Hijacking Google’s Local Knowledge Graph

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I was just going about my business, monkeying around in the local results.  Then something caught my eye:

Given that Google just started testing green review stars, I could only draw 2 conclusions:

1.  Google must think it’s St. Patrick’s Day, OR

2.  I just stumbled across a crafty business owner.

Looks like it’s the latter.  Here’s what I saw when I clicked on the green-bordered photo in the knowledge graph:

Kind of stands out in that local carousel, doesn’t it?

I finally check out the business’s Google Places page.  Doesn’t even have a profile photo.  Our lucky green photo was simply the first and only one uploaded under the “Photos” tab.

Yup, it’s just a photo with a border around it.  Not a layout change or pay-to-play scheme that Google’s testing.

As I’ve written, I’m convinced that user-engagement factors – especially how many people click on your listing – affect your rankings.  What if people search for one business by name and immediately search for another by name (which is what a click on a “People also search for” image does)?

If I’m Big Brother Google and I’m looking at who clicks where so that I can figure out which search results are relevant, I might give an edge to the 2nd business.

Should you go as far as a fat, lime-green border on your photo(s)?  Probably not.  Just consider dolling up your photos a little, so they look good in that “People also search for” section.


  1. This is such an interesting find Phil… I wonder what this may lead to 😉

  2. How long before they put the kibosh on that?

    Imagine a carousel where all the profile pics have bright annoying color borders on them. I’m sure the big G ain’t gonna take too kindly to that.

    In the meantime, excuse me while I fire up Photoshop. GTG!

    • It’s a gray area. Could Google declare that photos can’t have borders? They could never enforce it, given their current toothless state.

  3. I give them props for that move, if intentional!

  4. Nice find. I think its a low cost way to gain attention. I am sure that we will see more of it. 🙂

  5. Is it bad that I find this pure genius? lol


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