So. The thing about Verification is, it’s a big secret. It’s an ‘open’ secret. It’s something that the people ‘in-the-know’, or who have ‘connections,’ can get for themselves. Well, I don’t like that shit. So here’s how Verification on Google works, as well as how to generate the damn Google Knowledge Panel in the first place.
Please note: Everything I’m about to tell you is legal, on-the-level, and won’t get you in trouble. This is how Google Knowledge Panels are generated for a lot of people, and you’re not going to be doing anything wrong, or underhanded, doing it this way.
This process works. You can look up my own panel, if you want. It might disappear someday, but, right now, it looks like this: 「Link to my Google Knowledge Panel」
Please note that these panels can also be generated by simply publishing music on one of the many platforms that the Google Knowledge Panel recognizes. For what those are, you’re gonna have to find out that information yourself: sorry. I’ve never gone that route, and, as such, can’t give you any expert advice there.
Before we begin: you’re going to need Carl Hendy’s Google Knowledge Panel Search tool for this. Trust me: it’ll make searching for where your panel is, a lot easier; and it’ll make it easy for you to see when it’s made.
Preparation for Getting a Google Knowledge Panel
Pick a unique username, and a unique pseudonym, or your own name. Google your username, and your name, in quotation marks. Like “username”, and then, in another search, your full name. “Full Name”. If, in the searches, your username and/or name are getting confused with somebody else, you’re gonna have extra trouble generating a Google Knowledge Panel for yourself. You want to have a unique username, and a unique pseudonym, to make this process a lot easier on yourself. As a hilarious aside: I didn’t know that there was a person named Margaret Geller. Oops. Doesn’t matter though, since I currently rank higher than her on autocomplete. So you can overcome something like that. How? People just have to search for you more. I managed to rank higher than her just from searching my own name daily, trying to see if the Google Knowledge Panel was showing or not.
Got your username and pseudonym picked out? Cool.
Publish a book on Google Books.
It’s that easy. Make sure that the book title is unique. You’re going to need it to be, to even find the panel in the first place. See that in action here.
I found this panel by googling “Dragons: the Anunnaki”. That led me to this panel. You see where it says “Author”? That’s a hyperlink of my name. Click that. That’s the panel.
Unfortunately, sometimes, when you try to claim a panel like this, Google will e-mail you back and tell you that they cannot find it. So, what do you do, then?
It’s fairly simple.
Making Google’s A.I. Understand Who You Are
It’s often said that Google uses A.I. Maybe they do; maybe they don’t. I tend to think of it as being like this:
But who knows. The reality of the situation, is, Google’s Google Knowledge Panel Generator, whatever it is, understands things best when you feed it the same data. So how do you do that?
Make an account on every social media platform that you can, esp. the ones that Google recognizes, and have it have the same username, the same name, and the same bio. Format the bio thusly: “[Name] is a(n) occupation.” Anything else you put after it is gravy. It doesn’t matter. That’s how the bio line of my Panel was generated. Take a look at it again, in action:
This is why having the same username and name are important.
So: how do we customize this? You know what? Let’s go over how you claim a Knowledge Panel, first.
When your Knowledge Panel is generated, you’re going to see this. Click the “Claim this knowledge panel” button.
Now, you’re going to see this:
Click “GET VERIFIED”.
Now, the next part is very important:
IN THE UPPER-RIGHT CORNER OF THIS CREEN, YOU WILL SEE WHAT ACCOUNT YOU’RE CLAIMING THIS PANEL FROM. MAKE SURE THIS IS THE ACCOUNT YOU WANT TO CLAIM THIS PANEL FROM. BECAUSE IT IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE IMPOSSIBLE TO CHANGE THE ACCOUNT ASSOCIATED WITH THE PANEL. IF YOU CHANGE IT, YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH GOOGLE TECH SUPPORT, AND YOU KNOW THE CHANCES OF BEING HELPED THERE.
Thankfully, the “Tell us why you are claiming this Knowledge Panel” section is not as strict and exacting as, say, Facebook or Twitter’s expectations. You can just say, “I am this person in the knowledge panel.” Since Margaret Gel is not my legal name in America, I explained that I’m trans, and Margaret Gel is my chosen name. This means that you can get Verified on Google if you’re trans. So don’t worry about that.
PUT YOUR FULL LEGAL NAME, IN THE EXACT FORM THAT IT APPEARS ON YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE. Because you’re going to be taking a selfie with your driver’s license, in the next step.
READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO A T. This means obscuring parts of the document (probably your driver’s license) as you’re being instructed to. Read this and get it right, because I think it really matters. Also, they said ‘please’. So that’s nice.
The next step is probably the easiest, but it’s also the most-confusing for me. This is also part of why it’s so important to have the same username, pseudonym, and profile information across the board. Because you’re going to be using your social media as social proof.
You can add as many as 5 social profiles here. I got Verified on Google with 2. The more the merrier. Just make sure that you have a strong case for each: demonstrate, in the screenshots, that you’re both logged-in and you have editing privileges for the pages. That might mean opening up a ‘Create new post’ box and taking a screenshot of the entire page; it might mean just showing a picture of your timeline, like on Twitter. Make sure you get your profile information in the screenshot. On Twitter, you can do both at once; just as you can on Facebook. So maybe use those.
Here are the screenshots I used, to give you an example of what they probably want; or, at least, what works:
Another good example is:
Make sure that the screenshots you send in are all, cumulatively, below 3 MB in size, and are JPGs. You can use PNGs, but PNGs are going to inflate the file sizes to a level that no one is going to be equipped to deal with very easily. So just don’t.
Before you submit, make absolutely certain that all the URLs to social media profiles that you’ve submitted, resolve. Copy what you’ve put in the boxes, paste them into your browser, and make sure they lead where you think they should. This makes the process easier for everyone.
Send it. I got Verified in less than 3 days.
Now: let’s talk about customization.
Customizing Your Google Knowledge Panel
Here are the things that I know how to customize. The rest, you’re going to have to go to someone else, ’cause I don’t know. This is as far as I’ve gotten, and I can’t think of anything more to add. So I’m happy wif it. c:
Initially, you’ll only have your chosen pseudonym, as has appeared as the author of your book, as the panel:
So how do you expand this? Well, it’s simple: you need a Fandom.com wiki. (See how I said that having a unique pseudonym helps?)
Using either your unique username, or your pseudonym, make a Fandom wiki with that name. Like, [thatname.fandom.com]. On that Wiki, put all your social media links, and the phrase you came up with before: [Name] is a(n) [occupation]. Make sure this matches all your other social media profiles. This is how the ‘algorithm’ finds you!
On that wiki, make a page for yourself, under the name your Google Knowledge Panel is under. Take a look at the structure of mine: https://icze4r.fandom.com/wiki/Margaret_Gel
Google will take the ‘lede’ (the first couple of sentences before the table of contents) and put it as the description of your Google Knowledge Panel.
While you’re doing this, or even before, hopefully, you have your own domain name, with your chosen, unique name. Register the .com, .net, and .org of this name. I have MargaretGel.com; MargaretGel.net; and MargaretGel.org. The domain names are personally ugly to me, but they work. And “Margaret Gel” sounds like some sort of fashion magazine, or at least a perfume brand. 😛
On your website, make an About page. All it has to be named is “About [your name]”. Put that in the title, as well.
You should put “[Name] is a(n) [occupation]” here, as well, but I didn’t need to. Just know that that line is the thing that keys Google’s ear to join all your data together.
And that’s how Google will find your website, and associate it wif your knowledge panel. c:
How to Get your Social Media Profiles in your Google Knowledge Panel
This is simple, and easier than you think. Once you’ve claimed your panel, and you’re Verified on Google, here’s what you do:
Click “Feedback” on your panel. Click “Other”.
Just tell them what your accounts are. They’ll put ’em in there! No foolin’!
You can get your birthdate in there just by putting it in your Fandom page, or by saying it on your social media profiles, in the format of: [Name] is a(n) [occupation]. [They] were born [birthdate].
It’s that simple.
Other Things You Can Do to Strengthen Your Panel
Google recognizes a lot of information sources, the most-common being Wikipedia and Wikidata. Don’t fuck around with either. They’re not going to get you anything lasting, and Wikipedians are not nice people. No one can take a book away from you, when you publish it. That’s yours. There’s lasting, staying power, there.
Make accounts on the following services, all with the same username, pseudonym/real name, and profile/bio:
- Myspace (yep)
Bold entries are the social media profiles that Google recognizes, and will put there, in your social media profiles section.
Crunchbase, at first, was the first source for the description in my Panel. Instagram was second. Finally, my own Fandom profile was the last, and is the current one. These things change. You can’t control your Panel completely— but, you can go pretty far.
