Google +1 Button The New PageRank?

Who YOU are matters. Surely who THEY are matters too.

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Google +1 Button The New PageRank?
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Let me start off by being very clear. Google is not getting rid of PageRank in favor of the +1 button. Google is, however, looking at the data from the +1 button as a signal of content quality, and +1s will no doubt continue to be largely coveted by webmasters and content creators web-wide.

Will +1s become more important than PageRank? Just as important? Share your thoughts here.

It’s been pretty clear since Google first announced the +1 button (even before they announced Google+) that the feature was designed to send Google signals for quality content. It was essentially billed as a way for web users to tell Google when a piece of content is good enough to be considered a good search result.

Wired is running a story now saying that Google has confirmed its plans of turning the button into “a crowdsourcing tool that helps re-order search results and fight web spam”.

“Google will study the clicks on +1 buttons as a signal that influences the ranking and appearance of websites in search results,” a Google spokesperson is quoted as saying. “The purpose of any ranking signal is to improve overall search quality. For +1’s and other social ranking signals, as with any new ranking signal, we’ll be starting carefully and learning how those signals are related to quality.”

Of course it is unwise to place too much emphasis on just a single ranking signal. At least that’s what Google would have webmasters believe. They’re tossing around very similar language with regard to the +1 button ranking as they historically have when people worry about PageRank too much: “There are more than 200 signals that we use to determine the rank of a website, and last year we made more than 500 improvements to the algorithm.”

Just as you’ve seen plenty trying to boost their PageRank through black hat tactics, it does not seem unreasonable to assume that these same people will try to exploit the +1 button. A major weapon against this that Google has is its strict Google+ account name policy, which has been a bit controversial thus far.

It became clear in recent days that Google+ is all about identity as far as Google is concerned. Eric Schmidt drove this point home, as discussed here. While this makes sense for a variety of reasons (including the potential integration of Google+ with products like Google Wallet), it also makes a great deal of sense in that it shows Google exactly who is +1ing what, which should in turn help them enforce any policy (current or future) concerning abuse of the button for gaming search.

In terms of white hat tactics, you may do well to consider things like this research comScore just shared. +1’s now mean more sharing of content to the actual Google+ network – people’s circles, which should (in theory) translate to increased traffic from Google+ itself. So, it may help to know about the kinds of people who are using Google+, as opposed to Facebook, for example. comScore’s data looks at those searches containing the Google+ and Facebook brands. It’s probably not exact, but many of those searching for Google+ content are likely going to be users of the service.

“The most striking differences between Google+ searchers and Facebook searchers are in Age and Income level,” says Eli Goodman, who leads the business development team at comScore. “Google+ searchers overwhelmingly skew towards 18-34 year olds. Clearly Google+ is a popular brand with the younger segments, and good knowledge for Google to have as they develop their acquisition strategy and evolve their user base. Since Facebook is a much more mature brand in the social networking space, their search audience falls closely in line with the search population at large.”

“The income skews are even more distinct, essentially polar opposites of each other,” he adds. “More than 32% of Google+ searchers have a household income of $100K or greater, compared to 23% of Facebook searchers. Google+ is definitely off to a fast start in reaching the most desirable income segments, which may make it more attractive to advertisers.”

google plus search vs facebook search - comscore

Google’s quest for quality

In terms of Google using the +1 button as a way to combat spam, this also goes hand in hand with another new(ish) announcement from Google that it is calling upon users to report scrapers in some new algorithm testing.

“We are asking for examples, and may use data you submit to test and improve our algorithms,” the company says on a “Report Scraper Pages” form, found here.

Scrapers getting you down? Tell us about blog scrapers you see: http://t.co/6HPhROS We need datapoints for testing. 3 days ago via Tweet Button · powered by @socialditto

This followed another recent announcement from Cutts about a major refresh to Google’s spam reporting process.

