It seems to only appear when users are logged in and following the brand on Google+. But the fact it can edge out one of the three “in the news” slots, it could mean that a brand could help control the news stories their brand followers see.
Something that is interesting is that the snippet actually contains not all info from what the brand has posted, but includes a comment made by a Google+ user that has been upvoted, even though it isn’t the most upvoted comment (although it might have been when the snippet was generated). The comment is rather amusing…
But not necessarily one that a brand might want showing up. If brands find this happening regularly, they may need to keep an eye on comments, but of course, that raises a new issue of transparency by the brand.
I think it is a nice addition to the search results, if they can control the types of comments Google is pulling for the snippets. They recently began showing brand’s tweets in the “In the News” in February. Having more posts from brands also helps a searcher find news stories from the company’s point of view, because it can often be hard to weed through news results from powerhouse news sites that tend to bury what the brand is actually saying.
This seems to be appearing for all users, as long as they both follow the company and are logged into their Google account at the time. But yet another reason why brands might not want to ignore Google+.
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