One Additonal Reason the Google Knowledge Graph Sucks More

Last summer, I wrote wrote a post 10 Reasons that the Google Knowledge Graph Sucks More than the Local Graph. Thankfully some of the problems noted in that post have been fixed. Not all of them by any means and the lack of consistency, support and feedback is still a huge bugaboo. That being said I have found one more reason that the Google Knowledge graph sucks more.

This is not a problem that is likely to strike the mom and pop local listing or even the local listing for major brands. But if you are a highly prominent “entity” and have a local presence, it could happen to you. It can totally hose a brand’s image with its quirky bugs:

(click to view larger… all of the funky, Google images are for properties owned by Seaworld)

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 3.15.50 PM

The various and sundry Seaworld theme parks (Busch Gardens, Aquatica, Seaworld etc) fall into this category of business that has both a local listing and a knowledge graph. This is similar to museums, famous art galleries and colleges which are local businesses but also can show knowledge graph results. Some searches bring up their knowledge panel and some bring up their local panel. As best as I can figure out the Knowledge panel has some sort of pipeline that feeds it photos added via the new dashboard. The problem is that if one of these famous local businesses upgrades their listing from local to social, that pipeline seems to break resulting in the display you see above. No warnings, no documentation. Its fun for me to discover a bug, not so much for the business.

The answer when you call local support: “They system will get the photos straightened out…. in about a month”.

So far, it’s been 20 days.

I am not even sure how to refer to Google’s “default” image. Perhaps you could suggest a name.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
One Additonal Reason the Google Knowledge Graph Sucks More by

19 thoughts on “One Additonal Reason the Google Knowledge Graph Sucks More”

  1. Out of curiosity do you have any feel for how often potential or real visitors go to seaworld or look it up at google and get this crummy information or dead pictures?

    If google is a major source of visitors and potential visitors to seaworld its inability to show appropriate information is an outrageous impediment to the ongoing success of the enterprise.

    30 days to get a picture correct? Give me a break. That is horrible. That is 30 days of crappy info to potentially thousands of folks.

    They are doing SeaWorld an enormous and costly disservice if they can’t fix this thing.

    SeaWorld could upload an appropriate photo in a jif.

    hmmm if google can’t fix this thing faster I’d want to drop sergie or MC or one of their important folks in the tank with the killer whale. :D

  2. @Dave
    That’s a great question but there are no analytics for how often the Knowledge panel shows versus the local panel. Its a huge number and there appears to be material impacts every time that Google gets it wrong…

  3. Thanks for pointing this out Professor M, completely agree with you. I’ve always thought Google’s ‘default’ image looks like an aerial view of a wrapped gift box. However, I think that’d be misleading in creating a ‘positive’ image for it.

    Hope all is well and keep up the great work, it’s always appreciated!

  4. @Joy
    Thanks for pointing out that post. It’s a doozy.

    I had been planning a second article on photo options/issues with the new dashboard… just didn’t want to confuse that with this problem.

    Although you are right, there is probably a strong internal correlation between the two.

  5. Try this query. It is quite strange but the knowledge graph results (the bad ones) come up sometimes and the local graph results (with the good images) come up others even on branded searches. It is very erratic and unpredictable.

  6. Mike:

    SeaWorld is a big entity. I looked it up. It went public recently. It appears you are speaking of a business with about 30 million visitors/year and about $1.2 billion in annual revenues. (recent financials) http://secfilings.nyse.com/files.php?symbol=seas

    Google is the monopoly provider of information to the world off the web. It’s various algo’s might be fine for inside google but they don’t always work for the outside world.

    With somewhere around 30 million visitors/year there are millions of searches a year by people checking into seaworld at its various locations.

    What are its hours? How much does it cost? Can I park there? Are there nearby hotels, etc etc etc.

    My question is why has google injected itself into the middle of this information hunt. Potential visitors want to find out about seaworld. Its up to SeaWorld to present the info.

    They can do all of that on their website.

    Why is google in the middle of all this? And if google can’t get the information correct why is it presenting a miserable, mistake ridden gobbledygook of information in a highly visible dominant position above that of the website where presumably all the answers are provided.

    Google isn’t charging seaworld to present a “knowledge graph” or a “local graph”…but its presentations are taking people from the website where presumably there is information provided by the SeaWorld entity.

    Consumers can go to the website and access the info. If they can’t get it or don’t understand it, they can contact SeaWorld directly.

    There is direct access….and not some unnecessary intermediary that is both screwing the info up, is not accountable, and can’t correct things quickly.

    So why is google there in the first place?

    Just show the link to the website and let searchers access the information directly from the source and find out information from an accountable entity.

    Google. Don’t get into the middle of this. Definitely don’t do it if you can’t get it right.

    And frankly, google why are you in the middle of this whole thing in the first place???? Unless you are planning on charging everyone for your access?

    Can you give us answers on that google? Will it take you 30 days like it is taking you to solve a problem you shouldn’t be involved in …in the first place.

  7. There is also another odd thing in the Google+ search results. When you search Google+ for [Seaworld Orlando] then select [People and Pages] both of the following pages display the default “Page” icon on the Google+ search results page.

    plus.google.com/s/seaworld%20orlando/people
    plus.google.com/106676451514316920943
    plus.google.com/100615981430247384965

    Surely there is a way for Google to get those results updated for the active page that really does have a “Profile” image associated with the page.

  8. @Kaleh
    Thanks so much for looking at the issues.

    Those various seaworld pages that you noted are both company and non company created. However, this is happening to all of their SeaWorld , Busch Gardens, Discovery Cove and Aquatica properties and those don’t have the spurious +Pages.

    Initially it was just showing on the two listings that had been upgraded from the dashboard to Plus. As soon as the other properties were upgraded it started happening on each of them as well. Thus I don’t think that it has to do with having those extraneous pages.

    What is of interest is that sometimes a minor variation on search phrases like “aquatica theme park” and “aquatica theme parks” will surface differnt photo results. With one showingthe Maltese Cross images and the other will not.

    It seems to be some sort of Dashboard to Knowledge Graph pipeline bug.

  9. Ahhh … sorry that my observations didn’t seem to have anything to do with the problem on Google’s side.

    I do like the “Maltese Cross” reference for yet another “thing” on Google that we don’t have a good way to communicate about. That’s easier than referring to it as the “default Google Pages profile image.” :-)

  10. Google’s Image = Broken window

    People try to look in and see what your business is all about, but the window is broken so they look elsewhere to a business with nice photos :)

    As always, great post Mike!

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