Thanks years ago, Google had a product called knol. Buried deep within Knol as one of their little Google Labs experiments, was a little thing where you could mail them a postcard or something like that, to get “Verified By Google”. The theory was, your knol posts would be considered more legit.
At the time, knol was a competing product to Wikipedia. Hard to believe it once had any competition!
Anyway, like many Google products, knol came and went.
But the verified stayed.
Comes Google Circles which turned into Google+ and, well, there you have it. A little checkmark by my name, all from a little postcard I sent to Google on a whim a long time ago