One of the perks for brands who were also active on Google+ is that their most recent post on Google+ would also be featured in the knowledge panel for their brand or company, whenever it was triggered in a regular Google search result. Not any longer. Google has removed all Google+ posts from being displayed on those knowledge panels.
This change affects users who are both logged in and logged out. And they are still removed even if a searcher follows that brand on Google+.
And of course, this also raises the question – once again – of the future of Google+ when they are removing one of the key reasons brands were active on it.
Here is how a knowledge panel currently appears:
They vanished from knowledge panels very recently, as they were still being displayed earlier in June.
Local knowledge panels are still displaying relevant reviews through Google+, but no Google+ posts are being displayed either.
Google AdWords ads are still referencing the number of followers a business has on Google+, if the extension is triggered in the ad.
Google+ posts are still being displayed on the knowledge panel that will trigger when you search for the personal name of someone you follow on Google+, when you search while logged into your Google account. But these are personalized searches displayed only to you.
But curiously, when you search for a well known person you do have in a circle on Google+ but who also triggers a knowledge panel in the regular search results, neither the circle information nor the recent posts from Google+ will display.
They are displaying some Google+ posts in a knowledge panel but only when those brands do NOT trigger a regular knowledge panel. However, these are specific Google+ boxes only, with follow buttons, not traditional knowledge panels.
So what does this mean for the future of Google+? There has been a lot of talk recently about where Google+ is headed, particularly with their recent split of Google Photos from the Google+ product. And it is hard not to think that the removal of these Google+ posts from knowledge panels is pretty significant.
It also removes one of the primary reasons many brands were active on Google+. It not only increased the size of the knowledge panel, but was essentially free advertising in the search results when those knowledge panels were triggered, and could even show eye-catching animated images in the knowledge panel too.
Businesses will have to assess the amount of time they devote to Google+ now that the posts no longer appear in the knowledge graph. However, Google+ posts can still display in the search results for those that follow the brand on Google+ and they can appear in the “In the news” section, which will still be worth it for those who may be trying to combat a negative reputation.
The change seems to have been quietly made, but they are gone for all brands at this time from their regular knowledge panel.
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