If you’ve had your finger on the pulse of Knowledge Graph happenings, you’ll know that it is a very volatile industry that is very dynamic and experimental.
Like many other SEO’s out there, I do consider myself to be a Knowledge Graph Hacker in the sense that I like to experiment with the data that powers the Knowledge Graph.
Up until this now, one of the largest sources of data for the Knowledge Graph has been Freebase. In layman’s terms, Freebase is an important data source that powers the information that makes up the Knowledge Graph.
The news is: it looks like Freebase will be getting retired and Wikidata (part of the Wikimedia Foundation i.e. the company behind Wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons etc) will be taking over. While they didn’t officially use the word “retire” or “shut down” from the important dates to know it certainly looks that way.
This news came about while browsing Google+ and seeing a post from Freebase announcing this change and giving a very detailed overview of the changes coming down the pike:
So why does this matter for SEO’s?
We really aren’t sure yet. If I were a betting man, I’d venture to guess that Wikidata is and will be playing a huge part in KGO (Knowledge Graph Optimization) in the future. I haven’t really kept my finger on the pulse of the business side of Google’s dealings, but I do know they paid a hefty sum of cheddar for Freebase back in 2010 so not sure why it appears as though Freebase is being abandoned.
Google’s (or Freebase’s) decision to move to Wikidata is based on community. The Wikimedia community of contributors is much stronger than the Freebase community, and they are really looking to take advantage of that.
As an SEO this means you should spend more time making meaningful contributions to the Wikimedia community in every way possible and doing whatever you can to try and make it a better place. A word of caution for anyone who thinks they can just “load all of their clients” into Wiki: the community there is no joke. These are some of the smartest, most cautious and savvy individuals on the planet and do not play. Spend your time giving back to the Wikimedia foundation and it will be returned 10 fold.
If you are an SEO that has been doing a lot of contributing to Freebase and are worried about losing your work, don’t worry. It does appear as though they are going to make an attempt to import Freebase data into Wikidata, but it is still way too soon to tell.
If anyone has any insight or information into this please let me know. I’ve done very little research into this announcement and would really like some feedback. Thanks!