Want to have your company logo appear in Google search results, similar to the way authors get to have their pictures displayed? Keep waiting. New “organization markup” support that Google has announced won’t do that, but it might be useful for putting your logo in Google Knowledge Graph boxes.
Many are familiar with authorship images that appear next to some stories, such as this example:
That’s where I did a search for “google bing,” and one of my own articles came up in the top results. My picture appears next to the article because I’ve gone through the steps to identify myself as an author to Google.
Google isn’t rolling out a form of “publishership” that would allow organizations to have the same thing happen for them. In fact, it even pushed back on speculation earlier this month that the rel=publisher mechanism would soon be used to allow this.
The Knowledge Graph Box & Logos
So, what did Google announce today? A new way to get your company logo within the Google Knowledge Graph box, if Google decides to show one for your company. Consider this example from a search for “lear corp,” which brings up a box:
See how there’s a box to the right of the search results? That’s a Knowledge Graph box, one for Lear. The Lear logo is showing, probably because Google figured out a way to guess that it makes sense to show.
Google’s post didn’t make it clear that this was happening only for the Knowledge Graph box, causing us to originally write that this was going to put logos next to search listings. However, Google has since clarified that logos do not show next to search results as with authorship, but rather, in the Knowledge Graph box that sometimes shows for companies.
Just using the markup doesn’t guarantee that your logo will be used. It only helps suggest this to Google, which makes the ultimate decision.
Going The Google+ Route
Of course, if you really want your logo in that area in a far more controlled and consistent manner, get on Google+. Consider this:
In that example, in a search for “Search Engine Land,” you can see that a Knowledge Graph / Google+ box appears to the right of the listings. Our logo appears in that box, because we’re on Google+.
I’d say for most companies, doing Google+ is going to be a far more effective way to gain logo visibility than using organizational markup. But the option is there, for those who just don’t want to be on Google+.
Note: We updated our story to reflect Google’s clarification that markup doesn’t lead to logos showing next to search listings but only in the Knowledge Graph box. Thanks to Tom Roberts below in the comments, for spotting this.