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How to get the Google+ Sidebar

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What is it?

Google+ sidebars refer to a number of widgets you get when you search on Google which pull in information from Google+. By now you’ve probably seen them without even realising it. If you still don’t don’t what I’m talking about, search for “amazon” and you should get something like the following on the right hand side.



What’s the big deal?

These sidebars tend to turn up for brand related terms (like Amazon) and so provide an opportunity to further control brand messaging. It will also drive help engagement in Google, which in turn helps with personalised search and helps provide an additional platform to communicate with searchers.

How do I get it?

So while looking into how to actually get the sidebar, I came across the a a thread on Stack Exchange which gave some information, but essentially concluded that that Google “doesn’t guarantee that Google will include your profile in the search results”.

While nothing in SEO is certain, I wanted to know what the most important factors guiding whether Google will show Google+ page are. What I’ve produced is a little more modest – a list of all the potential factors. This has been useful for me for the clients that I work with, so hopefully it will be useful for you too. If there is anything I haven’t thought of let me know, and I will amend the article. Cheers!

Potential factors influencing Google+ sidebar

These factors may have to be optimised on a regional basis – e.g. volume of social metrics in the United States will determine whether the sidebar turns up in for searchers in that country.

Nature of association between Google+ page and website

Is the URL verified?

Is rel=publisher used on the associated website?

Is rel=author used on associated website?

Does the website link to the Google+ page/use a badge?

CTR to site with associated Google+ page for targeted query

Could potentially be influenced by Social Extensions in Adwords – requires verifying website.

Existence of Vanity URL

Has a vanity URL been selected?

Does this URL contain the keywords you are trying to show up for?

Quality/nature of page optimisation

Has the page been connected with Youtube?

Does the page contain reviews?

Is the about page filled out? (The description in the Search Engine Results Page starts with the tagline)

Does the tagline/introduction contain targeted keywords?

Is contact information provided?

Is a header image being used (e.g.https://plus.google.com/+Disney).

Quality/nature of posts

Do posts contain the relevant keywords?

Is there a mix of textual & rich media content?

Do posts seem over-spammy?

Frequency of posts

Are posts sufficiently frequent/regular?

Volume of social metrics

Number of people who have Moshi Monsters in their circles

Interaction with people in circles

Number of +1s

Number of comments of posts

Number of shares

Searcher’s relationship with the Google+ page

Whether user has +1’d the page

Whether user in the circle of has +1’d the page

Links to Google+ page from 3rd party sites

Could potentially influence authority of Google+ page



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