SearchDex Blog:

Social Media Markup

lwynn January 27, 2015

Social Media Mark-Up

Include Your Social Profile in Search Results – SEO

Recently Google has added support to include social profiles in the Knowledge panel for some searches by adding Markup. The Google Knowledge Graph is a system that Google launched which displays facts about brands, people, places and things and how these entities are all connected.

Social Media Markup

To take advantage of this new feature, structured data must be embedded into your website to specify your preferred social profiles. Currently Google supports the following social media accounts:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Myspace

Google encourages webmasters to specify other social media accounts but they are not currently supported and will not be included in search results.

Here are a few requirements set forth by Google for implementation:

  • The social profiles in your markup must correspond to the ones that users can see on the same page. This means if a supported social profile is not on your webpage and is not verified it will not be included.
  • Markup must be added to your official website. (Ensure your site is verified in Google Webmaster Tools.)
  • Pages with markup must not be blocked by robots.txt
  • You must include a person or organization in the markup on page and:
    • “url” = the url of your official website
    • “sameAs” = the urls of your official social media profile pages

Implementation of the Markup

Implementation of social media markup utilizes Schema.org standards and can be implemented using Microdata, RDFa markup or JSON-LD. Below are examples for both types of markup. Typically JSON-LD is the simplest to use.

JSON-LD Organization Example:
Social media markup json example

Microdata Markup Organization Example:

Social media markup microdata

*For the examples above, simply replace the URL and social profiles with your own values, and insert this code into the page that shows users these profiles. If the profiles visible on the page are formatted differently from the markup, Google will still pick up the social media accounts.

The SCRIPT block can be inserted anywhere on the page — either the head or body of the page.

Publishing and Testing the Social Media Markup for SEO

Test your markup: To verify that your markup is well-formed and can be processed by Google, paste the HTML source of your marked-up page (or just the <script> block) into Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool – See: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/structured-data/testing-tool/

Submit your marked up pages for re-crawling: When Google next crawls the page, its indexing algorithms will process the profiles from your markup and make them eligible to be used in search -results if no errors were found. You can ask Google to crawl the page by following the instructions here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6065812?hl=en&ref_topic=4617736&rd=1.

How long before your social media accounts show in SERPs?

Google has stated the process may take up to a week to be processed and indexed. Once you submit the marked up pages, you might need to wait some time for Google to process your request as well as crawl and index the page. Also, understand that Google does not guarantee they will index all your changes as Google relies on a complex algorithm to update indexed materials.

Social Media Markup Resources and References

Reference: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/structured-data/customize/social-profiles

Reference: http://www.google.com/insidesearch/features/search/knowledge.html

Reference: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/structured-data/testing-tool/

Reference: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/introducing-knowledge-graph-things-not.html

Reference: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6065812?hl=en&ref_topic=4617736&rd=1

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