What Google +1 Means for Small Businesses and Site Owners
Last week, Google unveiled a new feature in search results, +1. Described as analagous to Facebook’s “like,” Google’s +1 will be a way of signalling social recommendations in a Google search. As such, the introduction of +1 has been described as another step by Google towards including social elements as part of its algorithmic approach to search, and another way for Google to help improve the quality of its search results.
Although the impetus behind the launch of +1 may be “better search,” for small businesses who try to optimize their sites for Google search, the advent of what seems to be yet another tweak in the game may be frustrating. But in the long run, Google says +1 will help users find relevant content, and that’s good news if, indeed, your site delivers. Google also says that “as with any new ranking signal, we’ll be starting carefully and learning how those signals affect search quality.”
Eventually there will be +1 buttons to sit alongside your Facebook and Twitter buttons on your website, but those are not yet widely available for site owners (although you can sign up here). Currently it’s available in search results (which you can enable here but requires you have a Goole profile). +1 will also appear on AdWords, although clicking that you like (or rather +1) an ad will not count as a paid click on an ad.
Google says you don’t need to change your advertising strategy due to +1. But as a URL for a site that is +1ed on an organic link will also benefit in the paid search ads, there may be incentive to use that URL as a destination in your ads, rather than creating ad-specific landing pages and creating content that is narrowly optimized to paid campaigns that you run.
Ray Grieselhuber, founder and CEO of the SEO software startup Ginzametrics has written a post on his blog about the impact +1 will have on site owners. He advises that people “start thinking about how they can integrate their paid and organic search marketing efforts with the same or similar content so they will be better prepared if +1 takes hold (a good idea even if it doesn’t).”
Grieselhuber also notes that Google’s move to create a +1 button – for sites and for search results – demonstrates the increasing importance that sharing and social will play in SEO in the next few years. So if nothing else, it’s as good as a time as any to make sure your content is shareable.
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