When was the last time you did a Google vanity search? If you are a public figure, representing an organization and noteworthy enough to have a Wikipedia entry, you will probably also have a Google knowledge panel. These information boxes appear on the right-hand side of the search results. The Google knowledge panels are generally based on the Wikipedia pages and are designed to give a quick snapshot of information on a person, an organization or a place.
The knowledge panel of former U.S. President Barack Obama includes a link to his website, the first paragraph from his Wikipedia entry, his date and place of birth, height, his party affiliation, and the names of his parents.
The panel also includes books he has authored including his memoirs with a link to their respective Wikipedia entries or Google Books. And finally, the panel lists his social media profiles and suggests other persons people also search for such as his wife, Michelle Obama, current President Joe Biden and his predecessors.
Interestingly, Barack Obama has not yet claimed his knowledge panel like many other world leaders, blissfully unaware of this possibility. However leaders and organizations would be well advised to claim their knowledge panels by simply clicking on the link at the bottom of the box. Using their social media channels YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter they can get verified and enhance their presence on Google.
Claiming the panel allows prominent individuals to suggest changes to information that appears on search, including images, stats, or other facts, according to Google. While you cannot control all the content that appears in the information box, you can somehow influence the narrative. Those who have claimed their knowledge panel can even select a featured image from images available on the web. And finally, you will need a Google account (Gmail or YouTube) in order to claim the panel, but it’s definitely worth it.