Did you know you can get verified on Google as an artist (and get a blue tick like on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter)? Google Search is one of the most powerful tools on the internet today. Google has made it possible to claim the artist knowledge panel, and have a verified presence on its search engine. Getting verified on Google as an artist speaks volumes about your brand, and gives you more control over how your image is represented on Google. You get to control what people see when they search for your artist name or music, and can optimise it in your favour. In this article, I will tell you how to get verified on Google as an artist. This will include knowledge panels, how to claim and use them, and the benefits.
A knowledge panel is an automatically generated information box that appears on Google when you search for entities (people, organisations, places, and things). It is a quick information snapshot on a topic based on what Google finds across the web. It normally appears at the top right of search results on your PC browser, or at the top on phone browsers.
Knowledge panels for artists generally display the artist name, genre, releases (albums and singles), and record label affiliations. Additional information found on knowledge panels can include artist images, website and social media links, bio snippets and even tour information. The more information Google can find on the artist, the richer the knowledge panel is likely to be.
To find out if you have an artist knowledge panel, simply Google yourself (I know, it sounds cheesy) or one of your songs along with the artist name. You might already have one!
To be clear, knowledge panels on Google are automatically generated and are not created by people. However, there are several things you can do to help Google find information on your artist brand and create a knowledge panel (I will explain below).
It is important to note that following these steps does not guarantee that Google will generate your artist’s knowledge panel. However, it does increase the likelihood of Google creating one. It takes a combination of the things listed below, not just one of them. The basic idea is to feed Google with as much information as possible about the artist from sites that Google trusts. Here are some of the ways you can do that.
There are many options for artists to get their music on major streaming services and online stores such as iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, Tidal, YouTube Music etc. Some go through a label, and some go independently through a distributor. Whichever the route, getting your music distributed allows Google to collect consistent data about your music from the various stores, which are considered authoritative sources in the music industry by Google. This is then likely to lead to the creation of a knowledge panel on Google for you as an artist.
While distributing your music, it is important to ensure your distributor or label adds Google Play Music (which is currently transitioning to YouTube Music) as one of the stores. Being a part of the Google family, they are a key source of information for Google’s knowledge panels for artists.
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Social media is undoubtedly one of the strongest promotional tools for any artist, and is a vital source of information on any entity in the present day. Google recognises this, and usually ranks social media pages highly in its search engine. Having up-to-date social media pages for your artist brand allows Google to collect more information about you as an artist. Artist pages on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram normally appear at the bottom of an artist’s knowledge panel.
One of the ways to help Google build your artist knowledge panel is to streamline the online presence of your artist brand. This may sound complicated if you are not tech savvy, but it really is not. You can do this by ensuring your artist name appears the same across all platforms where your music or artist brand is represented, down to the styling. If you have worked with a label or a distributor, then you likely have been taken through this.
Streamlining your artist’s brand online presence also includes updating your info on all your artist social media handles, streaming platforms such as YouTube and Soundcloud, and online stores where your music is available. Through platforms such as Apple Music for Artists, Spotify for Artists, and YouTube for Artists, you can edit and update your artist images and info on the relevant stores.
Google ranks Wikipedia highly as a source of information for various subjects, including biographical information for artists. If you have a Wikipedia page, it is likely to be featured on your Google knowledge panel. It normally provides a bio snippet to your artist knowledge panel, with a link below it leading to your Wikipedia page. Having a Wikipedia page is likely to result in the creation of your Google knowledge panel.
Once you have a knowledge panel, the next step for you to get verified on Google is to claim your knowledge panel. Search for your artist name and scroll to the bottom of the knowledge panel. There, you will find a clickable option to ‘Claim this knowledge panel’. Once you click on it, follow the steps Google provides to complete the process.
Google has a few requirements for you to claim your artist knowledge panel. They will ask you to provide general information on the artist, such as social media handles. They also require you to show some form of government-issued identification to prove you are the artist in the knowledge panel. Google also offers the option for an official representative of the artist to claim the knowledge panel on their behalf. The option to claim as an official representative is available after you start the claiming process.
