Hurry up! Freebase is about to become read-only March 31, 2015.
Freebase optimization was one of the most visible methods of making a change in search results on Google. In early December, Google announced it will shut down freebase, and transfer existing data to Wikidata.
There has been a lot of seo buzz around ‘entity search’ and Freebase was always a part of that conversation. I think of Freebase as a content library that can populate a variety of different structured data coding languages.
Freebase Data as Answer Cards
For SEO purposes, I initially used Freebase to fill in information for hotels. Freebase appeared to be an extension of local SEO and also link building. NAP information needed to be accurate and comprehensive; followed links should be flowing to the proper pages. Once those Freebase fields were correct for an individual hotel, there was room to be a bit creative with the other information to include within the page.
The key with Freebase is to focus on factual information. In this case, I populated the date of a hotel opening. Once complete, many question related search queries asking for the hotel’s opening date return the card-format search result. I do not have a specific timeline for when this card emerged following my initial entry, but it was within a few weeks. (Not able to share the client)
There are perhaps over a thousand different data points to include within an entity’s Freebase profile: attractions nearby, name of architecture, name of enclosed restaurants, number of rooms, etc.
Google Becoming the Ultimate Source?
It appears that when Freebase data is used as the source of information within an answer card, there is no link citation. Google bought Freebase from Metaweb in 2010 so I guess they don’t need to cite; just some speculation.
There are many card-format search results that do have a link citation within them.
What does this all mean?
Freebase was a great experiment for Google and I would say a success. It should be interesting to see how much original content was given to the search engine through the site.
I would bet that most SEOs agree answer cards are here to stay and there will be more. Dr. Pete & Moz showed a 44% increase in answer cards in September 2014. For websites & brands, it’s now an even faster race to establish authority with their space. Why? Google may cite your content within an answer card. More on this in another post perhaps.