Google +1 Recommendations
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Google +1 Recommendations



A slideshow explaining what Google +1 recommendation are, how they work, how they compare to other Google products like Social Search & Starred Results, and their implications for SEO.

A slideshow explaining what Google +1 recommendation are, how they work, how they compare to other Google products like Social Search & Starred Results, and their implications for SEO.



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Google +1 Recommendations Google +1 Recommendations Presentation Transcript

  • Google . What you need to know...
  • Google +1 - How it works
    • The basics:
    • Right now, this feature only appears in the SERP for paid & natural listings
      • Not possible to +1 a YouTube result or Places result (yet)
    • Soon, it will be available as a button you can add to your web pages (much like a Facebook Like button)
    • Only appears if you are logged in with a Google Account
    • Only being made available to US – English users at this time
    • To opt in, visit
  • Google +1 – Natural Search Implications
    • Natural Search Implications
    • Can influence rankings if those in your +1 Social Network also +1 a result
    • Unlikely to influence rankings if +1 recommendations come from those outside of your network
    • Will influence click through rates as users see popular results, increasing likelihood of clicking on the result
      • May also indirectly help SEO through greater links & social sharing of popular +1’d results
  • Google +1 – Paid Search Implications
    • Paid Search Implications
    • You can also +1 Paid Search results, but this will not directly influence quality score or ranking of results
    • However, it will have indirect effects as popular +1’d results have higher click through rates
      • Higher CTR will result in better quality scores
      • Better Quality scores = lower CPC and better efficiency of ads
      • But remember…none of this will be directly influenced – yet.
  • Google +1 – The Button
    • The +1 Button for Websites
    • Currently not available to webmasters yet as they focus on results & implications on SERP
    • You can sign up for a notification when the +1 button becomes available here:
    • Briefly the +1 Button was spotted on a website called on but Google zapped it
    • When it goes live, this seems like a no-brainer to implement on any page where you’d normally add Sharing functionality
  • Google +1 vs Social Search
    • +1 vs Social Search – Different Networks, Different Features
    • +1 and Social Search are separate entities using separate networks
    • Social Search uses accounts connected through your Google profile, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, and Yelp
      • You can see your connected accounts here:
    • +1 does not use your connected accounts – it only uses Google connections such as Gmail contacts, Google Chat buddies, or people you follow in Google Reader
    • Likewise they appear in separate places in the SERP
    +1 result Social Search result
  • Google +1 vs Starred Results
    • +1 vs Starred Results – out with the old, in with the new
    • Starred results are being retired in favor of +1
    • Major difference is that results you starred would appear at top of SERP for future searches – not the case for +1 results
    • The other major difference is that your starred results weren’t viewable by others, whereas they are for +1 results
    • Otherwise, very similar in nature
  • Google +1 & Google Profiles
    • +1 & Google Profiles
    • You must have a Google Profile setup to use +1
    • Coincidentally, this is also where you connect accounts for Social Search
    • You can setup your Google Profile to display all of your +1 recommendations publicly, kind of like a bookmarking system
    • Adds additional value to your Google Profile
  • Google +1 – Can it be manipulated?
    • Can it be manipulated?
    • Probably, but very difficult…
    • Can only +1 a result when logged in through a Google Account
      • Google has a TON of information to use to determine if a Google Account is spam or not:
    • Your +1 recommendations will only effect rankings of your connections, so spam accounts not connected to anyone will be unlikely to influence anyone’s results
    • While +1 recommendations will count toward aggregate +1 score, it is unclear if this will alter rankings (probably not), and Google may not count +1 recommendations from new or spam accounts
  • Google +1 – Will it catch on?
    • Will +1 flop or flourish?
    • Google has a poor track record with social initiatives
    • Depends on adoption & use by webmasters (+1 button on website) and searchers click +1 buttons on SERPs
    • Tough competition against the Facebook Like button
    • Users might trust Facebook Likes more than Google +1s
      • Manipulation & abuse may cause greater distrust
    • Right now, UX for +1 is a bit confusing which may be a turn-off to users
  • Google +1 – Implications for SEO
    • Implications for SEO Strategy
    • Social becomes even more important for SEO performance
      • Active & popular social media campaigns are a MUST for SEO
    • Adding +1 Button on webpages is a no-brainer when available
    • +1 Recommendations & other social signals may slowly start to replace the link graph
      • Social popularity akin to link building in establishing trust & authority to your site
    • Rewards good content users would recommend to friends, and likewise hurts poor quality content users wouldn’t publicly recommend
      • Another nail in the coffin of content farms?
    • Manipulation potential remains to be seen
      • Faking social media popularity is definitely possible (auto-followers on Twitter, fake Google accounts, paying for Facebook likes, etc)
      • Potential to run contests & promotions encouraging users to +1 your site?
    • SERP clutter is a real problem – getting your result to stand-out gets tougher with so many features like Starred Results, Social Search, +1, Real Time Search, etc all coexisting and appearing side-by-side
    • Your +1 score would be a good metric to monitor & track, much like PageRank or link count
  • Questions?