Google have recently launched their +1 (Plus one) social search feature. The basic premise behind Google +1 is the same as the Facebook like button. Essentially websites place a +1 button on their website and site visitors can select the plus one button if they wish to recommend the page. The Google +1 button will offer Internet users the ability to compile a list of sites they like and wish to publicly display to others.
In order to select a plus one button, the person needs to have a public Google account. That person’s plus one results will then be visible to those they are connected to and also publicly viewable on their public profile.
Google view the plus one button as a way of showing your friends content that you care about. This form of social search/recommended sites is becoming a much more popular trend over the last few years. Not only can you plus one search results in Google, but you can also plus one websites that feature the plus one button. Then, when searching Google you will see any sites that people you are connected to (e.g. through Gmail) shown as plus one.
Impact on SEO
While there is no definitive results that show that plus one results will influence search engine rankings in organic Google searches, there is a likelihood that the plus one will eventually enter as a factor in the Google algorithm. The reasoning for this is that Google calculates their search engine results primarily on popularity. For instance, the greater the number of links to your site from relevant and trustworthy sources, the greater Google considers the popularity of your site.
So, the logic must then fit with plus one. One would presume that the greater the number of plus ones a website has received, then Google would most like consider that site a more popular website. I am sure Google would be collecting plus one data to compare to other algorithm factors to see if there is a correlation between greater plus one results and their current popularity measures. Only time will tell how plus one influences search engine rankings. However, we recommend to clients that if it is suitable, they adopt a plus one button on their website.
Written by Matt Cooper