Google seems to be putting more emphasis on quality of results than ever before (I haven’t even mentioned the Panda update in this article…or the domain blocking tools Google launched this year). It does appear that Google’s grand social plan with Google+ is a major factor in that, and is sure to have everyone clamoring for +1s, which will not only provide a boost in ranking signals for content, but potentially traffic from the social network itself. And you can bet that WHO is +1ing things matters, just like with PageRank – WHO you’re getting links from matters.

Between things like Google’s emphasis on identity with Google+ itself and the authorship markup it’s pushing (which links people to their Google profiles), it’s clear that who you are matters in the Google world, and that also means that it matters who THEY (the people +1ing your content) undoubtedly matters too. Build your personal brand.

Is the +1 the new PageRank? Tell us what you think.

Google +1 Button The New PageRank?
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  • http://cozumelmexico.net Bob Rodriguez

    The bottom of this page is definitely off subject….

    I completely agree that one should not put all their eggs in one +1 basket. Building your brand should be the next step with anyone that has been around for a while.

    Now if I may digress…………

    I’ve been a subscriber of WebProNews from the beginning (before all the new fancy graphics:-)

    Over the years I have learned invaluable information and have incorporated countless suggestions that I’ve gotten by reading your newsletters.

    Keep up the GREAT work guys! You have helped me make me a small fortune!

  • http://morganservice.net Don Morgan

    I think it’s a pretty good idea. now you will get a “vote” from your human users and not some bot on the validity and usefulness of your site. It won’t replace PR, but hopefully it will enhance your standings. I added it to my site.

  • http://www.seoandmore.com Priya Florence Shah

    I believe it will be more complex than Pagerank. PR is a legacy of the times before social and does not integrate the complexity of social referrals and web 2.0 technologies.

  • The Web Guy

    You think you can’t the article in more in Google’s favor?

    You must not get out much.

    Search some of the more popular forums and you will see that many people including webmasters are turning against Google. The fact that have to use your real name is going to limit Google+‘s reach so that only Web and SEO types are using it.

    Google’s days as the search king are numbered and it’s by their own doing.

    • I’ll be damned

      That’s Chris Crum man! Serving Google since the late “80s’s”. LOL. Somebody give a job to my man Chris back in Google’s HQ, PLEEASE!

      Chris can we have an early April Fools day joke from you? You know, something anti-Google? :-) Don’t change the conversation now to “Email is dying” now.

  • Jimmy

    Can’t wait for the lawsuits to start raining. Hope the government break their legs this time around.

  • http://pkbm-tebar.page4.me/ pkbm tebar

    What is wrong with google now….?
    does not consider the millions of people who learn to use google as my…
    I read some of the experts who already know google, losing grip..
    Tanks…, I added to my site.

  • http://www.metanym.com/milton-keynes MarkFL

    Time will tell but Google search will inevitably make more and more use of +1 the longer it is with us.

  • http://rizkiyudhistira.com/ Rizki Yudhistira

    Google +1 is important, but not a major factor for getting page rank in SERP. I saw many websites that sell or provide service exchange google +1. Instead there are several websites that sell hundreds of google +1 just a few dollars. if Google +1 is indeed a major factor in increasing page rank, then the advertisers who advertise on google adword would prefer to buy google +1, rather than advertise on google. sorry this is just my opinion.

  • http://maria-johnsen.com SEO

    Google +’s UI has some bugs and not many people like Google + except SEO-ers. I don’t think Google plus as another ranking signal would improve the quality of search results.
    It takes a lot of time for people to get to know what Google plus is all about. Facebook is popular because even senior citizens like my grandparents like it. Google plus is more e for savvy and techy people. Google should find away so that everybody use it and then make it as another ranking signal.
    When a system is user-friendly, then everybody use it. One of Google plus’s problem is importing contacts to those circles, man it takes like forever to do it. Facebook on the other hand is easy to use and more popular. You can even find a relative through facebook. I mean a relative that you have never met.
    If Google wants to make it like another ranking factor, then they need to do something about making it user friendly and popular. As long as facebook is online, nobody wants to choose another facebook look alike. Cause they already interact with each other thru facebook. So what exactly makes Google plus so special? If they want it to be another ranking single then very few people will use it and not everybody.

