Social SEO, the New Google “+1? Rollout and What It All Means

Google aims to get into the social SEO scene.  Will its +1 offering be ‘liked’?

Google has recently released a new innovation for social SEO which allows people to endorse domains that they like, by clicking a “+1” icon in the search results. Apparently this is Google’s way to let us say that “this is pretty cool”. By doing so you will be giving a signal to friends on your network that you voted for the site. Your endorsement will in turn have  an impact on your friends’ search results.

In order to see the innovation first hand you can join the experiment here. You will need to ensure you are signed in to your Google account for it to work.

The latest move into social by the search giant has been almost universally well received and it is easy to see why. The new process is very intuitive and a lot of fun, and we believe that finally Google appears to be getting things right in the social realm.

The big question this conveys of course is how the “+1” will impact your social SEO strategy?

According to Google Your +1’s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.” Now if this is not a sign post of things to come, then we don’t know what is. Clearly the “+1”s will influence search results and social SEO, not only with your friends but across the Web in its entirety.

There is now an incentive for you to get your site “liked” which brings us back to the most fundamental tenant of Search Engine Optimisation – content is king. Well it is now also Queen, Lord Mayor, Prime Minister, mum, dad and headmaster. The genius here is that Google is now including human balancing checks in its search algorithm!! Whereas before the bots relied on “bounce rates” to access the relevance of your site, they now have real people to confirm the quality and relevance of your site.

Now your initial thoughts may well be that the new system will be easy to game, and therefore lose its relevance in a short period of time. Think again. Remember you need to be signed into your Google account to register your vote and Google has compiled a pretty serious amount of data within those accounts. Have a peak here to see for yourself.

A small sample of the type of data at their disposal can be seen below:

  • Gmail
  • Google analytics
  • Google calendar
  • Adwords
  • Google voice
  • Google checkout
  • Chrome sync
  • Search history
  • Google docs
  • Google reader
  • Youtube

Thus it is a relatively simple process for Google to bestow authority on what can easily be seen to be genuine accounts. Also think of the time that needs to be invested just to create a Google account – trying to  trick the new system would soon become a counterproductive exercise.

For the future, Google is already in discussions regarding a button which can be embedded on your webpage which is very similar in function to the Facebook “like” button. Certainly interesting times in the ever-changing world of social SEO right now.

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