Things to Know
After you claim your panel, it’s probably going to disappear. This is how it works. If you don’t want this to happen, maybe don’t claim it. Because, once you’re Verified, they seem to hold you to a ‘higher’ standard, and your profile won’t show up for most searches, if any. I’m assuming they want you to get to another, ‘higher’ level of fame, before they bother to show your profile. I don’t know! This thing is wacky!
This happens to a lot of people, and no one, as of yet, knows how to fix it, without jumping through a lot of hoops. Probably the best way to fix it is to have a Wikipedia page made about you; but, that’s risky, and Wikipedians are just plain mean. Don’t make a Wikipedia page for yourself. That’s a fool’s game.
How Wikipedia pages generate Google Knowledge Panels, is like this: The title of the panel is taken from the Wikipedia page, and matched to a Wikidata page, that marks the person as a Human. That’s all it takes; that’s how it works. Wikidata might also help you get your official website in the Knowledge Panel, but I can’t say for sure. It absolutely does not work for populating the Panel with your social media profiles.
Interestingly, after my social media profiles got input into the panel, my panel now shows up for my name, every search. (◕ᴗ◕✿)
And that’s how you do it. Good luck, and have fun! c(◕ᴗ◕✿)
By the way— if all else fails, look at Wikidata, and Bing Pages. Look how to sign up at Bing Pages. Bing Pages can show up as the description of your Google Knowledge Panel, and might even generate a Panel by itself.
The biography you can submit for your own IMDb page can also sometimes appear as the description of your Google Knowledge Panel.
There are lots of ways you can do this, as you can see. And I’ve probably not listed them all!
UPDATE: It would appear that putting information in your Google Author bio for your book also populates the Google Knowledge Panel. It may need to be corroborated on the Entity Home on the panel, though (the website the Google Knowledge Panel picks). I’m trying that, but I largely am just done with this thing.
It would seem that Google does not like Fandom pages and personal websites. So, the end result is, if you want one of these, you’ll constantly be checking, and then re-adjusting for whatever is being done to it. For the rest of your life. Google deletes shit, including entire panels, at their own whim.
The thing I noticed first wif dis was that the description for the thing kept on changing, and, this morning, it just plain disappeared… as in, it stopped showing up in a search for my name. It still resolves when called through a search?kgmid=/g/11rc4v6ybp.
The biggest problem wif panels is that they disappear. There are several reasons this could happen, First and foremost, somebody from Google probably read this, and then did something about it. There are manual actions that they apparently can take. So, before you get one of these, ask yourself this— do you really wanna babysit this thing? I don’t. Almost typed babyshit
I have to admit that I’m sad, though. I’ve been waking up the past few days at 8am, just before I water my flowers, and checking to see how the panel has changed. To see it just fuck off is disappointing. :<
But, hey. It’s still there. You just can’t usually see it without a direct link. Damn!
If you want to keep chasing dis thing, here are some additional resources: https://kalicube.pro/knowledge-graph-explorer
And just plain read what Jason Barnard is doing. He loves figuring this stuffs out, and, quite frankly, I think I’m kinda done wif dis. 😛
The purpose of figuring it out was never to maintain it, as it’s always going to be outside of my control. I wanted to get to the mountaintop, and… just like usual, there’s nothing up there.
It may or may not ever come back when I search my own name— it does so randomly; but that could probably just be caching delays on their end. But, I think that I’m just kinda… done? If it can randomly just fuck off, then forget about it.
Thing is, though, it’s still there. Just, kinda neutered. No description; just, Margaret Gel, Writer; About; my website here; my birthdate; social media profiles.
Though, honestly, if it stays like that, that might be advantageous. . . because then nobody can fuck around and write goofy shit about me and put it in the panel. (´•ω•｀)
I have to admit, though, that I wanna pway wif it a little bit more.
I just don’t know what to do wif it? 😕
I think the time right now ight be to do something worthwhile wif my existence. (´•ω•｀)
UPDATE 2: It’s back, a day later. They seem to update around 8am, or at least sometime around there, because I get up at 8am every day and there’s always a change.
Googoo Knowledge Panels are not something you should bank on, or place your emotional happiness on. Because, these things change— A LOT— and, even if you think you’ve got it down… at the end of the day, somebody you don’t even know can just delete parts of it. And you have no real recourse.