Search Gets More Social With Google +1 Button

Google +1 Button on a web page

Google +1 Button will have an impact on search results.

Last week Google took a big step along the path of blurring the line between search and social media by rolling out the Google +1 Button for web pages.

Big News

This is huge news because their +1 recommendations will influence results that everyone sees when they search with Google. With Google sending such a massive amount of traffic to most websites (we get about two thirds of our traffic here at SuccessCREEations from Google searches) anything that has the potential to shake up the search results this massively is huge.

If you have a website which is important to what you do then you need to know about this.

Google +1 Button On Search Pages

A few months ago Google added their +1 button to the search results pages. As they roll it out users have to opt into using +1. You can do so by going to the Google Experiments page and clicking the “Join the experiment” button by +1.

Google +1 on Search Results

Google +1 button makes it easy to find something again.

When you do that you will then see +1 buttons next to each entry on Google search results pages. When you find what you are searching for with that keyword you can click the +1 button and it will change color to make it easier to find again if you ever go back to that page.

+1 Button For Websites

Then last week they made their Google +1 buttons available for owners of websites to place them right on their pages.

Really this makes more sense when you think about it. How many people are going to go back to the search results page after they find what they are looking for to click a button?

People have gotten used to clicking social media buttons with Facebook and Twitter. Google is wisely tapping into that behavior by making their button available for websites. They’ve got an easy Google +1 button generator for website owners to get the code for their own sites.

And if you use WordPress then I recommend the WordPress Google +1 Button plugin. The plugin makes it easy to adjust the settings and add the +1 button to your site without having to know any programming or deal with the manual button generator that Google offers.

Search Getting Social

This is blurring the line between social media and search. Google has made it clear that they will be factoring in +1 recommendations into their search results.

Users will be able to see what has been recommended via the +1 button including by people inside their social circle. It should help users filter out some of the noise in the search results as the more relevant results naturally bubble up to the top of the results.

Therefore you are going to want to integrate the +1 button to your web pages. If you don’t, and especially if your competitors do, your website will likely have a much more difficult time ranking well in the search engines.

A Couple of Caveats

In order to use the +1 button to recommend pages you need to have a Google account. If you use most any Google service like Gmail, Google Analytics, Adwords, or even YouTube then chances are you already have one.

To me this makes sense. You can’t recommend things on Facebook or Twitter without a user account. Why would you be able to recommend anything to Google without an account there too?

The other thing that should be noted is that this isn’t available to Google Apps users yet. That doesn’t make any sense to me.

We use Google Apps here at SuccessCREEations. Have for years. Yet the +1 feature is not available because we can’t enable Google Profiles with Google Apps accounts. Google really should allow Apps administrators choose whether they want their users to have profiles. It doesn’t make sense for Google to shut out this segment of their user base, especially when Apps users tend to be even more loyal Google users.

Already Making a Difference

The +1 seems to already be making a difference in search results. I’m starting to notice some differences in search results when I search for the same terms in a browsers logged in with my Google Apps account versus my plain Gmail account.

I think you are going to want to add the +1 button to your website sooner rather than later.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the info, Chris. I’m adding the +1 button to all my niche blogs right now. :)

  2. Thanks Chris, I’ve just added the button to all of my sites!

  3. Just like Google. Always changing the name of the game. Thank you for being such a valuable resource on the latest WordPress, SEO and social media magic. Bravo!

    • You bet ‘cha Rachel. That is the one constant in this SEO/social media world: Change. Gives me plenty of stuff to write about. ;)

  4. Chris,
    Glad you got an update out about this.
    I’ve not had time to write my own and your work is always spot on.

    This point is key though:
    “Have for years. Yet the +1 feature is not available because we can’t enable Google Profiles with Google Apps accounts.”

    Should get this around more. Sure it affects many sites.

    Cheers,
    Todd
    @tojosan

    • Heya Todd! Thanks for checking in. Yeah the whole “can’t use this with Google Apps” think is weird.

      I can see where some organizations may not want to allow their users to create separate Google Profiles with a Google Apps email address versus a regular Gmail address. However if Google was going to go down that path then they shouldn’t have bothered turning on pretty much every other Google service for Apps users here in the last few weeks.

      The whole logging out/logging back in or keeping multiple browsers for different accounts to be able to access the services I use is a pain.

  5. Very nice idea. I like the Google innovations. I think I add sites.

  6. While the button works perfectly in Internet Explorer, it does not show in Firefox 4.0.1.
    Even worse, the source code results in an error there, saying: ” is not recognized”.
    For the moment I deleted the code, but I wonder why it doesn’t work in FF.
    Any suggestions?

  7. I like the +1 feature and google+ in general because I get less spammed with notification unlike facebook and can sort things a little better. I also like hangouts which is pretty fun for socializing.

  8. “This is huge news because their +1 recommendations will influence results that everyone sees when they search with Google.”

    From what I’ve read and seen in SEO experiments, there’s nothing pointing toward this being true. Google’s +1 DOES affect the search results of the contacts/friends of the Gmail user who +1’d the site initially, but does not globally affect anyone elses search. It’s basically similar to their localized/IP driven results, but through the contact list of Gmail.

    • Think about what you just said, Mike. If +1 button clicks do affect every single Google user in addition to everyone in their all of their contact lists then that’s as close to being “everyone” online as to not make much of a difference for the typical small business owner. I’m just saying. ;)

      Not to mention that I have participated in some SEO experiments where +1 clicks DID increase rankings of pages for specific search terms. Even so, when I wrote this back in June it was new enough that there hadn’t been time for those SEO tests yet and so all I had to go on is what Google (and others) said about it at the time.

      Of course I assume that you aren’t confusing the Google +1 button for web pages with the newer Google+ social media service? They are not the same thing and this article is about the button not the service.

  9. Great posting.Thnx for admin successcre :D

  10. google came out today and claimed 2.3 billion Google +1’s everyday – this is only the start

  11. I think this whole Google social experiment is getting a little tiring. I want a search engine to categorize and index the internet – i don’t care what my friends are searching for

  12. I have seen it tested several times and it does make a big ranking difference as well. Another thing that it does is even if you put the Google +1 button on your site you get a ranking increase and if you actually get Google +1’s it will even go higher. That is why you are seeing a lot of blackhat stuff going on with Google +1, but Google is staying on top of it as they normally do.

  13. Thanks Chris, I’ve just added the button to all of my sites! http://www.harbioyun.net

  14. Google is always the 800 pound gorilla in the room when anyone talks about internet sales and marketing. Just try and have a discussion without mentioning their name. Google +1 is actually 50 times better than the old ‘friend connect’ fiasco.

  15. Thanks Chris! Your information is really helpful.I have added Google+ button in my site also

Trackbacks

  1. [...] get a better understanding of why this is such big news, go read Search Gets More Social With Google +1 Button. Be sure to check out the caveats (such as needing a Google account to recommend things) at the end [...]

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