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Google +1 Button: 31 Things You Should Know

Points of note for users and site owners

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As you may know, the Google +1 button has become available for webmasters, site owners and publishers to include on their content, and many rushed right in to do just that. Why not? It impacts your site’s visibility in search, and with the continuously changing Google algorithm, anything to help in that department is welcome to most sites.

We’ve compiled a list of noteworthy tidbits about the button, and things that we think any site interested in using it should know.

1. The +1 button will influence search rankings. Here is the exact quote from Google’s David Byttow, from when the feature was first announced: “We’ll also start to look at +1’s as one of the many signals we use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking, including social signals from other services. For +1′s, as with any new ranking signal, we’ll be starting carefully and learning how those signals affect search quality over time.”

2. When a user searches, while signed in, their search result snippets may be annotated with the names of their connections who have “+1′d” the page. When none of the user’s connections have +1′d a page, the snippet may display the aggregate number of +1′s the page has received.

3. Google says publishers could see “more, and better qualified traffic coming from Google” as potential visitors see recommendations from friends and contacts beneath their search results

4. Google calls the +1 button “shorthand for ‘this is pretty cool’ or ‘you should check this out’.

5. One a user clicks the button, a link to the content appears under the +1′s tab on the user’s Google Profile.

6. Google suggests clicking the button when you “like, agree with, or want to recommend” something to others.

7. The +1 Button is not the same as Google Buzz, though there are similarities. They both appear on your Google Profile under different tabs, but +1′s don’t allow for comments (at least yet. I would not be surprised to see Buzz’s functionality get rolled into +1 eventually).

8. +1′s are public by default. Google may show them to any signed-in user who has a social connection to one. Users can choose not to have them displayed publicly on their Google Profile, however.

9. There are different sizes and styles of the button that you can use on your site.

10. The button is even more customizable if you want to get more technical. The API documentation can be found here: http://code.google.com/apis/+1button/

11. When a user clicks on the +1 button it applies to the URL of the page they’re on.

12. Still, multiple buttons can be placed on a single page that all +1 different URLs (refer to the above documentation).

13. While Google suggests you use the button where you think they’ll be most effective in terms of placement around your content, the company recommends above the fold, near the title of the page, and close to sharing links. Google also says it can be effective if you put it at the end of an article as well as the beginning.

14. By placing the <script> tag at the bottom of the document, just before the body close tag, Google says you may improve loading speed of the page (which is another factor Google takes into account in terms of ranking).

15. If you try to +1 a private URL, it won’t work, according to Google.

16. You have to be logged into a Google account for the button to work.

17. While everyone can see aggregate annotations, signed in users can also see personalized annotations from people in their Gmail/Google Talk Chat list, My Contacts group in Google Contacts, and people they’re following in Google Reader and Google Buzz.

18. Google points to these canonicalization strategies to ensure the +1s “apply as often as possible to the pages appearing in Google search results.” http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=139066

19. The button is supported in 44 languages (though the annotations only appear in the English language Google.com search results for the time being).

20. The button will be seen in the Android Market, Blogger blogs, Product Search, and YouTube, in addition to any other sites that add them.

21. A lot of sites have already replaced the Google Buzz button on content pages with the +1 button

22. If you have a Blogger blog, you can add the button by going to Design > Page Elements on the dashboard, finding the “Blog posts” area, clicking edit, and selecting the “Show Share Buttons” options, where you should find the +1 button as an option.

23. The +1 Button will be available on YouTube watch pages under the “share” feature. Consider how valuable YouTube can already be to SEO, and take then take into consideration the search implications of the +1 button.

24. If you’re signed into your Google account, Google will show you +1 annotations from your Google contacts on YouTube search results.

25. Google says adding +1 buttons to your pages can help your ads stand out on Google. “By giving your visitors more chances to +1 your pages, your search ads and organic results might appear with +1 annotations more often. This could lead to more–and better qualified–traffic to your site,” the company says.

26. The +1 button will appear next to the headline on search ads. Personalized annotations will appear beneath the Display URL.

27. Publishers can get updates about the button by joining this group.

28. Google may crawl or re-crawl pages with the button, and store the page title and other content, in response to a +1 button impression or click.

29. Google has strict policies for publishers that it says it will use (along with the Google ToS) to govern use of the +1 button. Here are these policies in their entirety:

Publishers may not sell or transmit to others any data about a user related to the user’s use of the +1 Button. For the avoidance of doubt, this prohibition includes, but is not limited to, any use of pixels, cookies, or other methods to recognize users’ clicks on the +1 Button, the data of which is then disclosed, sold, or otherwise shared with other parties.

