Google Developer Programs Tech Lead Maile Ohye posted a twenty-minute video about Google+ and the +1 button to the Webmaster Central blog today. For many of you, there’s not going to be a whole lot of new info. It’s really about the basics, and how it all works, apparently geared toward people who have yet to navigate the path that is Google+.
While much of the video talks about the general features and functionality of Google+, eventually Ohye talks specifically about how it all plays into search. Again, there’s not much in the way of new information, but it does give another Google perspective about how it is using Google+ and +1s to show search results to users.
“Because our goal is to return the most relevant results to users, it doesn’t matter if you participate in Google+ or not,” Ohye says. “You can completely ignore Google+ and all of that information and still do great with Search because it’s about returning the most relevant results.”
She goes on to talk about Search Plus Your World, and how Google uses your Google+ Circles to show you results based on stuff people you “trust” have engaged with.
Then, she gets into identity, which is really what it’s all about.
“So, let’s take the concept of identity,” says Ohye. “Imagine you have a website here and it’s all in this blue box. And you have things like page A and page B. And then, instead of just having this website, you have more with identity because you have a Google+ badge that says that we have a Google+ page. And even more than that, you might have page A and say that page A actually tied to the identity of this author. And page B is tied to the identity of this author. So, rather than just a standalone website, you now have more identity with your Google+ page and two different author profiles. Once you have this identity established, you can really then start to build your reputation.”
Speaking about a site, she says, “First of all, it might have more websites on the web linking to you. And that’s great and helps build your reputation. But additionally, because you have that Google+ page, you have people in Google+ that might be following your business. And then, you have people who follow the people who follow your business. And even furthermore, you might have a page like page A showing in search results. And that looks great. And you might have users who actually plus oned that content and say that they recommend it. And in addition to those users who liked that content, you have those who follow the users who liked that content. And you can see how this network starts to grow.”
“You might have page A again and it also has an author, like Othar, who also works at Google–great guy. He might have wrote page A. And he also has people who follow him. So again, it’s creating this entire network and helping to build your site and your great reputation.
“So, how does this work out for users in terms of their reaching the most relevant content?” asks Ohye. “Well, at the ranking time, it helps us to serve better, more tailored results because users can say, ‘Yes. I want this page.’ Or, ‘I agree with this page,’ and plus one it. It kind of develops your reputation. The next part after ranking is what the actual search result looks like on the page. And with this information, we can now highlight the utility of the result. So, your content can stand out by saying you have people plus one it and also by having great authors. And the last part, of course, is the click. And that’s where they come to your site and they find that useful information.”
At SMX Advanced last week, Google’s Matt Cutts indicated that +1s aren’t the best quality signal.