  • http://www.transportmedia.co.uk StefTM


    I agree with who already said Google+ cannot be used as ranking signal. Not only because is or is not friendly, not only because is for techy people. But because, as history teaches us (and some other article published right here on WebPro a while ago) that someone could hire a crowd of underpaid people, create several fake profiles and so forth, making any “signal” or “statistic” coming from that highly questionable.

    I would like to think (I know, I am very naiv) that ranking on Google is more a matter of contents, quality and relevance rather than how much money companies can afford to spend to “cheat” their way to the top.

    • Beamer

      This is why G’s search results will continue to be the junk that it is. A search engine that is focused solely on relevancy instead of shiny baubles and toys that manipulate search results is sorely needed.

      We don’t even need to talk about the fraud that is already rampant with +1 as already discussed here. I’ve never clicked a +1 and never will. Not even the slightest bit interested in how it works.

      My sites enjoy top rankings in all three major engines without all that garbage.

  • http://www.clientswebsitecompany.com Lori Stammer

    I just want to put my profile on plus 1. I don’t like having to wait for an invitation – that part stinks.

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

      If you do not want to wait anymore I can send you an invite. The best part is you need not +1 me to get one ;)

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  • http://www.worldtravelingartist.com Alexander

    I’m afraid that the same as old pagerank system, on long term run it’s gonna be the same with +1 button.. that ‘da guyz with largest p*nis get the most harvest with the most idiot spam sites.

  • Josh Nod

    It is awesome to see a new way to help build your search engine rankings. I had thought for a while that the plus ones would be used as a search metric to find good quality websites. It looks like it is finally coming through. It will be interesting to see the future of Google+ and Google plus ones in the coming weeks, months and years.

  • http://www.modeltrainhobbyist.com Lionel Bachmann

    I think Google is really trying to create a monopoly on search (they’re already pretty close). While there are a lot of people that use Google, and would not mind +1ing something they come across, the fact that they have to have a Google+ profile that uses their real name is a turn-off. I’m more interested in when companies can have a Google+ profile. Also, the demographic numbers are a little suspect for Google. How many 18-24 year-olds do you know making over 100k? The scale should trend somewhat like Facebook’s.

  • http://www.go-tips.org/ Grey Olltwit

    Surely the +1 button is open to even more abuse. I’m already receiving spam emails offering hundreds of +1 clicks for a fee.

  • S Hull

    More Google garbage….what about a new site vs a site that is old? How could a new site ever get enough popularity to get into search results.
    Also does google actually look at the results their search throws up? It irrelevant, skinny and mostly useless and I use Google everyday. Cant wait for a Faster, more accurate competitor

    • Beamer


  • http://www.nederlandseradio.com Radio Luisteren

    Whatever you may say about the +1 project, it’s probably wise to add it to your website as it comes from Google the Search Giant. We added it!

  • http://www.studyhtml.com Brian

    Social networks will live forever now. It is just who is going to run the top.

    Will google+ work for ranking. Now way! It might help with trending news but not local or national rankings.

  • Nikolas

    The +1 button is going to open up to a lot abuse.
    I am also getting tons of spam e-mail offering hundreds of +1 clicks.

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    • http://www.buytoletproperties.net/ John

      Hey! What type of comment is this?

      • Beamer

        Yeah, there goes the neighborhood. It is called comment spam. Totally unrelated to what is being discussed. Don’t know why it is allowed here.

  • http://www.igmarkets.com.sg/ CFDs

    My question is how quickly should businesses be building +1s, as most SEO companies are now offering +1 packages in their services. What is going to look unnatural to Google, and what could result in a penalty?

  • http://www.nextdayvapes.com Vaporizer

    If anything the +1 aspect will be a small factor. No way to stop spam using such easily exploitable methods. Seems like yet another way for Google to systematically confuse webmasters. If so much has changed how come I have retained the same #1 listing for over 8 years with little or no change to the site in question (for example)? Don’t believe the hype. If you have something that is working (whitehat), keep doing it and you will can’t go wrong.

