As they say, that an $5 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
But there are some other benefits to having a verified profile name. Some are present, some future, and at least one purely speculative:
1. It is a trust mark for people who are considering whether to circle your page or not.
2. It qualifies you to get a Knowledge Graph type feature spot about your page in the right column of search.
3. It qualifies your page for a custom URL. At present, these are being rolled out slowly and only to very high activity pages, so keep building your following and engagement.
4. It may …and I stress MAY … have some SEO benefits. If Google now trusts that your Page is the official Page for your official web site, then some SEO “juice” may flow between the two. This is not something we know for sure, but I have seen at least a correlation between highly active client verified Pages and a rise in search rankings for their site’s content. (See “Google AuthorRank for Brands“)
How Do I Get a Verified Name for My Google Plus Page?
UPDATE 7 October 2013: Google no longer accepts applications to verify brand pages (step #4 below). It is unclear at this time if there is any automatic verification that can still take place, or if checkmark verification has been discontinued altogether. In any event, we still recommend steps 1-3 below as best practice for Google+ pages.
Verified names seem to be bestowed by Google+ at their whim and discretion, but there are things you can do to help you qualify:
- Make sure your Page’s name matches the name for which you are known; the name that appears on your web site. It does not have to be an exact match (our G+ page name is “Virante Search Marketing,” but the title tag on our website is “Virante High Potential Web Marketing,” and our site’s header simply says “Virante”), but it should be at least identifiable that you are the same brand.
- Set up what I now call “little v verification” by the proper two-way link between your Page and your official web site. See “How to Verify Your Google+ Brand Page” for instructions.
- Build a following for your page and post there regularly. Google used to say you needed at least 1000 followers to get a verified name, but now they just say “a meaningful number.” Since there is now way of knowing when you’ve hit that target, keep building and every so often re-apply (see step 4).
When you think you’ve got a good following and engagement for your brand page, apply for a verified name. Don’t be shy about re-applying later if you’re turned down the first time. We were rejected at first even when we has over 1000 followers. We kept building and posting, and when we reapplied after passing 2500 followers, we got the verification.