Freebase is a database program that has been running since 2007. It was purchased by Google in 2010 and now is part of the Google Developers platform. Freebase is perhaps one of the most important databases out there because it is playing a large role in the evolution of how searches are done on the Internet.
The Web is turning to Semantic Search as the best and most logical evolution of the search process. Semantic Search tries to understand the intent of a query. That is harder than it sounds. You might say; “Google, where is my bag of cookies”. Traditional search would have probably shown you a list of sites related to cookies. Not really much help. Semantic Search tries to understand that you are looking for a specific bag of cookies. It accesses data from a variety of sources to try to give you the best answer possible.
If you have searched for a specific brand of cookies before it might take that bit of knowledge and connect it to the nearest place where you could purchase a bag of those cookies. If it is 2 am it might also narrow the search to the closest all night mini mart where you can find your bag of cookies.
How Freebase Works
The way that the search engines do this depends upon the use of information “nodes”. Freebase creates these nodes. Unlike other database sites like Wikipedia, Freebase does not have exclusions on who and what can be included based on their level of notoriety. Those rules of “notability” on Wikipedia serve to exclude many if not most of the indie artists out there as well as most small businesses.
This non-exclusivity on Freebase is great for indie bands and small businesses alike. If you look at knowledge graph search results it is pretty easy to see all of the data sources that are being utilized to deliver the answers to your query. Here is the official Knowledge Graph explainer video: The Knowledge Graph results for music, film and other notable people and businesses relies heavily on Wikipedia. If you look at this screen shot of a Knowledge Graph based page of search results you see that data from Wikipedia is featured in a large box to the right of search results.
That is the beauty of Freebase in my opinion. Freebase can be added to by anyone who takes the time to join the community and learn how to use the system.
In addition, unlike Wikipedia, Freebase does not have restrictions on who can be included based on notoriety or anything else. The information just has to be accurate.
Much of the focus on good on-site SEO practices in the future is going to have to be related to gaining placement for a search term related to your product or service on every data source represented in a Knowledge Graph search result. the more sources you are listen in the more sports you will gain on the first page of search results.
Doing this properly is going to require a lot of knowledge. The days of just writing a blog post, creating a web page or uploading a video are over. Content Management is now the name of the game on the Web. The better you know how to optimize every aspect of every piece of content that you create from concept to publication (and beyond) the better you will do.