What are the implications for Search Engine Optimization?
The battle for control of the Internet rages on. In the latest round of events, Google goes Facebook and adopts their version of the wildly popular “Like” button; called +1.
Goggles inclusion of a +1 button next to search results has caused a bit of a stir in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) community. You may, or may not, have heard of the +1 button but it’s akin to a “Like” button on Facebook. This is another attempt for Google to leverage the social aspect of the web. Previous attempts of Google going social include Google Buzz, Google Wave, and Orkut. All of them dismal failures, discontinued due to “lack of interest”, except for Orkut which garners a user base of 100 Million users worldwide, 48% of which are from Brazil.
Why is this a concern for Search Engine Optimization?
In their latest attempt of going social, Googles +1 allows the web searcher to vote for a website in the search listings. Here is a great video from Google explaining exactly what this service is;
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The impact on the Search Engine Optimization industry
Officially released March 30, 2011, the service is new and the impact on search engine optimization is uncertain. However, it has been confirmed, although not in the video, that the +1 will factor into Google’s search engine ranking algorithm. The weighting or importance to search engine optimization we assume will start low, but as Google gathers more data and fine tunes this offering, this will certainly play a larger part in ranking organically in the search engines.
In my opinion, there is a long road to travel before this service can reach its potential and have the impact we know Google hopes it will have. Will all +1′s be given equal value? Will you only be shown votes by those in a similar demographic? region? income bracket? Will the +1 overshadow the trust people have in Google to return the most relevant results to their search query? Only time will tell, but history is not on their side when it comes to leveraging the social aspect of the web. To receive an in-depth report on this, and similar, topics be sure to join our email list.
To summarize; Search Engine Optimization isn’t going anywhere. In terms of industry, search engine optimization is still in its infancy and services like these don’t threaten the usefulness of SEO, they enhance it. We are only in the early stages of search engine optimizations evolution. We are excited to see what happens next, and as always, we’ll be there to report along the way.