Every week we get a plethora of new Google news, updates, or advice, and last week was no different. Last week we saw several new announcements from Google including the elimination of sharing ads via AdWords, better listings for the Events Knowledge Graph, Google opens a visitor center, and update to the maps app, and much more.
However, there were two announcements that stuck out last week that will really affect marketers—The Knowledge Graph will now show brand social profiles, and the announcement of the New Structured Data Testing Tool.
Google Knowledge Graph Now Shows Social Profiles for Brands
When looking at the Google Knowledge graph, or the information that will show up on the right hand side of a SERP if you hover over a result, you used to only be able to see Google+ profiles. Unless you were a celebrity, other profiles including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and MySpace were not included. This is no longer the case, as you can see in the screenshot below:
This is big news for brands because it will allow searchers to discover and connect with a brand’s social page easier than ever. So what do brands have to do to prepare? As a brand you actually have to follow a new markup using schema.org and JSON-LD to make sure that all of your social profiles are included and linking to the correct accounts. The official Google instructions broke down the process as follows:
- Publish markup on a page on your official website
- Pages with markup must not be blocked to the Googlebot by robtos.txt
- Include a Person or Organization record in your markup with:
- “url” = the url of your official website
- “sameAs” = the urls of your official social media profiles
Visit the official instructions link above to see examples and basic templates for adding the structured markup to your site. With some of the coding they provide, you can simply replace the URL and social profiles with your own information.
Google’s Structured Data Testing Tools Gets an Update
Just last week Google decided to make two major announcements in regards to structured data markup: A new Structured Data Testing Tool and expanded support for the JSON-LD markup syntax. Google highlighted both in their official announcement:
The New Structured Data Testing Tool
You can find this new tool here to help you see how Google interprets a web page’s structured data markup. It offers features such as:
- Validation for all Google features powered by structured data.
- Support for markup in the JSON-LD syntax, including dynamic HTML pages.
- Clean display of the structured data items on your page.
- Syntax highlighting of markup problems right in your HTML source code.
Below is a screenshot of the new tool from the announcement to help show how it works:
Expanded Support for JSON-LD
Google’s expanding this support means better help when it comes to company logos and contacts, social profile links, events in the Knowledge Graph; the sitelinks search box, and event rich snippets. Again, visit the official announcement for more information!