Google + 1 Simplified

Those of you a little intolerant to technical jargon and mathematical algorithms may be forgiven for thinking that Google +1 should be left to the ‘experts’ to understand.  However the concept is not too dissimilar from one most of us have become accustomed to – ‘like’ and ‘dislike’.

Google +1 are continuing in their attempt to jump on the band wagon of the social network express by using similar methods that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter use.  Google +1 allows you to express your approval for a particular website or page by clicking on the ‘+1’ button next to the title in Google search results.  Technicians are also in the process of developing a system whereby web administrators can add the +1 button to their own website.  In this way visitors can express their appreciation for the site and encourage more users to visit it.

google plus one

So what are the pros I hear you say?  Well as small people in a large world full of choice and options, it helps us sift through the good from the bad, the useful from the spam.  If we login to our Google account then we can see friends’ +1s and in turn help our friends out by recommending sites to them.  This encourages the use of ‘good quality content’ and not spam which in turn helps keep the web clean and user friendly.

So what are the cons?   Suggestion has been made that it will be easy to trick the system by creating numerous Google accounts and clicking on +1 in order to promote a particular site.  However Google are wise to this and also analyse web behaviour and thus are able to identify real human users and ignore those trying to trick the system.  It is hoped that it would be easier and more cost effective for businesses to pay for good content then waste time and money on trying to trick the system.  However many webmasters are sitting comfortably waiting to see if Google +1 makes significant improvements in search rankings before even considering to put it alongside their Facebook and Twitter buttons.

Many of you may be wondering how Google +1 will affect SEO professionals and the service they provide.  Well it seems to me that Google +1 can only improve the quality of the service and the reputation of the industry.  The goal, whether Google +1 achieves that or not, is to improve the quality of the web and alienate spam rich websites.  This also includes websites using SEO tricks to promote their sites without offering much information to the site visitor.  It is hoped by many that Google +1 will force SEO experts to utilise good content in the quest for increased search rankings and move away from the tendency to ‘play the game’

Will it work? It is very possible that this could just be another way for Google to monopolise on the current interest in social networks without actually offering us as web users much more than we have already on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  However it could be the starting block for something much bigger that certainly will be worth our time and effort.  Only time will tell.

This article was written by Robert Kirk who owns a small Website Design & Search Engine Optimisation company based in Scotland, UK.

About The Author

is the founder and CEO of Practical SEO and also a passionate blogger. All of his free time he dedicates to his Practical SEO blog and giving free advice as well as participating in the blogging community.

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11 Response to Google + 1 Simplified

  1. serrajuniper@party planning guide on April 14, 2011

    I think this might surely work but wouldn’t be that helpful to all webmasters, considering the fact that on social media, though you have 1000 friends not all care to like your status update or a page of yours. Therefore, it might let one think that your content is not relevant. In a nutshell more work for content providers as in quality posts like yours Zarko!

  2. Abdul Rehman on April 15, 2011

    I think that Google is just getting desperate with their attempts to re-establish their position as the market leaders (which they already are). But, the fact is that web 2.0 is on the way out. Bing’s market share is increasing every quarter with their new search technology and this is definitely troubling Google.

  3. Zarko on April 15, 2011

    I really don’t think they are desperate, they are just trying hard to get a slice of the social networking pie as they know very well how important it is going to be in the future. they are moving in that direction more and more, with Google Buzz, Google personalization, Social search and now Hotspot moving to Google places and adding Google +1, it’s very obvious where they are going with this.

    Also, I don’t think Google is troubled, they see far ahead of 99% of us and the fact is that we are actually following them, and not the other way around, but you are 100% right about web 2.0 being on it’s way out, SEO 3.0 has already knocked oat our door and we have both Bing and Google as well as social networks to thank for that :)

  4. Mark on April 15, 2011


    I am looking into out-sourcing the clicking of the +1 button for one of my websites using cheap third world labor from a variety of global proxy servers and varying C-Class IP addresses in a natural yet consistent pattern to synthetically boost the rankings on one of my sites. What do you think? If it works, sell it for $97???

    Just kidding,


  5. Zarko on April 15, 2011

    hehe :) Well you can try it, just make sure that the website you are experimenting on is safe from google eyes, maybe there is more to it and you can be one of the pioneers to tap that market, I would actually say go for it. There are plenty of gray hat areas we need to explore, especially with new Google updates, so there might actually be some info worth extracting from such an experiment :)

  6. lawmacs on April 17, 2011

    Wow much is said here if this is true then having a button to help get your site popular is a good idea but what is unclear here is that if Google implement this what percentage would this affect or boost the web site ranking of is this the alternative to buzz which did not get the buzz we expect lets just wait and see.

  7. Felicia @ No Deposit Poker on April 21, 2011

    Personally, I think this is a great feature that will help filter out useful solutions on difficult or hard-to-find topics. Although this will not be helpful for websites who offer rubbish content, it will definitely help increase the rankings of those who offer nothing but quality and useful content.

  8. Michael@Microwave reviews on May 3, 2011

    Another great feature that a site owner can make use of. The only concern I have is if this is the sole feature of this one, would that be enough to attract other people? Social networking sites are used all around that’s why they were able to get each member attention right.

  9. Zarko on May 3, 2011

    @Michael, excellent point! If all that was needed was a brand name than plenty of other would have succeeded by now. I do believe that if Google just leaves it like this it will end soon, like Google Buzz which has faded away and many other Google products. The idea is there, and we have seen it work, but there just needs to be more, maybe if they somehow connected our Google profiles and made it work more like a social network where we could form connections more easily, than +1 would make sense…

  10. karan on June 10, 2011

    I just hope that it doesn’t goes that way, because then the newcomers will stand minimal chances of actually getting their content ranked in search engines.

    But as per the introductory video, it seems that we’re in an indirect way, going to be affected by this.

  11. David Rankin on June 14, 2012

    the main problem with Google + is the relatively small number of users so far. The number of people signing up for it has tailed off. Google is looking at authorship as a way of validating content and Google + is their way of doing this. So far the benefits are not totally clear

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