Google's Getting In On The Social Act Again

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I knew it wouldn't be long before the failure of Google Wave, Googles attempt at an integrated social experience, became a distant memory and the search giant decided they had to enter the social market again. But seemingly they have done it in a much smaller way this time. Introducing the Google +1 button. But what is it and why should we care?

+1 Is Googles Version Of Facebooks Like And Twitters Tweet

By now I'm sure that you will have seen the famous Facebook Like and Twitter Tweet buttons all over the web. They easily allow you to approve and share content that you find interesting or cool and it's pretty much the same deal with Googles +1 button.

Twitter And Facebook Share Buttons

+1 Is A Way To Recommend Sites You Like

The system is tied into your Google profile and when you +1 a website your "recommendation" will show for people you have connected with in the SERPs.

+1 Google Button In SERPs

Will It Affect Rankings?

So we can see that they are following the tried and trusted way of sharing these days. But what will it mean for rankings? Will Google value the +1 as a ranking factor?

Likely That It Will Affect Rankings But As Part Of All The Factors

I'd guess at yes, but not as much as you might think. Google has been battling with web spam and link manipulation since they started and will surly know that black hat SEOs and spammers will be able to create thousands of Google profiles and just +1 their sites to gain an advantage. I'd imagine Google will make it part of the ranking factors but they will use all the signals to gauge if the site they are looking at is legit. For example:

A site with 50,000 +1s but with no links, no Twitter or Facebook shares and pages of duplicate spammy content is going to be easy to spot. would hope.

The +1 Only Available In America At The Moment. Still Bugs To Iron Out.

Currently the +1 button is only available to America, it will be a while before the rest of the world gets it. From articles around the blogosphere it would appear that the button is having a few performance based issues that they'll need to iron out before it gets passed to the rest of us.

Is It Worth Having?

But do I think the button is worth having? The simple answer to this is, it depends on your website. If it's easy to integrate and doesn't detract from your website and you're already active in the social area then sure.

The +1 button has the potential to either be a massive flop or quite popular amongst users as a way to "like" content. It's certainly one I'll be looking out for and watching with interest to see how it affects rankings and how much the black hat community can use it to their advantage.