When the consumer searches for a brand the links to social profiles, including accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn, are now displayed in the “knowledge graph” box that appears on the right hand side of the screen, summarizing key information about the brand. The links will appear in both desktop and mobile search results.
This is a change from Google’s earlier policy of only displaying results from Google+, but Google+ posts are still highlighted. Previously Google began showing profile links from other social platforms for famous people, but not brands. Brand social managers can specify which profiles to link to using a new markup, according to a blog post on Google+.
Of course Google is constantly tweaking and refining its search algorithm and how it displays results. Back in November the search giant announced that it would begin highlighting “mobile-friendly” sites in its search results, meaning sites that render well on smartphones and tablets.
In order to receive the mobile-friendly badge, a Web site must avoid software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash; use text that is readable without zooming; size content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom; and place links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped.