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How to get a Google Knowledge Panel for Musicians

When searching for your favourite bands and musicians on Google, you’ve probably noticed that many have a panel dedicated to their music on the right-hand side of the first results page. This is called a Google Knowledge Panel.

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Google Knowledge Panels (also known as Google Knowledge Graphs) are filled with all the essential stuff you want your fans to see, including images, your artist bio, tour dates, social profiles, songs, albums and more.

They’re a great way to help new listeners get to know you at glance. Here's a good example from singer-songwriter Tash Sultana:

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How to get a Google Knowledge Graph for musicians

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Think of it as an overview of your artist and music brand, but one that appears at the top of Google search!

Having one could not only benefit you in terms of increasing your discovery on Google, it can also really help to improve your overall brand reputation and perception. 

But how do you get one?

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How to get a music Google Knowledge Panel

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Check out our step-by-step video tutorial down below or read on to learn more!

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The first thing you should know is that Google will decide for itself how to display your panel. So you will need to use some SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques to make sure it can access all the information it needs.

You should also be aware that this isn’t an exact science, and getting a Knowledge Panel really depends on how well-known you are within the music world. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the steps you can take to give yourself the best chance of success.

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Set up your Google accounts

The first and most obvious way to make sure Google knows who you are is to tell them directly via your Google accounts. There are a few ways to do this, and while these methods alone won’t guarantee a panel, they're a good place to start…

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Log in to your Google account or create a new one

Pretty self-explanatory.

But once you're logged into your Google account, you’ll need to stay logged in to the same account as you complete the next steps.

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Create & edit a Google Brand account

By creating a Google Brand account, you’re essentially letting Google know you exist and that you are a band or musician. You don’t have to actively engage with your account once you’re set up, but you’ll need to do a few things at first.

You should manage and edit your brand account so it contains all the essential info about you and your music, including links to your website, social media profiles and any more information you can add.

When trying to secure a knowledge panel, Google considers the quality, quantity & legitimacy of the information on your Google Brand account. So make sure you’ve provided as much information as you can and set your brand account to public, so Google can easily access and view it. 

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Link your brand account to YouTube

Importantly - also make sure to tie your Google brand account to your YouTube channel. This will make sure all of the information displayed on your YouTube channel is linked to your Google brand account, rather than your own personal Google account. 

To do this…

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account.

  2. Go to your channel list

  3. Click the ‘create a new channel’ button

  4. Fill out the details to name the Brand Account and verify your account

<br>Get your music on YouTube Music

Uploading your music to YouTube Music is a great idea whether or not your main aim is to get a Knowledge Panel. There’s no real evidence to suggest that getting your tracks on Google’s official music streaming platform is required for the purpose of this post, but there’s absolutely no harm in doing it anyway. It can only help your chances.

If you haven’t already, you can get music on YouTube Music through Ditto Music.

Importantly - also make sure to tie your Google brand account to your YouTube channel. This will make sure all of the information displayed on your YouTube channel is linked to your Google brand account, rather than your own personal Google account. 

To do this…

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account

  2. Go to your channel list.

  3. Click the ‘create a new channel’ button

  4. Fill out the details to name the Brand Account and verify your account

  5. After you click ‘create’ this will then create your Brand Account

<br>Register your website with Google Search Console

Another important step, strongly recommended by Google themselves, is connecting your band website to your Brand Account via the Google Search Console tool.

This action verifies that you own your website and makes an official connection between your brand and website that Google will recognise.

This also comes in handy down the line, as once you’ve been recognised as the genuine representative of your brand, you can suggest changes for your knowledge panel directly to Google in future.

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Publish a Wikipedia page

A published Wikipedia page is a great way to show off your reputability as a band or artist. What’s more, Google uses Wikipedia to source the bio information for its Knowledge Graph, so getting one is a big step toward securing your panel.

However, securing a Wikipedia page for your music isn’t straightforward. The site has strictly enforced rules for the creation of new pages. Put simply, the page needs to be neutral and your music needs to be notable & verifiable. But what exactly does this mean?

Wikipedia states that articles must be from a non-biased source. This means it can’t be to a promotional page for your music, but rather a factual resource detailing your music career. To avoid a conflict of interest, it might be a good idea to get a fan or friend to write the page and upload it for you.

