Published on Search Engine Journal October 26, 2021 (Jason Barnard)
If your podcast does not have a knowledge panel yet, make sure your RSS feed adheres to Google’s rules
What Are Podcast Knowledge Panels?
Google began showing a specific podcast knowledge panel on October 12, 2021. It displays the podcast name, image, and description on the right sidebar. As of October 25, there is no link within the knowledge panel to listen to the podcast.
Which Podcasts Got a Knowledge Panel?
Over 50% of podcasts got a knowledge panel overnight. And they sprang from the Google Podcast Knowledge Graph vertical. RSS seems to be the key: Your feed into Google Podcasts is key. Google applied new, stricter rules for podcast feeds a couple of months ago, and Mordy Oberstein and Azeem Ahmad suggested that was the precursor to what happened on the 12th of October.
It seems that podcasts that adhere to those rules have gotten a knowledge panel. That’s not firm data, it’s an observation, but it seems fair enough to assume. In sum, this is a promotion for Google Podcasts, putting it on a par with Google Books and Google Scholar for triggering knowledge panels.
Before this update, about 10% of podcasts had a knowledge panel. That’s according to data from Kalicube Pro (which tracks about 500 podcasts). Now they all trigger thanks to other sources, such as Wikipedia, or IMDB. And the podcast knowledge panels that existed before have largely stayed the same.
If My Podcast Didn’t Get a Knowledge Panel, How Can I Get One?
Make sure that your RSS feed adheres to Google’s rules. If you do that, you will probably trigger a knowledge panel at some point. Also, it won’t happen immediately: there will be a process of digestion from Google before it will give you that knowledge panel. So be patient. I also advise that you create an Entity Home.
You need to provide an Entity Home so that Google can reconcile all of this information about your entity (the podcast being the entity). If you want to know more, check out this article on Entity Home SEO to help you understand the concept of Entity Home and its role in knowledge panel management.
Do Knowledge Panels Always Appear for a Search on the Podcast Name?
No. Even if it doesn’t appear, that doesn’t mean to say your podcast doesn’t have a knowledge panel you might want to search for “SEO podcasts,” for example (or whatever category your podcast falls under). Then you can look at the carousel that might actually show you the knowledge panel.
Examples of podcasts where the knowledge panel does appear directly on the name of the podcast: Edge of the Web, Search Off The Record, With Jason Barnard, and more.
This seems to be linked to having a clear Entity Home that isn’t on Google Podcasts. But also based on ambiguity: for example, Everyone Hates Marketers doesn’t trigger the knowledge panel, even though they have one. I think because the name is ambiguous.
About 30% of podcasts currently trigger a knowledge panel on a search on the podcast name. That is according to Kalicube Pro data.
Can I Claim My Podcast Knowledge Panel?
No, you can’t unless it was triggered by another source. So if yours has been triggered by something other than the Google Podcasts update from October 12, you can probably claim it. If you can’t, just wait – it will come.
Where Does the Description for a Podcast Knowledge Panel Come From?
It is taken from the description you provide in your feed. This means you have total control over the description that appears in your knowledge panel for the moment. So make sure that the description is great!
Can I Enrich the Contents of My Podcast Knowledge Panel?
Yes! Right now, the knowledge panels that have been triggered by this Google Podcasts update on October 12 have not been enriched, but it’s very early yet. If you create an Entity Home, you can provide additional information above and beyond what’s included in the RSS feed.
By providing that information on the Entity Home and getting corroborative information all around the web, you will be able to push additional information into your knowledge panel. I would suggest you start now because even if you can’t enrich it right away, you will be able to enrich it over time. So, now is the time to start!
This is really big news in the knowledge panel world that I live in, and I’m really excited. It’s the biggest news of 2021 so far for knowledge panels. Expect more in 2022!