Publishers may not attempt to discover the identity of a +1 Button user unless the user consents to share his or her identity with the Publisher via a Google-approved authorization procedure. This prohibition includes identifying users by correlating +1 Button reporting data from Google with Publisher data.
Publishers may not alter or obfuscate the +1 Button, and Publishers may not associate the +1 Button with advertising content, such as putting the +1 Button on or adjacent to an ad, unless authorized to do so by Google.

Publishers may not direct users to click the +1 Button for purposes of misleading users. Publishers should not promote prizes, monies, or monetary equivalents in exchange for +1 Button clicks. For the avoidance of doubt, Publishers can direct users to the +1 Button to enable content and functionality for users and their social connections. When Publishers direct users to the +1 Button, the +1 action must be related to the Publishers’ content and the content or functionality must be available for both the visitor and their social connections.

Google may analyze Publishers’ use of the +1 Button, including to ensure Publishers’ compliance with these policies and to facilitate Google’s development of the +1 Button. By using the +1 Button, Publishers give Google permission to utilize an automated software program (often called a “web crawler”) to retrieve and analyze websites associated with the +1 Button.

30. The button is not available on mobile search results yet, though users may still be able to see the buttons on your pages.

31. According to Search Engine Land, while they may still be a while away, Google will launch analytics for the button, to show webmasters info on geography, demographics, content, and search impact. Apparently Google is working with launch partners to make sure reporting is accurate before they offer it on a wider scale.

If you want the code for the button to add to your site, you can get it here.

There are more discussions (including issues people are having with the +1 button in Google’s Webmaster Central Help Forum.

Google +1 Button: 31 Things You Should Know
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  • http://www.justoutsourcing.com IamJO

    “16. You have to be logged into a Google account for the button to work.” This is a welcomed policy. I feared people would approach +1 the same way they approach adsense ads (i.e. click, click, click, click!). At least with this restriction, abuse can be minimized.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      I’m sure people will look for ways to abuse it.

      • http://www.patantconsult.com Carla Lendor

        I have several 30 websites and 50 gmail accounts, I thing you get my drift game on Google!

    • http://www.imsupporting.com live chat

      Couldnt agree more.
      Lets just hope people don’t find a way to create 10000′s of accounts and spam the system?

      I suppose at least this way it means that if you really do “like” something, then you put your name on it!

  • http://TransmitAutoPilot.com Cynthia Leighton

    Google rules, right? Always worth watching…

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Still the top traffic source for many sites.

  • Jack

    I wonder when +1 will replace Page rank?

  • http://www.ebook-site.com Bryan

    Thanks Chris.
    I’ll take some time out this morning to look at this.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/website-internet-marketing.htm Nick Stamoulis

    Google flat out says the +1 will be a signal, so site owners would be wise to at least take the couple minutes to incorporate it into their site. I’m looking at it like a share button. Only time will tell if the +1 works with the everyday user, but it is worth a trial period.

    • http://www.macgizmoguycom MacGizmoGuy

      Nick – I know your content can stand on it’s own two feet as-is. Don’t you think we’re just getting suckered-into the next SEO gambit that Do/No-Follow proved to be? Google _desperately_ needs webmaster uptake on a broad scale for this – or it’ll just be a flash in the pan.

      So once again, FUD – Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. Dangled like another carrot, I’m sure to be followed by horribly predictable Matt Cutt’s videos pandering to the FEAR of not implementing +1, and the supposed benefits you _might_ get… I hope there are many, many other site owners that are just BORED by this whole game. Must we give Google yet another handful of Lollipops & Whips with which to reward or beat us with?!? Ugh.

  • http://www.freshegg.com sarah

    Im not sure how popular this will be or how effective – seeing how many +1 a site has doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be right for others.

  • http://signature.eu.com/we-promote/pay-per-click-management/ steve @ pay-per-click marketing kent

    What was once the “Google Dance” has become more of a “Quick Step” as developers sprint to catch up with latest developments

  • http://www.copywriterinuae.com Copywriter in UAE

    When trying to install the +1 button, I noticed that Google makes it mandatory for me to have a public profile – something I had disabled after being fed up with Google Buzz and its privacy violations and sneaky features. Is Google bringing back Buzz in a new avatar?

    You haven’t touched upon Google’s linking up of +1 with Google Public profile – Chris. I would like to know WHY I must have a public profile on Google to use the +1?

