Back in November, Google officially launched brand pages for Google+. While they started were launched with limited features, brand pages have evolved to allow for multiple admins, add users into circles and become verified. One of the surprisingly underutilized elements pages is the lack of verification. There still seems to be some confusion around the different verification processes within Google+, so we will help to demystify the various ways to verify your Google+ page.
Google+ Page Verification
Page verification is Google’s way of showing users the authenticity of a profile so that they are ensured they are adding the product, brand, business or person they are looking for. A page’s verification is identified by a small check mark next to the profile name, this tells users that they are adding their desired page and not one that is run by an impersonator.
This verification will help you stand out amongst other non-official pages during search by adding merit your website to your Google+ page. Here is example is of the NFL team, the Indianapolis Colts who do have an official brand page, yet don’t have it verified:
The first result in this example is actually an unofficial Colts page, the official page is number two. Now a user wouldn’t necessarily know. This is an important factor when informing users about a page. Currently 1051 have the fake Colts page in circles compared to only 194 who have the official page in their circles.
When the brand page is verified, the checkmark displayed helps make the official brand page stand apart:
Page verification has to be run through Google and should be noted that not every page will be verified. There are, however, steps that you can take to increase your chances that Google will accept your verification. Before filling out the verification request form make sure to have the following:
- Authorization by your commercial entity, organization, brand, or product
- A link to your organization’s website on your Google+ page
- A link to your Google+ page on your organization’s website (either the Google+ badge or a snippet of code)
- Have over 1,000 people add you to their circles
Now, the web requirements for Google+ page verification are complete. The last thing you have to do is fill out a simple request form for Google. This does require a new set of information including:
- Name, Title, Organization, Address
- URL of your Google+ page
- Your organization’s address and phone number
- At least one type of business verification (this can include one of the following)
- Bank or Credit Card statement
- Business license
- Utility bill
The business verification must be scanned and uploaded along with the form. Once completed, submit and wait for a response from Google.
Google+ Direct Connect is a way for people to search for your organization’s Google+ profile directly through Google by adding a “+” in front of their search and may pull the brand page into regular search results.
Besides being easier to find via search, an advantage of Direct Connect is users are asked to add your page to their circles or, if they have automatic connect turned on, you will automatically be added into their “Following” circle.
Unlike page verification, there is no form to fill out to be eligible for Direct Connect at this time because Google is adding pages algorithmically. The algorithm is based on your page’s relevancy and popularity, which means that there are actions that you can take in order to increase your chances that Google will add you to Direct Connect
- Connect your website, be sure there is a connection from your Google+ page to your website as well as from your website to your Google+ page
- Promote your page off of Google+, be sure to add links to your Google+ page anywhere you can including any other social media sites you are on so that people who follow you there have the ability to follow you on Google+ as well
- Post regularly to Google+
It is important to continue to use your page regularly and post relevant information because relevancy is one of the factors that Google is using in its algorithm. It is also important to continually build your following to add you to their circles because popularity is the other factor in the algorithm. If you were wondering who is a part of Direct Connect, we put together an alphabet of Direct Connect showing the most prominent brands.
One important factor to know about both Google+ verification and Google+ Direct Connect is that you must actively promote Google+ on your website. There is some suspicion that this is to help get more brand on Google+ while also promoting Google+ for free (with the badge implementation.) Without a badge or link to Google+ a brand will have no chance for either of these benefits. Overall the positives of these Google+ page additions should outweigh any perceived negatives for most brands.