Google Plus

In an attempt to make Google more social and friendly, Google +1 was introduced few months before. It resembles the Face book’s ‘Likes” and is the Google version of face book likes. The +1 buttons are displayed next to search results and you can recommend the URL by clicking the button. When you are logged on to Google accounts with your email and password, you can use the button to recommend a website or page to all your contacts associated with your Google account. This is an attempt to make search results more personalized.

How Google +1 works!

When you recommend a webpage using +1, everyone in your Google contact list will see a notification when their search results displays the same URL that you have recommended this page. All +1’s are public and they are associated with Google accounts. This feature is applicable only when you are logged on using Google accounts and do a search. +1 is a short form of ‘This is pretty cool’. +1 buttons can also be placed on web pages and visitors can recommend the page to their friends using their Google accounts.

If you are a webmaster and using Google webmaster’s tools, you can see the statistics of +1s by your visitors. Webmasters can see the total number of people +1’d their web pages.

What is +1 for Google?

First of all, Google had to answer Facebook’s likes. Facebook likes became popular and a lot of people used the ‘like’ plug-in to recommend web pages to their friends. At this time, Google had to come up with +1 to compete Face book.

The official line of Google is that, it will help Google for more personalized search results. Google’s search engine algorithm had many major changes overtime. Gradually, Google stopped relaying on meta tags heavily and started to concentrate on user preference. Google +1 is an excellent way to collect data on user preference.

Open web application and +1

Google is interested in using data from other social network sites, but at present it focus on Flickr and Quora only. In future +1 may be associated with other social network site also. Face book is not likely to be in this project because both Google and Face Book is not interested in this.

Search Engine ranking and Plus +1

Currently, the number of +1s a web page received will not affect its search engine rank in any way. As search engine algorithm is changed over time, Google may consider associating +1s with search engine ranking of a web page. But it seems to be more difficult in ranking a web page based on the +1s it received due to various reasons.

Black marketing and +1

Even though +1 cannot be used with fraudulent means like ‘Check +1 to enter’ promotion as per Google’s guidelines, marketers can still use such practices to accumulate more recommendations by +1 buttons. It is going to be another head ache for Google to find out such practices.

Things to know before putting +1 buttons on your web pages

Even though +1 statistics will not affect search engine ranking at present, Google will start evaluating the statistics of +1s to find out the relevance and quality of the webpage. Google is now carefully studying the effect of +1s and the quality and relevancy of the content. So we can easily assume that Google will come up with +1 statistics to determine the page rank one day.

Google Buzz and +1 are not the same even though we can find some similarities between them. Both of them appear on your Google profile under different tabs but +1 button cannot have comments to share about a page at present. Google has a plan to replace Buzz with +1 button and Google may provide an option to recommend web page with their comments in future.

There are different styles you can use for +1 buttons and are available with different shapes. If you want them to be more technical then they are customisable to suit your needs.

Placement of the button plays an important role in getting more recommendations from users. For articles, it can be placed just above or at the end of the article for more clicks. Placing them next to the title field of the web page is another effective method. It will work even better if placed next to the URL to be recommended.

Do not place the +1 button at the beginning of the document as this will increase the loading time of the web page. Google considers the page speed for ranking of that page. The best way in terms of page speed is placing the button at the end of the document just above the closing body tag.

+1 buttons can be placed on adwords ads also. This will help your ad stand out from other ads. This also enables the users to recommend the ads and search results to their friends and helps to increase the impression and click through rate.

Google’s crawler crawls the web page containing the +1 button and store information regarding the clicks and impressions on the buttons. In future this information may be used for determining the page rank of the web page. In future, if you place +1 button on pages with irrelevant content, your page rank may be affected. So it will be better to keep +1 buttons on pages with high quality content. Because visitors tend to recommend pages having good, quality and relevant content.

Google has strict policies regarding the use of +1 buttons. Publishers should not sell or transmit any data regarding the user data and user’s use of +1 buttons. Publishers may not instruct the visitors to click on buttons. Visitors should click on button based on their own interest. They should not be offered any compensation or promotions to use the +1 buttons. Publishers may not misguide any users to click on the buttons.

How to add +1 button to your website?

You just need to get the snippet of code from Google and paste it to your web page. You have to find out the best place for placement of the button based on the layout and content of your web pages. +1 buttons are available in four sizes as small, medium, standard and tall. +1 size also matters. It should be selected based on the layout of your web page. It should not be too small or large compared to your web page. If you are planning to use multiple buttons on same page for different URLs, you need to use a ‘href’ attribute to specify the URL you wish to use with the button.

+1 annotations and buttons are available in 40 languages and Google is planning to make it available in more languages. For more details about the supported languages, you can visit Google. Aggregate annotations can be seen by everyone without a need to sign in. Signed in visitors can see personalised annotations.

Why you should use +1 buttons?

By using +1 buttons, more users reach your web pages by recommendations of others. If you have a high quality website with useful content, more users are likely to recommend your pages resulting in more targeted visitors to your site. In future, Google may use information regarding the use of +1 buttons on your pages to rank your website in search results.