    • http://www.facebook.com/kercommunications Nick

      Having a “mandatory” public profile is probably to help prevent abuse. The idea is to use it as a public endorsement and metric of popularity and not a measure of how many times someone can click on the +1 button under different private profiles.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Google wants to increase its presence in social. I’d say a profile is a key component in this, and I’d be surprised if Google doesn’t do more to emphasize profiles going forward, to get people to actually look at them more.

  • http://inspire-gifts.com GCornett

    I think the +1 button has the potential to be a double-edged sword. Websites already getting a lot of traffic will get a lot of +1 clicks once creating a snowball effect for those sites in search, while newer and smaller sites will get fewer +1 clicks, driving them further down in search. So it’s basically just a popularity contest. Even so, I will be adding the +1 to my sites.

    I wish Google would implement a “yes-no” button next to search results (“was this result relevant to your search, yes or no” – I think that would be much more important to know.

    • http://www.hub-uk.com David Jenkins

      I agree about a double-edged sword.

      +1 does not mean that something is the best source just because more people have hit the button.

      Look at how Alexa used to rank sites – it was based on people having the Alexa toolbar active on their web browser. What sort of people had the Alexa toolbar installed? Certainly not the ordinary man in the street so results were always slanted by it only being a certain segment of Internet users that were being used to rank sites.

      Won’t +1 be the same? Do the great mass of people want to be logged in to Google when they are searching. I don’t.

      What I wanted from a search engine was something simple (like Google was) where I type in my search, spelling mistakes and all, and see what comes up. None of this predictive search and now with +1 there is the potential for what I see from search to be influenced by people that might not share my views on the subject I am searching.

      Still more annoying it looks like I may have to edit the code on nearly 5,000 web pages just to accommodate Google. Can I afford not to have the +1 button on my site?

    • http://www.technicalanalysisofstocks.in Stock Analysis

      I agree with Gcornett. Eventhough i have added +1 button to my site. Its better to implement a yes-no button in search results

  • http://www.brothershotel.com Nikiforos

    we add google +1 on our web site

  • http://www.eurobrazilian.com/en.html Helen Hilton

    Thank you for posting, I will try to find more about Public or Private utility of this b. ;)

  • http://techstyles.com.au Scott Fitzgerald

    I put the Google +1 button on http://techstyles.com.au yesterday, using a WordPress plug-in. I’m not that happy with the placement, but my WordPress theme provider Woothemes is at work on a shortcode. When that is ready I’ll ditch the plug-in and switch to the shortcode.

  • http://kercommunications.com Nick @ Ker Communications

    Implemented at Ker Communications as soon as it became available. I think Google will have to get more social for it to take off. Doesn’t have the “hey look how cool I am for sharing this” effect that a Facebook like has… yet.

  • http://narconon-info.org denise-helene adam n.d.

    Im sure because the leader of google are bright High IQ

  • http://www.baby-navne.dk Navnebetydning

    I have implemented the +1 on a couple of sites. If it affects rankings, it’s certainly more than just a new share button. Time will tell.

  • http://www.tep6.dk/blog/ Tandtråden

    I’ve also attached the +1 button to a WordPress installation. Just put the code in the header or footer of your theme, and create a custom widget. No plugin needed.

  • http://jrblogger.com jrblogger

    I think Yes!

  • http://thailandnightlifecentral.com/ max meier

    It wont do anything since the download page doesnt word, I tried to download this for 3 days now, no way.The webpage at http://www.google.com/webmasters/+1/buton/#utm_source=asfe3&utm_medium=recommendations&utm_campaign=promo has resulted in too many redirects

    -this is with chrome-

    • http://www.imsupporting.com live chat

      This happened to me.

      I got round it by using the “cached” version to get the website code.

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:nIIOqAoGvlAJ:www.google.com/webmasters/%2B1/button/+%2B1+button+webmasters&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-a&source=www.google.co.uk

  • http://www.goldandgreentaxi.com jayjay

    i need to get good ranking and traffic i need all backlink and mettags and best keywoard can lead or boost my web

  • http://www.gadgetfood.com David Batterson

    I installed the button yesterday. And now all I’m hearing about it is negative. I keep getting emails from other webmasters in my circle telling me that they are finished with google and internet marketing. I think google wallet is going to flop (PayPal just launched a lawsuit against google). I also think the +1 button, after everything I’ve heard in the past 2 days is going to fail as well if in fact it is anything more than suggestive search to circles of connected friends who use google. I run a technology blog and I can tell you that my traffic comes from everywhere but google. It’s so hard to get traffic from google these days that I absolutely don’t rely on google for it. I only use google for searches. Anyone who has any additional news on +1, please let me know. Thank you. Dave

    • http://www.imsupporting.com live chat

      Dude, I know your pain.

