Yesterday, Brafton reported that Google has unveiled +1, a social recommendation feature that lets Google users “+1” search results. The product is still being rolled out, and there is no official +1 button marketers can pop onto their sites yet, but the search marketing community can’t get enough info about +1 and its potential impact on SEO.
At press time, “Google 1” (which produces web and Realtime results for Google +1) is one of the top 10 hot topics, according to Google Trends. Google Realtime results for the feature reveal that internet marketers are comparing a Google +1 mark to a Facebook Like, speculating that +1 is Google’s step toward becoming an integrated search and social platform, wondering when they can add the button the their sites and trying to discern the feature’s impact on SEO.
The results also make clear that +1 is a hot topic in online social conversations among marketers and consumers, alike. (Still, the reviews among searchers seem to be mixed. One user enthusiastically tweets that she “can’t wait to try Google +1,” while another asks why users should “do Google’s work for free.”
As a reminder, +1 allows users to recommend web results. When users who are logged into their Google accounts conduct queries, they will be notified when their Google contacts have added a +1 to a result. (When none of their Google connections have liked results, Google says it “may still show [searchers] how many people across the web have +1’d” a result item.)
SEO marketers should remember that Google isn’t using +1 data as a ranking signal (at least not yet, it seems). Instead, the main gain seems to be that getting a +1 for your web page could boost click rates – much in the way that “shared by” data displayed alongside Google News search results may have advocated pages without boosting their rankings.
What marketers might take out of this is that Google is both going social and further demanding quality content – of the editorial caliber that will merit +1’s. Search-optimized content is key to good rankings, and writing relevant content will be essential to racking up +1s.