Monday, June 27th, 2011
Have you seen this?
It’s the recently launched Google +1 button and is Google’s latest attempt to get into the social space. It’s something of an equivalent to the Facebook ‘Like’ button, which has proliferated across the web. Facebook, with its 500m users, has oodles of personal data that could be used to influence search ranking and personalise search. But it hasn’t invested significantly in search and Bing is used to power search on the platform.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has focused so far on areas such as:
o Site audit
o On-page optimization (meta tags and content)
But the Google +1 could be a new kid on the block.
We’ve had personalised search results from Google and Bing for some time. What you see on a search engine results page (SERP) is not the same as what I see. But this hasn’t changed the fundamental approach to search engine optimization.
How does it work?
The way the +1 button works is that if one of your connections in Google from your Google Profile or Gmail Contacts, Google Reader or other Google product ‘ +1s’ an item, then this item is more likely to appear in your search results. So it is only relevant for those who are signed in to their Google account. The limitation to the usefulness of the +1 button is that the amount of people who actively use a Google Profile and connections is so much less than the number actively using Facebook.
Bing has already announced if you are signed in to Facebook, the opinions of your Facebook friends can be used to influence your search results.
How might it affect search engine optimization?
According to Google, the number of +1s does not affect search rankings, though they say it may in the future. This could mean that marketers will need to add the button and actively promote content on sites or pages they wish to rank well. Promotions might focus on ‘+1’ ing the page in a similar way to Facebook competitions and promotions where the user has to ‘Like’ the page.
Depending on how successful the +1 button is, search engine optimisation could be entering a new phase.
Where to get the button
If you want to incorporate the button into your WordPress web design you could add this plugin.