When I brought up Google+ Direct Connect with Ian, he already knew that Google+ will build your search traffic, but when it came to authenticating a Google+ page, he didn’t really know what I was talking about.
In a nutshell, Google+ Direct Connect allows users the ability to discover a Google+ page by adding the ‘+’ operator during a Google search query. If you search ‘+pepsi’ or ‘+youtube,’ Google will take you directly to that Google+ page.
See that checkmark? Google+ Direct Connect also verifies the legitimacy of your page. By requiring all participants in the network to link from their website to their Google+ page and link from their Google+ page to their website, Google+ can weed out the genuine brands, companies or cultural entities from the imposters.
Even Ian Lurie’s Google+ profile has one of those nifty checkmarks.
I love this idea because it solves the issue of page squatters. Seriously, those people suck. Theoretically, if hundreds of sucky people try to impose their suckiness by creating hundreds of different Portent Google+ pages, Google could verify us because we’re the only one linking back and forth from Portent.com.
Qualifying for Google+ Direct Connect
Google determines a page’s eligibility algorithmically through some of these signals:
- A link to Google+ using an official Google+ page badge
- A link to the canonical version of the Google+ page URL (the Portent Google+ page is: https://plus.google.com/113999984820418066734/) and use the rel=”publisher” tag in the link
- A link your Google+ page to your home page
The most popular place to add a link is on the “About” tab on your Google+ page.
But Google+ Direct Connect Still Doesn’t Work For Me
Like many websites, Portent should qualify for Google+ Direct Connect, but still doesn’t feel the love. Unfortunately, we’re not alone. Google+ Direct Connect still doesn’t recognize many of the other search marketing companies in the industry.
Try searching ‘+SEOmoz’ ‘+Distilled’ or ‘+SlingShotSEO’ – you don’t get the Google+ page as the most relevant result.
However, in a Search Engine Land report (btw, +SearchEngineLand is on the Google+ Direct Connect network), Danny Sullivan reports that Google+ pages like Amazon and Save the Children do not have Google+ icons linking back to their page or the rel=publisher code installed on their site.
Google says, “We’re still experimenting with Google+ Direct Connect and it won’t work for every Google+ page.”
It goes to show that Google+ is still a work in progress. I don’t know if we’ve yet to hit the Google+ “threshold of significance” or if we’re just sitting in social media purgatory, but I’m hoping for the best by recommending to all my clients to qualify for Google+ Direct Connect. It might not show any immediate results now, but from the way things sound, the direct connect network should have a profound impact on your site’s overall visibility and reputation management.
Connect with Doug Antkowiak on Google+.