With the official, global roll out of Google’s +1 Button Google launches its assault on the social web.
The combative language here is nothing less than the truth. The expansion of the social web caught Google napping during Eric Shmidt’s watch as CEO and, since then, Google has played catch-up to Facebook while being engaged in a very public skirmish.
The roll out of the +1 Button will have huge impact on a website’s SEO and, while extending Google’s plans in social media, it also plays fully to its strength in search and a better quality experience for the end-user.
Three Reasons Google’s +1 Button Will Affect your SEO
Google gets the web and it gets individual users. Its underlying philosophy is to empower the individual and trust in their continued patronage in order to grow. The +1 Button is a case in point.
It’s about the end-user experience – Google’s Panda upgrade introduced a new metric in the works which was ‘website quality’. This was determined by social media presence, click through rates (CTR) and website bounce rate. The +1 Button feeds into this stream and since it’s a Google property its results go straight into the algorithmic calculations without Google having to work hard to get the data from outsiders who are unwilling to open up their sites to Google.
Crowdsourcing counts – Google is increasingly experimenting with crowdsourcing (folksonomy) as a valuable addition to the taxonomy of its algorithmic evaluations of websites. The +1 Button is folksonomy through and through and getting ‘Likes’ there will help your website rise higher in the Google database. It also allows you, as a person, to use your personal network which will see your +1 Button likes as they search the web. On the surface of it this may sound a lot like Facebook’s ‘Like’ button but the differences are as remarkable as they are subtle. While Facebook requires you to be on its site or be on a website which has implemented the Facebook ‘Like’ button in order to ‘Like’ a website or a post, with Google’s +1 Button you can do that straight from search.
Personalization becomes formalized – Google is focused on providing the best end-user experience possible. This means greater relevancy in the search results and more personalization than ever before. It is no good for your website, for instance, to rank well for a generic term when personalization settings based upon categories may knock it to the second page, for instance. This is a major SEO shift and we shall be seeing personalization begin to affect SEO practices in the very near future.
What Do You Need to Do to Take Advantage of Google’s +1 Button?
Having seen how the +1 Button affects websites and its potential impact over time the question now is what should you do in order to take advantage of its ability to enhance your website’s online presence?
1. Get your website recommended by friends and colleagues everywhere. Like Facebook’s ‘Like’ button Google’s +1 gives you the power to leverage your personal network to gain more exposure online.
2. Get visitors. Your website’s lifeblood, now, are visitor numbers who stay. Relevancy and low bounce rates are crucial Google metrics.
3. Create a brand. Without branding and a sense of authority around your site you will be unable to compete with the conglomerates dominating the web. That’s why it is important to put in place the kind of on-page optimisation which helps your website stand out from the crowd.
SEO is changing, yet again, in some of its details. The broad picture remains the same however. In the end a quality website will find ways to rise to the top.