In 2012, Google announced and started the integration of its so-called “Knowledge Graph” into the search results – You probably saw it already a couple of times while searching for a famous person or brand. With the Knowledge Graph, Google displays additional information based on your search term on the right side next to the search results. This way, Google wants to improve the user experience by displaying suitable information that might satisfy the user’s need for a specific fact without him clicking on a search result.
If you search for a brand such as BMW or National Geographic, there is a good possibility that you see a box on the right side containing the company logo, a small description, the number of Google+ followers and the latest posts of the company’s Google+ page. Another nice feature is the option to directly follow the company on Google+.
This “box” is not limited exclusively to major brands. They’re simply taking advantage of this possibility and your company can do so as well. It only takes a few easy steps.
Note: You need to rank on the first position for your brand name in the organic results.
Note: It is also possible to link a personal Google+ profile to the Google search results, but right now only public figures, celebrities and people with a huge follower base can benefit from that. However, Google stated that also “normal” G+ users can link their profiles with Google Search in the future.
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The benefits of linking your Google Plus Page to Google Search
- Your brand is displayed very prominently next to the search results. No paid Google ad or organic result can top this.
- People can see your latest shared content on Google+.
- If a person searches for something relevant to your brand, Google may display content you have shared on G+ in the search results.
How to connect Google Plus Pages in Google Search
Step 1: Set up a Google+ Page
For this step, you need to have a Google+ profile to get started. Creating a Google+ page is very easy and self-explanatory. Simply click on “Pages” in the left navigation bar and click the red “Create New Page”-button.
Google offers multiple options to define what kind of page you want to set up:
After adding more additional information, especially in the About section, and a profile and cover picture your G+ page is good to go.
Note: In all cases, provide an email address and verify it.
Note: Depending on the kind of Google+ page, you might need to fill in the address of the local business. You should verify your local business on Google Places.
Step 2: Link your website (or product page) to your Google+ page
To do this, you need to add the URL of your website to your Google+ page. You can do this in the “About” section.
Next, connect your website to your Google+ page. This is important so that Google can be sure that this G+ page is actually the official one and not a fake. For this to happen, you need to insert a code snippet or a Google+ Batch into your website. Make sure the code contains this part: “rel=”publisher”. It signals that you are the “owner” of the G+ page.
Step 3: Use your Google+ Page regularly and build up a follower base
In order to pop up on the right side of the search results, you need to post content on your G+ page regularly. Google says that you should try to post at least every 72 hours.
Hopefully, by sharing content frequently you can get many people to follow your page. This should be one of the goals of every page, obviously. In the next step, you will see why a decent follower base is important to get Google+ pages displayed in Google Search.
Step 4: Verify your Google+ Page
To get your page verified, you need to send a request to Google. This step is fairly easy since you only need to fill out a short form.
One thing to highlight here is that the verification page states one condition a page has to meet, in order to be eligible for verification:
Your Google+ page must already have a meaningful number of followers.
The term “a meaningful number” leaves a lot of room for interpretation and makes it impossible determine a specific number a page needs. Some articles I found are saying that 100-200 followers are enough, while others are talking about one thousand followers.
The best way is to already give it a try with a couple of hundred follower. If it does not work out, keep growing your follower base and send another request until it gets approved. Once your page is verified, a grey circle with a checkmark will appear next to your page title.
Now, with a verified page, keep posting fresh content and your brand should soon appear in the Google search results for your name (if you rank on the first position for your brand name). It shouldn’t take longer than a month for this to happen.
Do you have any advice to speed up the process or do you know a reliable estimation of follower size? Please let me know in the comments.