I recently touched on the growing relevance of Google's Knowledge Graph on my post about SERP impressions. As of last week, links to social profiles now appear in the knowledge graph box for corporate brands.
There was a Tweet with a blog post link about this late last week and I had to see it for myself. Sure enough, Google had made yet another enhancement to it's search results page in the Knowledge Graph.
It was a bit of a false start (The FB link went to some Vietnamese Foodie group for the first two days) but all in all very interesting that Google would want to show these link so prominently and not just within search results beforehand.
The first thing that came to mind were regulatory and legal considerations. Various authorities have been after Google services for a few years now, accusing it of abusing it's power to unfairly take advantage of the playing field. I suppose showing rival social networks alongside Google+ and YouTube (another Google company) will make things seem more fair and call off any more heat on the subject. By the way, a link to YouTube doesn't always appear: I've seen it more often via mobile search.
Next, showing all of these links (5+) could also Google responding to increased searches for these channels: over the past couple of years, the search engine has been pretty good at showing answers to common or and popular queries within the search results. Sometimes the results are their even before you ask for them, such as why searching for a common retailer will often retrieve a map with nearby locations displayed in the knowledge graph.
SEO wise, placing the links in the knowledge graph enhances the search results: there are only 10 results per page and a few of those slots are now freed up so that website content can take their place.
So, give it a try: Google your companies name to see if the channels appears or not in the knowledge graph. If they do, make sure they're the right links and use the nifty feedback module (bottom right) to suggest a correction! If they don't appear or the list is incomplete, check out this post: Social Media on Knowledge Graph- Learn How to ADD Here | Beanstalk Internet Marketing