Google +1 Set to Expand in Weeks to Come0
The newest entry into social media by Google, the +1 button, will be expanding quite a bit in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. Just when you were about to recover from the Panda update, Google is throwing social media at you left and right. If you have not yet heard about the Google +1 button, then you might want to start by doing a little background reading on our previous post Google +1 Button – Social Feedback To Affect SERP Rankings. That post has an embedded video from Google as well that tells you all about +1.
It’s no secret that Google has been wanting to get into Social media more prevalently. Facebook has been taking a lot of traffic away from Google and they see the writing on the wall. The question is, is Google doing anything really ground breaking here? Or just doing a copy-cat solution? Honestly, it looks like more of the latter than the former, but many people are missing the real importance of this +1 button.
While +1 is nothing ground breaking, it is the integration of it within the SERPS that is potentially a big thing to be concerned about. On the surface +1 looks just like the Facebook Like concept, but the real issue here is that Google is integrating +1 directly within the search results and surely that integration will lead to customization of the search results algorithm based on the +1 feedback to some degree. Clearly a lot of people look to “game” Google and I doubt that +1 will have a lot of impact (at least initially) but I do look for it to be a factor – one that we need to be cognizant of from day one.
What Does Google +1 Look Like?
For those that haven’t seen it yet, here’s an image of what Google +1 looks like in search engine results page.
Now, one thing that is subtle but important here is to pay attention to just where it is appearing. Anywhere you see that +1 image you can assume that it will be affecting rankings and what is interesting is that it is not only appearing in the organic search results but in the paid advertising areas as well. Take a look in the image above and you’ll see what I mean. This is interesting because it looks like Google is likely to use +1 to affect your Google Adwords campaigns in the near future as well.
As you can see, this is really just like the Facebook Like button or the Twitter Tweet button that you see on so many blogs. It’s really going to be interesting to see just how much Google really pays attention to this and how much it affects the SERPS, but indications are that they are gearing up for it.
A Look At What’s Coming
On May 10th at Google I/O conference, they released a ton of information on what will likely be the future of Google +1 and, according to Timothy Jordon of Google, it’s only weeks away. As we’ve said, from a user perspective it appears just like the Tweets and Like’s buttons, but Google will also be integrating it into Google Webmaster Central.
At the conference Google showed screens in beta form (meaning they may change before launch) that showed you how many +1′s you were getting per day on your site by URL. This looks very similar to other data presented in Google Analytics but it’s unclear at this point whether this data will also be incorporated into Google Analytics or just within Google Webmaster Central (commonly referred to as Webmaster Tools).
So What’s Coming?
The first thing is a button generation form that will allow you to select the size and type of +1 button you wish to display on your site and it will create the code for you. You then simply paste in that HTML/Script code into your site and that’s all there is to it – you’ve got a +1 button on your site. The buttons will be available for display in several different sizes and formats – some with and some without the counts of how many times the post has been +1′d.
Within the Webmaster Tools you’ll be able to get a bunch of analytical reports and data about the +1 activity on your site. The data will be anonymously provided so you won’t know who did or didn’t +1 you, but you’ll be able to see volume numbers. This image below shows what this Activity chart might look like. We say “might” because Google has warned that it is still in beta and may change this around. (Source: This image comes from http://searchengineland.com/figz/wp-content/seloads/2011/05/activity.jpg – you can read more about this story here.)
You’ll also get various demographic and other data about the people +1′ing your site. For example, location, age and sex information. Again, you won’t get any individual information, just summary anonymous information, but this can be very helpful to your marketing campaign (and Google’s, of course).
Are you interested in being among the first to hear more details about +1? If so, you can sign up to Google’s early notification system here. It’s a simple opt-in page with email and your website (optional) to get on a notification list if you want.
The bottom line is that things are changing – again. As anyone interested in SEO or marketing their online business, you need to keep up with the times and Google +1 will definitely have a significant impact. Exactly how is yet to be determined, but keeping on top of it from the beginning is the smart move. We’ll continue to bring you more information as it comes out.
Right now the best thing you can do is take steps to get involved in social media marketing from an SEO perspective to establish social proof for your site and there is no better tool for that than Synnd (we use the Enterprise version ourselves). While Synnd doesn’t have any integration with Google +1 yet, the important part is that it brings social proof and activity to your site now and that is something that Google is watching and that affects your rankings.
Other Suggested Reading
- Synnd Review – Synnd is a powerful new tool that helps automate the tedious task of getting social media marketing going for your site. This review is much more than a review of the product, it is also very informative about social proof and the role of social media marketing in today’s SEO campaign.