Google Knowledge Panels Can Show Competitors

So you get this fancy knowledge panel for your company name and/or product names and people search you on Google and can see how amazing your business is in this knowledge panel. But then all of a sudden, Google decides to show “alternatives” or competitors right in your knowledge panel.

That is what happened to Darren Shaw’s WhiteSpark the other day. Here is a screen shot he shared on Twitter showing “alternative” companies or competitors to his company:

click for full size

Darren wrote “Oh man. Check out this bullshit on our GMB Knowledge Panel. Are they going to list competitors on everyone’s listings now?”

Danny Sullivan from Google responded saying “I imagine this is a test of showing more information about an entity using featured snippets. Completely understand the concerns here, and I will pass along the feedback to the search team when back on Monday.”

I was not able to replicate this on my end but some were. I suspect it was resolved but the funny thing as Andy Simpson points out, it can happen to Google itself:

This somewhat reminds me of when Google showed competitors above your local listing when you did a search for a specific company.

Anyway, this type of stuff sucks to see but it is the algorithm at its best (or worst).

Forum discussion at Twitter.