      Google’s domination of the search market has led to worse and worse ways to promote your sites.

      I dont get much traffic from google anymore, Most of my traffic comes from review sites or blogs about my software.

      Ive also noticed that search results are getting worse and worse and worse.
      Its full of spam forums and god knows what else.

      Bing, I find better for search now.

  • http://divorceissues.wordpress.com jackie paulson

    I am on the fence with this. +1 is too new for me to say anything yet.

  • http://www.windsorhillsrent.com Ana

    Hi, added the +1 to http://www.windsorhillsrent.com (vacation rentals homes near Disney) let’s see if it does any good!
    Ana

  • http://www.zenclinicalcoaching.com Louise

    I installed +1 a few days ago on www.zenclinicalcoaching.com/graduates
    It does not show up on i-phone browser or Internet Explorer.
    Furthermore, I got 10 of my closest friends to go on and click it as soon as I had put it up and it still says 1 click not 10.

    Fail.

    • http://www.gadgetfood.com David Batterson

      That just goes to show you that it is still in beta testing or they are restricting sites based on age or rank or something from trying to get a leg up. I installed it on my technology news blog http://www.gadgetfood.com and I have a 1 on a few pages but nothing more than one. It’s funny because some of my pages have a dozen to a thousand re-tweets and only 1+ with the google button. What a crock!

  • https://sites.google.com/site/indonesianbettas/ bangcupang

    thanks for sharing knowledge to me,
    I appreciate, very meaningful to me who is developing a small business thank you very much!

  • http://aalbc.com Troy Johnson

    I guess I’ll have to add it too. It is Google’s world and resistance is futile.

    In the past, I’ve run into issues with Google’s widgets generating error messgaes in IE. I also have been adversely effected by Googles Panda update. Sites with objectively less valuable content now rank higher. Google even dropped me from serving ads for a few days earlier in the year (they did not like an Amazon.com product displayed on my website). As a result, I’m not exactly a big fan of Google lately. Six months ago I had nothing but praise — funny how quickly thing change online.

  • Nick

    I tried to get the snippet code today, but Safari complained that there were too many redirects.

  • http://www.investidor.clubecredito.com.br/3931 josue

    gostaria de ter este site no google, por favor.

  • http://www.softwarefreeway.com/ Len

    You have to be logged in to Google for the button to work?.. I don’t surf logged in, and I’m not going to log in and out every time I “like” a page. If Bing decides to follow, are we going to have to be logged in to Bing, also? The Facebook “like” button serves at least two purposes – (1) It connects you to the group for updates, etc (2) You get to convey a message to your friends. As far as I can see, the Google +1 button only serves a purpose for itself.

  • http://www.SeeWhyLearning.com James Cousineau

    As soon as I read the details of +1 I immediately implemented on our main website. While we garnish excellent Google results placement, we still have competition in our niche. Right away I thought of this as being similar to Facebook’s LIKE button, but with added benefits due to search placement. Now that I have added it I will be looking at ways to maximize placement on the pages for best results. When I get it down to a fine art on this website I will add to all our websites. Another expansion of the social network system.

  • http://www.visionaryaz.com travis

    +1 is a terrible idea plain and simple.

  • http://www.eleanorleonsfashions.com James L. Couch, Jr.

    We specialize in fine designer dress wear for women, men and boys. We stock womens gorgeous church suits, dresses, pant suits, handbags, perfume, costume jewelry, choir group wear, usher’s wear, mother of the bride dresses, wedding gowns, prom wear,evening gowns, party gowns, church hats ect.

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    On this web site you will see upcoming independant singer BRIANA ADAM and may listen to her unreleased songs and clips of here released songs that are available on I Tunes.

  • http://www.mlmconsultant.com Rod Cook

    Thanks for the API links I have not had good times trying to get the +1 to work on my blog. I got the Google site search API to work after a couple of weeks fooling with it. I guess there is a long learning curve here.

    http://www.mlmwatchdog.com

  • http://www.gminasierakowice.pl/ Janusz

    Gmina sierakowice

  • http://www.imsupporting.com live chat

    Thanks for reminding me :)
    I’ve added it to my sites now.

    I wonder if it will make any difference ?

