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I manage a number of sites for businesses and noticed that one companies Google+ profile was showing when a certain keyword was searched.

This is great but i'm interested in why this is happening and it doesn't seem to follow a pattern, i've read some other topics eg

How do you get your Google+ profile displayed in the right hand sidebar of the Google search results page?

These talk about searching for the company, in my case i'm searching a keyword that is something that the company does. The company is a successful exponent of the keyword but wouldn't be the only one yet it shows whereas others do not. Why does it show for a keyword at all? On the whole these listings seem to show when searching the company name directly. it isn't something i've targetted particularly..

I'm thinking that locality plays a big part and I can see that the result changes from different parts of the country. This led me to look at my other companies - for one a rival company shows for a particular keyword. This company isn't very local at all, over 100 miles away from my company. Both companies have valid verified Google+ pages so why does one company show over the other?

Many thanks if anyone can help.

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  • I am not an expert on this, however, is your company posting to the Google+ account? It appears that Google+ posts match in searches and that may be what is happening. – closetnoc Feb 24 '15 at 15:59
  • I have just set up the profile pages with company info but not made any posts to any. – Paul Smith Feb 24 '15 at 16:21
  • That may be what is happening. Also, if the Google+ page is new, I assume it is like any web page- it takes time to soak in. I am not sure how much good a Google+ plus page is without posts/activity except for verifying/validating the company and getting a boost in the trust score for this. I would recommend looking at the kinds of activities your competition is doing on their Google+ page and doing the same/similar but better. ;-) Much better. Be the expert and correct the record when a myth comes along. – closetnoc Feb 24 '15 at 16:29
  • thanks, the pages aren't new but my tweaks may be taking time to be seen. In both scenarios the Google + pages that do well are quite sparse with not much activity - i can't see anything in terms of quality which is better in the 'winning' page to be honest. – Paul Smith Feb 24 '15 at 16:37
  • You may be also right about local search too. You may want to look into this. Still, I know activity trumps everything. Posts in particular really do help. Google seems to like activity and rewards it. I do not participate in Google+ because I try and stay nameless on the net. The reason for this is because I am semi-retired and primarily make my money elsewhere. But I am re-thinking this some because of the advantages to web search which may help other IT activities I still participate in. – closetnoc Feb 24 '15 at 16:45
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First, get linked and verified with Google webmaster tools then set your target audience locality (country based). You may wanna link to your Google analytics and adwords up too.

If you have a physical location then you should sign up and verify your realm using Google places for business. This will give you a Google+ page that is more or less like a profile for your business. If you don't have a location, use a normal G+ profile/page/uhhh.

Next step is associating your desired G+ entity with your site as a publisher. This page here states that you should use a simple link in the following format:

<a href="https://plus.google.com/{+PageId}" rel="publisher"></a>

Now you should use schema organization markup to tell Google about your realm. Include the relevant stuff in your organization markup...name, logo, url, contactPoint, etc. Those will help fire that sidebar, but you should reiterate your publisher too using sameAs to get the cake. If it is not clear from the organization examples, this page here lays out how to go about doing that. Here is the example from that Google example page (you should include more fields):

<script type="application/ld+json">
{ "@context" : "http://schema.org",
  "@type" : "Organization",
  "name" : "Your Organization Name",
  "url" : "http://www.your-site.com",
  "sameAs" : [ "http://www.facebook.com/your-profile",
    "http://www.twitter.com/yourProfile",
    "http://plus.google.com/{+PageId}"] 
}
</script>
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  • Do you have experience with local search and Google+? Do you have experience with Google+ posts and search? I do not play, but the Google+ bingo does seem to like these. – closetnoc Feb 24 '15 at 16:48
  • @closetnoc Yessir we keep up to the Google demands and posts show in sidebar (even out of locality sometimes). It works for local search pretty well -- Often you sniper a double first page listing if your niche isnt crowded for the region. I think it would be worth it, at the least to secure your realm so others don't get the G+ biz url you want. Its really only about the publisher markup/validate, posting is optional :) – dhaupin Feb 24 '15 at 17:14
  • Thanks! Good to know. I would not be doing a Google+ for business since I am not really in the technology business any more though I still like to play in the IT world and still dabble for cash sometimes. I thought about Google+ just to boost some of the stuff I do here and on my site. Nothing more. I do not feel that it is so important that people really know who I am, but trust the information first and not the person first. This is the cost of getting old. I want the content to stand on it's own and not because I say so. I could not care less otherwise. I just like to help people. ;-) – closetnoc Feb 24 '15 at 17:41
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    Perhaps that is a bad attitude. I just do not buy the cult of personality as the #1 factor as social media seems to foster. There are too many idiots out there parroting bull pucky that win on social media. It does not make sense to me. Still, I wonder- What if?... Perhaps I will jump in. Perhaps not. Who knows. I am looking for the pay-off and whether it is worth it for an old guy who is not interested in branding himself or interested in the next job. I really can sit on my backsides if I want to. I just prefer not to. – closetnoc Feb 24 '15 at 17:46
  • @closetnoc Haha, yeah I'm in the same boat man. It's a bitter sauce to swallow but G+ is actually worth it for local/rich serps. We never really post on it but I think you're right: it's turning into a social butterfly farm rather than good ol Internets. Forced social profile hookup instead of just verifying via the map location and linking to GWT. – dhaupin Feb 24 '15 at 23:42

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