One More Reason for an SMB to Engage with Google Plus

Engaging with G+ can seem like a chore to most SMBs who have trouble attracting their local clients to their Plus page. Its main advantage is that Google has integrated it with search, where folks are in fact looking. Google seems to have recently upped the ante in local providing one more reason for the SMb to post on Plus.

Radina Dasheva pointed out on Linda’s forum that local brand searches will show recent G+ posts in the right side Knowledge Panel (I am not sure if this is new but I hadn’t noticed it before).

Several interesting things about this. On a 1440 x 900 pixel  screen the recent post content pushes competitor listings below the fold, making them less visible to searchers. It additionally provides the SMB with more real estate in the panel.

And as noted in Radina’s example, if the post contains a link it will show on the panel as well, giving the SMB one more chance to get a searcher over to their site and away from the rabbit hole that Google has become.

(click to view larger)

area-above-fold

 

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
One More Reason for an SMB to Engage with Google Plus by

22 thoughts on “One More Reason for an SMB to Engage with Google Plus”

  1. Hey Mike.
    The recent posts area in the Knowledge Graph has been there in several slightly differentiating forms since the launch of Google+.

  2. I’m interacting a lot more now on Gplus than my FB brandpage. Yes your customers are on FB so you keep them (that see your posts) informed. I hate FB for what they are doing with brand pages and the lack of viability now unless you want to pay to play. Its really nice to see what you post on GPlus keep appearing in search results. It makes you want to carry on

  3. @Mark
    In the end, Google is no different than Facebook and you do not own nor control the space. From my POV a blog needs to be at the center of your social strategy and you need to funnel people there from both FB and Google.

  4. Good spot, Mike. I had seen this before, but I’m not sure it’s been around since the launch of G+ L.

    I think another takeaway is: use pictures in your posts. I just checked on a client of mine who’s very good about posting. His “Recent post” is in the KG, but it doesn’t pop as much as BOJ’s.

  5. Yes, since the launch of G+L!

    And fyi, there are some somewhat specific requirements on frequency of posting in “fresheness” of posts in order for it to show up on the Knowledge Card.

  6. @Mark
    What are those specific requirements on frequency of posting in “fresheness” of posts in order for it to show up on the Knowledge Card.>?

  7. As Nicolai commented yet that function has been around since a Long time and has been one of our “sales” argument to convince our customers for a G+ Business page.

  8. Hi Mike,

    The Knowledge Graph presents itself in various forms depending on such things as the nature of the query, the location of the person making the query and the search engine’s interpretation of the intent of the query.

    That said, the obvious strategy is to have elements of every type of data form accessed by the search engine built into every blog post you make. While this is not always possible it is the ideal.

    An example would be a story that includes text (web search), images (image results), is newsworthy or submitted separately through a press release service that goes to Google news wire (news results), a corresponding video (video results), references to specific product(s) (google product search results), a physical location (local business listing results), a wikipedia/database listing (not always possible) and posts on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ containing a relevant hashtag (hashtag search results).

    Each element of the post has to be properly optimized in order to show up in the desired results type. The reward is total domination of the Knowledge Graph results page (or at least 6 or 7 of the available spots).

    Google+ is the connecting element that makes dominating #knowledgegraph results possible or at least far easier than it would be otherwise.

  9. Mike,

    This is great, thanks for brining to our attention. It’s just another way to show how important it is to Post on your Google+ Page. We are trying to encourage our clients to do this since you recently pointed out in the G+ Local Search Community “when people click on the Google+ Page in the search results, it lands on the Posts page if they have the new dashboard.” That’s not a quote, but an answer to a question I had asked.

    What I notice is the title tags are being cutt off. Title tag character limit is 70 including spaces, some people say 65 – 70 to be safe. I noticed the change over a week ago, maybe longer, because our clients title tags are being cutt off. I see this using Chrome and Safari. The screen grab you included of Barbara Oliver & Company, you can see her title tags are being cutt off. For those of us that optimize websites for local search with customized title tags, this is important for a number of reasons I won’t get into.

    I’m pleased the posts are showing in the knowledge panel. I’ve also seen G+ Posts in the organic search as well.

  10. Is anyone else noticing the “recent posts” section only shows up if the search is a branded search, not a generic search?
    EG “barbara oliver jewelery” vs “jewelry williamsville”

  11. Hello there Mike.
    Just wanted to point out you got Radina’s name wrong. It is “Disheva” not “Dashiva”.

  12. @Mike:
    Ok, so this is the official Google help page for “recent posts” (formerly known as “latest posts”): http://www.google.com/insidesearch/features/plus/relatedpeople.html

    This SEL post from March 14, 2012 is about the then newly added feature “latest posts” inside the Knowledge Graph in Google search: http://searchengineland.com/google-search-now-highlights-latest-posts-from-google-pages-profiles-115171. Back then Google would show 2-3 latest posts, nowadays it’s reduced to a single post.

  13. @ Susan. Dr Pete did a post the other day about Google’s new page design.
    http://moz.com/blog/googles-2014-redesign-before-and-after
    The title font is slightly bigger so I guess that’s why they’re cut off.
    @ Mike. You got me excited for a minute. I’m in favor of eliminating competition but I’m guessing you mean competing branded listings rather than competitor listings.
    Competitor listings shouldn’t show on a branded search which was your example. The KG in branded search shows the recent G+ post but in KW search it does not.
    Am I missing something?

  14. Yes it only shows on branded searches not key phrase searches. That being said controlling space above the fold for a local brand gives a significant amount if exposure that wouldn’t otherwise be there.

    Barbara, because of her other advertising, sees a significant number of branded searches.

    As Phil pointed out a snappy photo attention and gives the SMB some free space to talk about things that are important to them.

    So while this isn’t a huge benefit it does allow space for coupons, promos and other things that would never see the light of day.

    On a different note the spacing of type seems to align title tag visibility closely with mobile title tag visibility.

    It means that you need to carefully front load your title tag content.

  15. Yes I first discovered this showing up in local KPs maybe 6 months ago, or whenever it 1st appeared. And I could swear I did a post about it but can’t find… too many posts and so little time.

  16. RE: Freshness and Frequency

    When I was at Google, Derek Wetzel said it was something like posts every two weeks and a the post has to have been in the last 30 days.

    E.g. I post every two weeks for a couple months, and that recent post shows up. If I stop, that most recent post will only stay there for 30 days after it was posted.

    Like anything else, it’s an algorithm and subject to change, but we asked for some general guidelines on getting this to show up.

  17. I can see how a plus listing can really pull more attention to your site. I guess this is one way of convincing people to shift to Google plus as a social platform.

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