Steven Gradidge. Hi :)

Google Wants You To Like The +1 +2 +3 +4…

Posted on: April 1, 2011

As expected, Google has replied to the Facebook ‘Like’ with its own little Social likey thingy. The ‘+1’.

From what I can gather from industry blogs, forums and the official +1 splash page, it seems to work in an almost identical way to the Facebook ‘Like’. By clicking the +1 button, (Google believes) you are telling your friends and others around you that what you have found is good and worth looking at. What makes the ‘+1’ different is that it will affect positions, thus it’s the newest lucrative tool within SEO!

Mashable claim that the +1 button is bad news for ‘content farms’ because people will be less likely to ‘+1’ on the content. With a ‘Like’ this is probably true but as I have already noted, +1 WILL affect the Google SERP and this is something for black hat linkbuilders to ‘Like’. From what I can envisage, ‘content farms’ are likely to become ‘user farms’: websites infected by a legion of illegitimate +1 clicks. +1 +2 +3 +4 and so on.

Within the marketing rhetoric, Google are obviously harping on about the communal benefits of using the system and are behaving very Facebook-esque. I understand the potential interest the system has for particular industries but until I use it for myself I can’t see whether it is just a glorified social bookmarker that affects the SERP or whether it is an open backdoor for dodgy SEO practitioners.

The arrival of +1 will probably result in an increase of Google accounts being opened but I can foresee this being down to aggressive linkbuilders looking to abuse the system. How is Google going to defend against this? IP detection? What about the underground mass-proxy click farms that are unfortunately operating on the web? How, Google?

I’ve signed up and if you want to, visit: http://www.google.com/experimental

Steve

@StevenGradidge

🙂

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