How Google Plus and (+1) could Affect SEO

Google’s plus one button (+1) has just been released. The +1 button is similar to Facebook’s now widespread “Like” feature. In essence, it allows Google users to vote on pages and videos displayed in SERP. Further, their actions are displayed to their contacts. Currently, the +1 feature is only available to a limited number of users, but anyone can opt in by visiting Google Experimental.

Experimental Google+1

When you click the (+1) plus one button, according to Google’s new promo video, “you’re telling your friends, your family, and the rest of the world: ‘This is something you should check out.’”

In an post by Danny Sullivan in SearchEngineLand, Matt Cutts was quoted as saying:

“The primary benefit is that search gets better. It gets better in the user interface immediately, and we’ll look at it as a potential signal to improve search quality as well. I find social search extremely useful, especially with the recent updates. This change continues the evolution of social search, and it’s a natural profession to improve the search experience,” said Matt Cutts, a Google engineer who is most known for leading Google’s search spam fighting team but who also helped launch Google Social Search in 2009.”

This isn’t Google’s first attempt at social functionality. Preceding the +1 button are Orkut and Buzz, both of which have been widely regarded as failures. Google has countless numbers of users, but for some reason it’s yet eluded Google how to connect them. The +1 button may prove to be the end of their frustrations, being plainly visible directly on the SERP.

Google said that “+1 data will directly influence its market share dominating search rankings,” according to Mashable. From this we may assume some future changes to Google’s search algorithm. SEO professionals may not have to make modifications to their strategies as long as the +1 button still has its “experimental” status. Still, the possibility should be considered now, since it’s entirely possible that many +1s could trump even high quality back-links.

Some have voiced doubt that the +1 button will be used by average people, being mainly of interest to webmasters trying to increase their page rank. Google will have to make sure that the +1 button provides enough feedback between its connected users. Facebook has done this by alerting all of a user’s friends on their feed when they “Like” something. Maybe Google would profit from a similar feature.




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