The information you provide must also be verifiable. This means it must be backed up by a reliable, 3rd party source, for example, a media publication rather than your band’s website.

Perhaps most importantly, your music must be notable. This term may be subjective, but Wikipedia offer the following examples of what 'notable' means to them.

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<p style="padding: 20px; color: #000000; background-color: #f8f9fa; border: 3px solid #000000; text-align: center;">- Multiple articles covering your music or a tour<br><br>- Albums or singles in the official charts<br><br>- Prominence within a certain genre or sub-culture<br><br>- Award or competition wins or nominations<br><br>- Your music featured in another form of media, eg. TV shows, movies, games<br><br>- Involvement in political activism or controversy<br><br>- Worked with other famous figures<br><br>- Performed at major festivals or well-known venues</p>

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Tip: It’s also worth creating an entry on Wikidata.org as well as Wikipedia. Wikidata has more structured entry fields, and Google relies on data for its Knowledge Panel from both resources.

 

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Publish a MusicBrainz entry

MusicBrainz is another resource that Google uses to find information about bands and artists. It’s similar to Wikipedia, but focussed purely around musicians.

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How to get a Google Knowledge Graph for musicians

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The site has its own guidelines for additions, which you can check out here before you create an account and contribute.

Firstly, check that you’re not already featured on the site, and if not, add all your band or artist details to the database, including your website and any album or song information available. 

Remember to be as comprehensive as possible and follow all of the rules to make sure your entry is accepted.

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Optimise your images

Right at the top of every music Knowledge Panel, you can see images of the band or artist you’ve searched for.

Exactly how Google chooses these images isn’t public knowledge, but there are some techniques you can use to optimise the images so Google recognises them as you.

Upload plenty of high-quality images to your website and make sure your band or artist name is in the image's file name and alt text. 

For example, if your band’s name was 'Cool Band', before you upload an image, rename it to something like:

cool-band-press-shot.jpg

Then when you come to upload it to your site, set the alt text to ‘Cool Band Press Shot’. If you use a common CMS (content management system) like WordPress, you should see an alt text field to fill in when uploading your image. However, if for some reason this isn’t available, you can set your alt text in your site’s HTML code, within the img tags.

I’d also recommend you try to get any media publications who publish your images to do the same thing, or at least provide images with optimised file names.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that images on your Google Brand account and YouTube thumbnails may also be used on your Knowledge Graph.

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Optimise your social media & streaming profiles

As well as optimising your images, you should approach your social media images and artist bio profiles in a similar fashion.

If you’re already sharing your music across multiple social media and online music platforms, then it’s likely that you’ll come up in the top 3 or 4 results when you perform a Google search. 

Releasing your music and scattering your brand across a number of platforms is one of the best ways to begin showing up on Google’s search radar. 

But a really great method of improving your overall search SEO, is to keep the information on each of your social or streaming profiles, closely identical to each other. A great way of doing this is to keep the information in your bio consistent across your website, socials and streaming profiles. 

Maybe you have a general tagline that you use to describe you as an artist or your brand, such as;

“[Cool band name], are a 5-piece indie rock group from Southampton, UK.”

Featuring the same tagline or information across multiple platforms will help Google make connections between each of these profiles, giving you extra points for ranking and search results!

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Quick recap

Ultimately, Google decides whether to display a Knowledge Graph for bands or artists and there’s no guarantee these techniques will work for everyone. They will, however, give you a much better chance of success.

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<p style="padding: 20px; color: #000000; background-color: #000000; border: 8px solid #ffffff; text-align: center;"><strong><span style="color: #ffffff;"><br>Here’s a quick recap:</span>:&nbsp;<br></strong><br><br><span style="color: #ffffff;">- Set up your Google accounts<br><br></span><span style="color: #ffffff;">- Publish a Wikipedia page &amp; Wikidata entry<br><br></span><span style="color: #ffffff;">- Publish a MusicBrainz entry<br><br></span><span style="color: #ffffff;">- Upload plenty of high-quality images and optimise them<br></span><span style="color: #ffffff;"><br>- Be consistent with the information published online<br><br></span></p>

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