Monday, August 15, 2011

Google +1 Button - An Introduction

You may have noticed when browsing on Google over the past few weeks that there is now a new +1 Button.

It has some similarities with Facebook's like button but has significant differences and potential benefits for your website traffic and search engine strategies.

If you like any web page you can just click the +1 button on your screen and the same choicdes would become visible to your friends and contacts when they Google it. It is a virtual word of mouth recommendation.

According to Google +1 is shorthand for "this is pretty cool" or "you should check this out" and they advocate that websites should embed the necessary code to allow your site visitors to publicly give the webpage their stamp of approval. The pitch is that +1's can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search. Watch the video below to find out a little bit more.

We are recommending that all our clients should start using the +1 button on their website - it shouldn't take long and the notional cost should be well outweighed by the benefits. Just drop us an email and we'll let you know the cost and schedule the work in over the next couple of weeks for you. To find out why you could watch the video below and read some of the FAQs.

Google provided some FAQ's on the developer website pages which may clarify some issues. Here's some of the the bits that may be of interest to you.

How does +1 affect search results?

+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. Does +1 affect my site’s performance in search?

Does +1 affect my site’s performance in search?

Content recommended by friends and acquaintances is often more relevant than content from strangers. For example, a movie review from an expert is useful, but a movie review from a friend who shares your tastes can be even better. Because of this, +1’s from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a user’s query. This is just one of many signals Google may use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking, and we’re constantly tweaking and improving our algorithm to improve overall search quality. For +1's, as with any new ranking signal, we'll be starting carefully and learning how those signals affect search quality.

How does the +1 button work?

If you want to use the +1 button, you will need a Google account. When you create a Google account, remember it is not just a mail-box; there are many added benefits to it. Generally, the +1 theme will work for all the Google sites but you are also provided with an option through which you can have the +1 button for non-Google sites.

1 comment:

Cameron said...

As of now, there is no significant impact of the +1 button in searches or site significance, but in 2 years time (2 years closer to the Google world domination), this could be main metric used to rank websites.
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