguous. The term marketing, along with variants like web marketing have entered many languages, including my adopted Italian. Other terms, such as names, e.g. Tiziano Ferro, do not explicitly indicate the user’s search language.
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Facebook is the preferred tool for conveying birthday greetings in the digital age

Birthday greetings by digital platform
Birthday Greetings Distribution in the Digital Age

There’s one day a year where we all feel kind of special… our day, if you will. Well sure, perhaps we do have to share it with others, but its more or less our day.

As an analog native who still remembers receiving birthday cards delivered by the postman, I’m really impressed by how efficiently digital communications tools like Facebook and Skype enable people to acknowledge another person on their special day with a birthday greeting.

So how do people prefer to send greetings today? In what is admittedly a very unscientific survey, it seems most use Facebook’s post to wall or timeline feature – at 77%, Facebook knows how to engage people and it shows. A few, 3.6%, used Facebook’s chat feature, a more private way to send greetings.

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Google removing <link> support for Direct Connect rel=publisher verification?

Google+ LogoIn my original look at Google’s authorship attribution markup, I mentioned that I would like to have seen support for the less invasive <link> syntax as an alternative to having to promote Google+ with active clickable links on our own web pages (I love Google+, but that is another story).

Google did actually support this feature when they later introduced Google+ Pages and the associated rel=publisher markup for Google’s Direct Connect, excellent!

A Google employee reached out to call my attention the fact that several of the points I made in a November authorship article are no longer true. In the process of updating the article, I wanted to see if anything had changed regarding support for linking from an author’s site to Google+ using <link> instead of <a>… and I find that Google seems to have taken a step backwards on this front.


Google’s authorship rel=”author” markup: unfairly promoting Google+?

In June 2011 Google introduced a way for content authors to enhance the display of their articles in Google search results by associating a photo and an author byline to the result. The addition of author information in search results continues Google’s rich snippets implementation, a concept originally introduced by Yahoo as enhanced results.

In implementing authorship markup, Google said they’ve used existing standards such as the anchor and link tag attribute rel=”author” from HTML5 (in reality, rel="author" has actually been around for a while) and the XFN (XHTML Friends Network) defined attribute rel="me".

Google search result with author photo and link
Figure 1: A Google search result with authorship markup; this case includes Google+ follower count


Google+ data liberation: a promise not yet fulfilled

Ever notice how MS Office can import umpteen different document formats but export options are pretty much limited to Microsoft formats (by the way, rtf is a Microsoft format)? This is by design. Smart companies have realized that data is an asset, to use strategically, including as a barrier to keep customers from jumping to the competition.

Why data portability does really matter

The ability to transfer data from one application to another, data portability, is becoming an issue for users on the social web as they try to find the social and business contacts they cultivated on one social site on other social websites. Contacts accumulated in Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and similar sites don’t happen by chance. They’re the fruit of socializing with friends and professional networking over time: activity such as photographing the moment, speaking at conferences, contributing at barcamps, and, why not, just being simpatico. Activities people do, not Facebook, not LinkedIn, not Google+. A social website is just a container, albeit a significant container. If a user has worked hard to fill the container, they should be able to transfer their contents, at will. That includes priceless contact information which has been shared with them. The user shouldn’t be locked into the container.

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