  • http://www.agentbowman.com Richard B

    I did it ! I think anything that helps you market yourself or company is a good thing

  • http://www.ftol-ecommerce.com/ Jenny

    I really don’t see how turning the Net into an extension of Facebook helps anyone.

    I also have some doubts about the whole idea of integrating commercial sites into social networks. Facebook and Youtube are prime examples of where this has failed.

    Commercial companies need to advertise. Facebook and Youtube need to make money. These two things hardly need to be stated. However, flooding social users with unwanted spam-level advertising is a huge failure on every level, and most certainly is not the only business model available.

    For example, many companies host their videos on Facebook. Would it be so unreasonable for them to pay for their commercial use of the service? Instead of which they are creating a detremental effect on their potential buyers likelihood to consider their products.

    I feel the current approach many companies are taking to raise revenue by advertising via social networks is particularly naive. It was my perception until recently that the net was maturing, but these recent developments puts us back to the days when we’d recieve a bag full of unwanted snail mail every morning.

    Looking at the Youtube business model. The social users provide the content that brings 99.9% of the traffic to the site and then get advertising forced upon them. How about Youtube starts paying contributors for content? Instead of which they take ownership of the uploaded content as if it were their own, with what would appear to be a total disregard of intellectual property rights.

    I’ll say again. Companies need to advertise, social networks need to be paid for, but jumping on the first business model that comes along is not a very mature way of doing business.

    • Beamer

      Tell it like it T-I-IS, Jenny!!!

      Doesn’t it make you sick to your stomach how folks just grovel at G’s every whim?

      Instead of telling G to go F%%%K off, they give G even more power over them.

      G is great because of the power people give it. That can easily be turned around when people finally get fed up with the BS.

  • http://www.android-advice.com Brandon

    I have placed the +1 button on my site just in case it turns into anything. Might as well be proscribe.

  • http://www.uksmallbusinessdirectory.co.uk TJ

    I run an online business directory with 140,000+ individual listings and have put the +1 button on every listing, example here,
    www.uksmallbusinessdirectory.co.uk/id.asp?CompanyID=121006

    The +1 button should be ideal for sites like mine, as the people who have a listing can +1 their own page and encourage others too as well.

    My big concern that +1 is as unreliable as buzz, when I used the buzz button it would quite often effect my page loading.

    I notice the article suggest putting the script at the bottom of the page, I will do that and also adjust my stylsheet so the code is also at the end too.

    Hopefully that will mean I don’t have to dump the +1 button like I had to with buzz.

  • Beamer

    Sorry, but the great G is not king of my world. In addition, is not the only way I market my sites. I will NOT be adding it to my pages and I will NOT be clicking any +1 buttons.

    I search for relevant information to my search. PERIOD!

    Keep giving G more and more power until it controls your thinking and way of life. Oh, my bad, it already has. Very sad. Next thing you know G will require your first born to get top placement in its evil empire. You will do it because G controls you.

    Like many other independent free thinkers, G is not my search engine of choice anymore. I go elsewhere for true search results and am free of Google instant and search results according to my search activity.

    True and relevant search results is what I want and will always be what I want. Can’t get it from G and is why I don’t use it as much anymore for my personal searches.

  • http://gr.ukrainian-and-russian-brides.com Gnorimies

    The number of +1 will influence directly search results for the site or not?

  • http://www.justmobilephone.com Redsnow

    i added it on my site but i think that users aren’t aware of this +1 button.

  • http://usemyinfo.com Graham Hall

    Interesting. I have added it to 2 sites, let’s see how it catches on?

  • http://www.purpleturtleproductions.ca whistler web guy

    lol funny the first thing I thought of was how they’re going to make some kind of bot for this..there there will allways be someone to try and cheat the system..

    ps I’ve added it to 11 of my sites already.

  • http://www.purpleturtleproductions.ca whistler web guy

    and I believe it will definately influence results.

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/OneFineArt William MATAR

    I am already adding Google +1 Button in my sites… I like it!

  • http://allwhatsrock.com James

    I have just added the Google +1 Button to my WordPress site. I can’t wait to see what difference it makes.

  • http://www.itsSri.com Sri

    Not only a +1 but I want Google to introduce a -1 button too! I am fed up of certain websites who have blatantly gamed the search engines with just blank titles without any content for many niche terms. Such gaming is all the more dangerous because those niche terms are such as searched for by novice Internet users and it ultimately leads to loss of Internet credibility!

    • http://www.itsSri.com Sri

      Clarification on previous comment…

      My opinion about having -1 button is for it to be along-side the +1 button that appears in search results (when signed in).

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