By: Ryan Miller
Earlier this week, I mentioned that you need to claim your local business Google Plus Page to maintain brand ownership, as there is currently no security measure in place in which you must prove you are the authorized admin of a Plus Page. However, there is a process currently in place to create a verified link between your website and your Plus Page to prove ownership. While this is no substitute for the verification system currently established on Google Places, it is a first step toward retaining control of your brand, business and message.
To start the link verification process, login to your Google account, go to the Plus Page you want to verify and click the edit button for the About section. Once you’ve done that, click the recommended link option on the righthand side and add your website’s link.
Next, you’ll need add a link on your website pointing back to your Plus Page that Google can verify. To begin that process, go to the Google Badge configuration page and in the text box add the unique number for your Plus Page. This is the long string of numbers in your Plus Page URL.
Once you add the number, you’ll be given an option for the icon or badge you would like to add to your website. You can also forego this badge, if you simply want to create a behind-the-scenes link between your website and Plus Page, though it is recommended that you add a user-facing link to your promote your page.
Once you’ve selected the icon or badge, and made any textual customization changes, you will need to update your website. At the bottom of the badge configuration page you’ll see some HTML that you will have to add to your website:
As directed in the code box, add the first section to your website’s Header and the second section of coding into the body of your website with your other social media link icons.
This will now establish a link connection between your Plus Page and your website.
For some high profile brands and businesses Google will, at their discretion and manual selection, add a checkmark image next to the brand name to signify that the account is verified. You can read more about this verification checkmark on Google’s Support page.
Verifying your new Plus Page is quick and relatively easy, and will help ensure that you keep control of your brand’s message. Additionally, it will provide a ranking signal to Google and Google+ to show your brand higher in the search results if users are looking for your business and qualify you for Direct Connect, which will allow users to reach your business directly by adding a “+” before the brand name when doing a search.
Ryan Miller is the SEO Manager for Advance Digital, and provides best practice techniques for improving your online business visibility. You can follow him on Twitter @cromiller and add him to your circles on Google+.