Google has announced...wait a minute. Before we get to that, let's start with a baseline of knowledge.
Do you know what a Google Knowledge panel is? If so, skip the rest of this paragraph. If not, a Knowledge panel—sometimes referred to as Knowledge Graph box—is the panel that appears to the right of a search engine results page (otherwise known as SERP, an acronym used by many, understood by few). If you type in a company or celebrity's name in Google, a box will appear to the right of the page with images and information about that company or celebrity. Go ahead and type in Jennifer Aniston now. I'll wait.
Now that we're all on the same page, Search Engine Land has reported that Google now includes in Knowledge panels links to brands' non-Google+ social network accounts. Google started including those links for well-known personalities in November, but not for brands. This feature is not automatic, though.
Search Engine Land's Jan. 15 story prompted a response from Google Webmaster Trends analyst Zineb Ait Bahajji on Google+, which linked to instructions for "formatting and publishing the proper markup code" for public websites so brands can add their social profile information to the Knowledge panel.
Which all goes to prove that if you write about Google, chances are somebody at that company is paying attention.
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