Google Begins Verifying Google+ Accounts

Google has started adding small verification badges to certain Google+ accounts.

The badges initially appear as a small, gray, circular checkbox to the right of the account name, and then expand on mouseover to say “verified name.” Our Editor-in-Chief Danny Sullivan is among the first group of accounts to be verified like this, and here’s how the badge appears on his profile with the mouseover in place.


Google’s Wen-Ai Yu made the announcement Friday evening in a Google+ post and accompanying video. She explains that verification right now is focused on

  • public figures
  • celebrities
  • people who have been “added to a large number of circles”

There’s no definition of “large number of circles” and, on a quick check, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to verification, either. I’m seeing the verified badge on accounts like Google’s Vic Gundotra, who has about 119,000 followers, and well-known social media author Brian Solis, who has about 22,000 followers.

Google’s Avinash Kaushik doesn’t have the verification badge — he has about 8,800 followers — while another Google employee, Chris Schrier does, even though he has about 4,500 followers — half of what Kaushik has. And a user named Adrian Rodriguez is also verified, even though he claims to only have about 100 followers (as he says in the comments on Google’s announcement).

In other words, it’s probably a waste of time to try figuring out the minimum level for verification. It’s equally pointless to try figuring out Twitter’s standards for verified accounts. In fact, the whole social verification scene is quite a mess these days.

Google does promise that they’re planning to expand the verification program, as you can see in the video announcement below.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Google: Google+ | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Bryson Meunier

    I have a verified account with less than 500 followers. I verified my name with Google Knol a few years ago, so I’m guessing they’ve grandfathered those accounts in.

  • erichoffman

    I agree with Bryson, because I did the same for my name w/Knol and it looks like that did transfer over to my Google+ account, and I am around 60 followers.

  • Vanessa Fox

    Any idea what the verification process is? I’m verified, but I have no idea how they went about it.

  • Matt McGee

    No, they don’t explain anything about that, Vanessa. And BTW, you weren’t verified this morning when I wrote the article. Danny was the only SEL person with that status.

  • Nadge-the-1 Ariffin

    I’m not a celebrity (well a very minor one in my country) and I only have 231 followers, but I’d like to get verified as others have been using my name such that I now have to use the cumbersome Nadge-the-1 Ariffin – yup it’s real silly. Besides, if you’re not verified it’s like having ED even though you’re fully endowed.

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