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