Google +1 : Public Stamp of Approval

Google
Jul 30th, 2011
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Google plus one

With the recent introduction of Google’s + 1 Button it appears that search engine rankings can now be influenced by users’ votes. With Google sending such a massive amount of traffic to most websites anything that has the potential to shake up the search results this massively is huge.

 

But What Is Google’s + 1 Button?

Very simple put this is Google’s attempt to rival Facebook’s like button by allowing users to vote for or recommend a website as being relevant for a related keyword. The most basic application of this button is a website owner integrates it with their website and when a user clicks it their personal search results will not be modified, as will the results of people they are connected with through their Google account.

 

Where do I find the +1 results?

In Google both organic and paid search results have a +1 button. Till June 1 you had to enter a Google experiment to see the +1 button. From that date on the +1 button is available to every logged in searcher on Google. So if you applied for the Google experiment, you could +1 an AdWords advertisement or an organic search result.

A Google +1 Button FAQ explains

“+1 helps people discover relevant content—a website, a Google search result, or an ad—from the people they already know and trust. Adding the +1 button to your pages lets users recommend your content, knowing that their friends and contacts will see their recommendation when it’s most relevant—in the context of Google search results.

When a signed-in Google user is searching, your Google search result snippet may be annotated with the names of the user’s connections who’ve +1′d your page. If none of a user’s connections has +1′d your page, your snippet may display the aggregate number of +1′s your page has received.”

 

How does +1 influence the Google search?

Showing +1 votes form the searcher’s social circle in the search results, influences two things:

  1. The search engine rankings themselves; Google indicates that social recommendations with the +1 button could be used to influence search results, since they improve the relevancy of a result. But Google also notes that there are many indicators for a ranking and that they are very cautious applying this new type of parameters.
  2. The click troughs form the search results; social recommendations from a circle of friends are often even more convincing than expert reviews. It’s an equivalent of word of mouth, directly in the search results presented at the moment that the searcher needs it. Also the annotations are a visual clue that will make a result stick out and that will also increase traffic to your site from that search result.

 Google +1 button search impact

 

How does +1 effects Adwords?

In the official blog of AdWords, Google has made it clear that the way that they calculate the Quality Score will not change.

“We expect that personalized annotations will help users know when your ads and organic search results are relevant to them, increasing the chances that they’ll end up on your site. You don’t have to make adjustments to your advertising strategy based on +1 buttons, and the way we calculate Quality Score isn’t changing (though +1s will be one of many signals we use to calculate organic search ranking). Think of +1 buttons as an enhancement that can help already successful search campaigns perform even better.”

Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land gives few more insights on how +1 button will affect Adwords ads.

  • All ads will be getting these buttons
  • There’s no way for advertisers to turn them off
  • Clicks on the +1 button next to ads do NOT count as a paid ad click
  • Advertisers will be able to see stats about which ads are getting the most +1s

 

Are +1 votes public?

Yes, your Google +1 votes are public. Every (logged in) Google user can see your votes and if they are in your social circle, they will also see who voted. Your votes are also in your Google public profile, unless you disallow that in your profile settings.

 

How to add the +1 button to your site?

Next to marking your webpages in a Google search result, there will also be a +1 button that can be placed on your website. This will be done via a “code snippet”. You can go here and choose the size and language of your choice: http://www.google.com/webmasters/+1/button/

 

What is the influence of a +1 button on indexation?

Google states that if a +1 button is clicked or even gets an impression on your webpage, that it will trigger a visit from the Google bot to (re)crawl and index this page. So refrain from putting a +1 button on a non-public page!

Google has been trying to “Go Social” for quite a while; Google Wave and Google Buzz was just the beginning. Certainly the +1 button looks like the Facebook Like button, but it can give a different perspective to the way that people search. Will it be successful or it will join Google Wave and Google Buzz? How will it change the way that people search and share content? These are the questions that every Online Marketer should ask.

 

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About

Sourav Saha is the Web Consultant at Webaholic. He blogs about latest SEO trends, Social Media Tips and Updates at Blogaholic. Find him on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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