  • Wendy

    Great app. Just needs more people

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

    Looks like Cutts, Page and Schmidt salaries skewing the results. Surely this +1 cannot carry much weight. Could all this be an attempty by Google to manipulate persons into using their products? If there is a perceived ranking value in it people will sign up. If not it is as good as dead. Totally sneaky and Evil.

  • Toto

    Google +1 as a ranking signal is just like Craigslist’s post flagging system. Whoever came up with it, either was breastfed as a child or purchased his/her computer science degree online. They should be fired, tried and hung from the highest tree in Silicon Valley. Do I hear Amen?

  • http://www.fipe.co.uk bespoke web design

    While google will do their best to prevent misuse, it seems like this will be open to abuse. Perhaps they should just not include the +1 in their ranking factors.

  • Ven

    This is just a wise marketing technique to beat facebook ! by means of threatening webmasters ! nothing to fight spam !

  • http://hypedot.com/ Alex

    this is gonna die, just like google Buzz

  • http://www.ercotravels.com Erco Travels

    It is good for SEO …

  • http://www.biotinhair.org Oran Sagol

    Thats a very good article, the facebook style +1 addition to Google is very much blessed, as it give us SEO masters a whole new way to improve our rankings.

  • Maurice

    Definetly not. Google + wont be such a big success as Facebook is. Google + is for the geeks, like the people here! :) All other Facebookers are glad they finally have settled down with a one big network. I dont believe the ‘normal’ people going to use Another social media network. They get tired of it…

    • All Linco

      I dont believe the ‘normal’ people … ?
      You are the one ?

  • http://TooBusyToWorkOnIt.com Matthew Conway

    That really depends on what Google’s strategy is. If they want to “strong-arm” the industry and imply that individuals who create Google accounts are more influential than everybody/anybody else, they will factor the Google +1 more heavily than PageRank. Otherwise, they’ll keep the current status quo.

    That being said, it would be a hilarious and yet significant if they allowed individuals to use the +1 button with a “Login Using Facebook” button…

  • http://www.franklydigital.co.uk/ Amelia Vargo

    From reading the comments here, I think some people may be a little confused. The Google +1 Button is separate from Google +. Google + is the social network that Google hopes will find a similar place in the general public’s social life as Facebook has. Whether this will happen or not, I couldn’t tell you: except I should think the adoption will be slow for ‘normal’ folk who aren’t techy. After all, Facebook is widely used, if you’re friends are there, then you will be too, and most people are unlikely to use a different platform to their friends. I know my non-techy friends would not want to move from Facebook – at least not yet.

    The +1 Button, is simply a button that anyone can put on their website, and anyone with a Google account (it doesn’t necessarily have to be a Google + account), can click to say they endorse the content. Anyone with a Google + account will have any +1’s they clicked labelled with their name, and anyone who is in their ‘circle’ will see that they +1’d a site in the SERPs etc. I don’t know if +1’s show up in the same way if a person who is not connected to you clicked the +1 button on the site. Presumably not. I guess we wait and see the outcome!

    As Google will be using data from +1 buttons as a ranking factor, then any good SEO should be putting the buttons on their clients’ sites. Even if Google will end up having to devalue this as a ranking factor in only a few years time. As has been pointed out, there’s a lot of scope for abuse with this system. What a pity – the +1 Button, for me at least, represents a great opportunity to get away from endless link building.

    I think that as long as being position 1 in Google remains such a prize for businesses, then there will be spammers. Spam content, black hat SEO etc etc… It’s never going to go away. Google will always try and beat it, but I fear, it’s a losing battle.

    The +1 Button, is in my opinion, an attempt of Google’s to get a human opinion on the quality of a website. But, I have to say, what I consider quality, may be very different to what my neighbour considers quality. It’s so objective! There is no one way of getting round that, but I guess if Google can work a way of looking at +1 results that gets around the inevitable spam, then they could well be onto a winner. But, personally, I don’t think this is likely. What a can of worms they’ve created for themselves!

    But, put the +1 button on your sites – it’ll make sense in the short to medium term, but don’t expect it to last as a ranking factor – it can’t, the whole thing is doomed from the start!

