SEO effects of the Google +1 button

Google +1 ButtonToday on May 4th 2011 Google has announced it will start to roll out its new “Google +1” feature. This feature is very similar to the facebook ‘like’ button or the other buttons for social media networks like ‘stumbleupon’, ‘digg’, reddit’ etc.

Where will the +1 button be located? In the next few weeks you will see the +1 button come up next to both organic Google search results and paid Google search results. Then the next stage will be to allow webmasters to insert the +1 button on their sites and on specific or all pages of their sites.

What will be the added benefit to the Google searcher? Once this +1 button is implemented next to search results, searchers using Google will be able to indicate what site they felt was information rich and gave them the results they were looking for. Interestingly this is yet another step that Google is trying to move their algorithm away from off-page optimization focused data (like number and quality of in-links) and onto on-page signals of quality of information and relevance of information to the searcher. Google have not announced this but they will no doubt be using the +1 data in their algorithm as to decide organic positions for websites.

What should you do on your site to prepare? Of course ensure that your content is top quality content and it is not spammy and that it adds value to the reader. The second step is for webmasters to use this link to sign up to be notified by Google when their website is eligible to place the +1 on pages within your site itself. It is up to you to install this feature on your site, while google will automatically put this feature up on its search results.

What will be the affect to your site? Google have not said (as usual) how this will affect the SEO of your website. But it is clear that it will be one of the factors to rank a site and hence give it a position in the Google organic search results. Only time will tell how important this feature is for the Google algorithm. In my opinion it will not start to affect results too much at the start, but if the +1 feature is a success with users, Google may in the future place more weight on the +1 for ranking websites.

Conclusion: In the end, Google is striving to move away from the effect of SEO experts from optimizing poor sites by link building (which Google classifies as illegal – but that is debatable). The more complex the Google algorithm and the more natural it calculates the relevance of a page/site related to a keyword the better the results the search engine will provide. The best SEO technique I can suggest is for people to have great content, relevant content, unique content, keyword targeted content, and have the +1 button on your website before your competitors in a quality location above the fold and in  a place where it is easy and obvious for users to click.

Paul Vesely has over 12 years experience in the dynamic online marketing environment instigating marketing solutions for a wide range of businesses to suit their goals. Through understanding a company's target market and aims, Paul has managed to launch a wide variety of online marketing campaigns to increase sales, generate leads, and increase bottom line profit. Paul Vesely's expertise lie in inbound marketing and focus on utilizing search engine optimization, PPC, PR, Social Media and online campaigns to accomplish the client's business goals through online means. The author's views expressed in this blog are his own and do not represent anyone or any other organization's views even if the author is associated with those organizations.