The intentions behind Google’s +1 button are finally coming to light. In a move that could have serious SEO implications for online marketers, the search company recently confirmed that it is exploring the possibility of using the button as a search ranking tool.
In an email to tech publication Wired magazine, a Google spokesperson claimed that Google is studying +1 button clicks “as a signal that influences the ranking and appearance of websites in search results.”
Perhaps this development isn’t surprising; when the +1 button debuted, Brafton reported that Google’s Matt Cutts suggested it had the potential to become a ranking signal. Nonetheless, the statement from Google does answer a +1 question that many Google users – and search marketers – had. The implications of the social recommendation tool are becoming increasingly clear. Indeed, as Brafton has reported, Google has introduced several new features for +1, including integration with its social network, Google+.
Assuming Google moves ahead with this plan, users will have a stronger say in the rankings of search results, which could be significant for online marketers. Putting the power in the hands of users will make it more pressing for businesses to publish compelling content on their websites. As the world’s No. 1 search engine, businesses could benefit greatly by moving up the Google search results ladder.
According to recent figures from comScore, Google’s market share fell from 65.5 percent in June to 65.1 percent in July. Still, the company remains the largest search engine in the world, and SEO marketers will want to cater their websites to Google searchers.