Google’s +1 – How does it affect SEO?
As you know its been a while since I last did a proper blog post on this site, and I want to apologise for me being quiet for such a long time… :)
To kick off the new year I would like to start by blogging about Google’s new +1 button, which is supposed to compete against Facebook’s Like button. For those of you who are still unaware about Google’s new social venture, feel free to read this article on Search Engine Land.
Obviously, this is going to have tons of reprecussions for SEO as we all know that Google or should I say search on a whole is becoming more social. Just recently, Bing launched new Facebook Like button functionality in their SERPs.
So how does this affect us???
The Google +1 Experiment
I managed to join the new Google +1 Experiment and did a tiny experiment. I took a page I knew was struggling in rankings for the keyword “africa vacations”, etc. and +1’ed it. That was on Friday (we all know search engine bots crawl over the weekend)
Today I had a look in analytics and this is what I saw:
Search traffic for the keyword “african vacations” improved dramatically. This meant that my rankings for this term had improved as well, and sure enough I found myself ranking at #7 for the term “african vacations” on Google.com
- A page that has been +1’ed in Google will improve in rankings, but:
- The keyword you want to improve rankings for must appear first in your page title.
- The page must have lots of good backlinks pointing to it with the targeted keyword in the anchor text.
- The profile that +1’s the page must have good social rank
With regards to Social Rank, Google +1 uses Twitter and Gtalk contacts as a network. So this means if you have lots of followers in Twitter, etc. You will tend to have a higher Social Rank and therefore have a larger amount of influence when it comes to getting your rankings up by using Google’s +1.
In conclusion, it is still early days and Google might be making some changes to the way its going to rank pages using social statistics within its algorithm, although I hope this blog post gets some other SEO’s out there thinking about this.
Do you guys think that Bing’s SERPs will change due to the Facebook Likes integration?