Google has recently announced the release of a new social button called “+1” (plus one). Similarly to Facebook like button, the new +1 button will allow users to bookmark and share the cool websites, pages, advertisements and search results that they find on the web.
The +1 button will start appearing next to the search results on Google.com and later it will become available to the other versions of Google. Note that in order to see the +1 button, you must have an updated Google profile, you must be logged in and you have to opt-in to the launch by visiting the Google’s experimental search site.
What is the +1 Button and how it works?
As we said above the +1 button will allow users recommend and share content with their friends and it will be visible next to the search results. Along with them the logged in users will be able to see if the people that belong to their Social Circle have +1’d any of the pages that appear in SERPs. Currently the Social Circle is calculated based on the data that come from Gmail, Google Talk, Google Contacts, Google Reader and Google Buzz. Nevertheless Google says that on the near future they will incorporate information from other 3rd party networks such as Twitter, Flickr etc.
Additionally in a few weeks webmasters will be able to add the new buttons in their website. This will enable their visitors to vote/share/like those pages as they currently do on Facebook, Twitter, Delicious etc. See below the official video of the release to get more insights on what is the philosophy behind the +1 Button:
As expected, this new feature can have a major impact on the SEO and on the Social Media marketing. Below you can see the effects of the +1 Button on several important aspects of SEO and Online Marketing:
The effects on CTR
The +1 button will affect the Click Through Rate. This is because the users are more likely to click on the pages, ads or search results that have been +1’d by someone they know and trust. The users will be able to see the total number of people that have +1’d a particular page along with the names and the pictures of the people that belong to their Social Circle. As a result this will make the snippets of the pages more compelling, and it will increase dramatically the odds of clicking on the particular links.
The effects on Crawling Rate
Pages that have been +1’d are more likely to be crawled or re-crawled by Google. As they mention in their FAQ, Google might crawl the pages and store the title and content in response to a +1 button impression or click.
The effects on SEO
Google already uses data from 3rd party Social Media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr etc) as signals to determine the Search Engine Results. As a result we should expect that the number of +1s of a page will be used as a signal on the future. Nevertheless by definition the +1 button gives more weight to what your friends think as important and as a result we should expect that it will carry more weight when one of your contacts voted for a particular page.
The effects on Adwords
In the official blog of AdWords, Google has made it clear that the way that they calculate the Quality Score will not change. Nevertheless as we mentioned earlier the +1 button will affect the CTR. As a result one is more likely to click on an ad that has been “recommended” by someone that he/she knows and trusts.
Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land gives few more insights on how +1 button will affect Adwords ads. He mentions that all the ads will get the +1 buttons and that the advertisers will not be able to disable them. Also as expected, he mentions that voting for a particular ad will not count as a click and it will not lead to additional charges. Finally on the future both webmasters and advertisers will be able to get statistics about the number of people that favored their content.
Google has been trying to “go Social” for quite a while; Google Wave and Google Buzz was just the beginning. Certainly the +1 button looks like the Facebook Like button, but it can give a different perspective to the way that people search. Will it be successful or it will join Google Wave and Google Buzz? How will it change the way that people search and share content? These are the questions that every Online Marketer should ask; rest assured that we will cover those topics in the next articles.
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