    • http://www.chicagoseosmallbusinessmarketingconslutant.com Dusan

      You’re right Amelia, there’s short to medium term usefulness. But I don’t see how Google thinks someone cannot create hundreds of Google account, full with different photos, locations, starting at different ip addresses, then using them to boost one site up. If I can think of it, a spammer’s thought of it and more.

      • http://www.quote-4.me.uk Matt

        Maybe, maybe not. I’d imagine it has already occurred to google, but they are obviously putting a lot more effort into identifying spam these days.
        Google has one thing in it’s favour though. Spammers, by definition are too lazy to produce good content, and tend to rely on quantity over quality. All types of spam have the same kind of footprint, which is easy for people to spot. Sooner or later, google will get a handle on this and spamming will be become much less effective and the money for spammers will then dry up.
        To be honest, I think it’s happening already.

    • http://sarongs4u.com Denise

      Thanks Amelia for clarifying that. I was having trouble differentiating Google+ and the +1 button. Great explanation.

  • http://www.seonorthamerica.com Tom Aikins

    I’m trying to figure out how Google author markup will work into the search equation or if it will. Any ideas on how this might work or not? I’ve already marked up a ton of my content across a wide variety of sites but have not seen it show up yet in my Google+s as they’ve said it would.

  • http://www.itconsultancyservices.com/ IT Consultancy Services

    I dont like google +, facebook is still better.

  • http://www.printmeashirt.com Innes

    Time will tell on how this works for seo and also what this ends up meaning. What looks a bit harder to me from where i am sat is how this can and will be monitored. Personally, I find Page Rank easy to keep track of.

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  • http://how-to-internet-marketing-articles-vi.blogspot.com/ Ramiro Rodriguez

    Hi Chris!

    Sorry I haven’t been around lately…..I’ve been swamped.

    At any rate, very good information on Google. There is one aspect about +1s that should be brought up, which is people buying and selling +1s.

    I’ve written 2 press releases for start-up companies offering thousands of +1s for $19.99 or something like that.

    Is Google ready to combat that kind of spam?

    Here’s a good webinar with Shama Kabani on Why Google+ Should Matter to Marketers:


    It’s about a 30 minute webinar but worth the time.

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  • http://www.net4gains.com Sandeep Gupta

    Google+ is Facebook and Google+1 is Facebook Like.
    I am not setting any benchmark here, just for sake of clarification.

  • http://www.net4gains.com Sandeep Gupta

    Google+1 will impact SEO results in near future.
    It will be one of the key factors for Google to assign rankings. To visualize a scenario, other factors being same, web page with more +1s will be ranked higher than others.

  • http://www.silentspeak.com silent speak

    I use Google +1 and i see my every article auto index in google search so i like to use google +1 and suggest to every one sure use it :)

  • http://Bestsocialnetwork.socialgo.com Chuks

    1 is geared towards competing with facebook. Is a good way to share contents in the internet and get better PR.

  • http://www.paintingservicesingapore.com Tanmy

    Not very sure about the Google plus 1 but i added it on my site but my ranking drop a little instead of grow.

    Will keep looking at it and post here if i have any updates.

  • http://www.theokaynetwork.com/apps/plusonespy Adsense Publisher

    Google needs a hell of a lot more people to start +1’ing things to make it any chance of it actually being a legitimate signal, then on to of that, they’ll have to make sure that nobody +1’s a site because they get something free or discounted from the website if they do. I can already Like something on Facebook like Del Taco and get free coupons just for doing so. It doesn’t mean I really like Del Taco, but I don’t mind free fast food when I can get it for free.

  • http://www.top-sage-resellers.com Sage ERP

    At face value, +1 seems like something that’s easy to “game.” But I’m sure Google is already aware of that. These types of discussions are interesting, but I don’t think we’ll ever know how Google plans to use +1 data/votes.

  • http://www.india.dj Mukesh

    Sure Google +1 Help In search…
    But Page Rank Is Diffrent and +1 is diffrent..

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