Once you submit, it may take a few days for Google to process your request. When approved, you will receive an email from Google acknowledging the approval of your knowledge panel.
There are several benefits to claiming your knowledge panel. Getting verified on Google gives you more control over the information that is shown on your panel. It allows you to add relevant information about your artist brand, and suggest edits to improve or correct the information on the knowledge panel.
It also comes with additional features such as creating posts (like you would on your social media handles) that helps keep your fans up to date with the latest in your music. I will take you through some of the features below, and guide you on how to make the best of your verified status on Google.
One of the coolest new features Google provides to verified accounts is the ability to create posts on Google. When you make a post, it is normally displayed below your knowledge panel for artists and below the release (album or single) you choose. This means that if somebody does a Google search for your artist name or your latest release, they can see your post below the knowledge panels for both the artist and the release. How cool is that?
There are also options on the type of post you can make, it could either be a story, article, video, event, or a poll. A story is like Facebook and Instagram stories, with the option to add an external link. An article allows you to write more wordy posts with the option to add an image or a video. You can also share new video releases directly from YouTube, create an event post for an upcoming show or post a poll to get opinions from fans.
Getting verified on Google allows you to schedule stories, articles, and poll posts to be published at a time of your choosing. An interesting feature that is also available is the targeting option. For your posts, you can choose the target audience by specifying the locations you want your post to reach. This gives you the flexibility to specify the target audience for every post.
Another great thing about getting verified on Google is getting access to analytics for all your posts. From the backend of your knowledge panel, you can view the stats for each post you make. You learn how many people interacted with each post, and overall, who interacted with all your posts.
After claiming your knowledge panel and getting verified, Google allows you to add/edit the feature photo on your panel. Once accepted, the photo is given priority over all other images in your knowledge panel. This gives you the advantage of choosing a photo that best represents your artist brand. It also allows you to change this in case you need to update your artist image. Google requires the featured image to be at least 200px by 200px and recommends using a square image.
Google also allows you to add a profile photo, separate from the main photo, which is shown above your Google posts. The blue tick to indicate your verified status is displayed alongside this photo on your Google posts.
You can directly add and edit some of the information shown on your Google knowledge panel. This includes your artist social media links, website, and Wikipedia page. This is helpful especially if Google doesn’t automatically add these to your knowledge panel or if the information is erratic.
There is, however, information on your knowledge panel that you cannot edit directly. Your releases (including song titles and album info) and label affiliations can only be adjusted through suggesting edits to Google. If any of the facts on your knowledge panel are erratic, you can suggest edits. You can do this by logging in to your Google account and clicking on ‘suggest edits’ at the top of your knowledge panel. As the official representative of your brand, Google gives priority to your edit suggestions.
Say, for example, or you rebrand to a different name. Google allows you to submit a ‘Name change request’ through the backend of your knowledge panel. However, they are strict in approving name changes, since these do not change too often.
Google knowledge panels for artists are a significant promotional tool, making it easy for fans to find your music and artist info online. Getting verified not only boosts your artist brand image, but also gives you control of your artist brand on the internet’s most powerful tool, Google. Make sure you claim your knowledge panel to take advantage of all the benefits that come along with getting verified!
Most importantly though, don’t forget us here at Music Gateway!
Music Gateway are always looking to help creatives, including promoting your music! Take a look at our Music Promotion page to find out what we can offer to get your music heard, including helping you to improve your streaming presence.
Hello, do you think that being verified on Google and claiming my knowledge panel can lead to be verified on Instagram?
Thanks this was really helpful. I’m definitely interested in what you guys have to offer as well.
Hey Young, Great to hear that you found this helpful! Also great to know you’re interested in the services we have to offer 🙂 You can email us at email@example.com if you have any questions!
Nice thank you for the info I will be following those and will inform you when I get one but how can I get a Wikipedia page if no one writes about me do I have to pay for that?
Hey! Thanks for commenting, glad to hear you found this post useful 🙂 I believe you can create your own Wikipedia page, so it’s best to head to their website to find out more.
This is very informative, thanks
Glad to hear you found this article useful! 🙂