Google +1 Button: A Geo Signal?

Jan 2, 2012 • 9:26 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google + 1 ButtonA WebmasterWorld thread has a webmaster asking if it would be dumb for him to remove the +1 buttons from his web site.

The reason he is nervous about removing the button is because he is worried that Google might use it for geotargetting sites or as another personalized ranking feature, combined with localized content.

We all know that +1s are currently used for personalizing the results. If you friends +1 something, it can and does affect the results you see in the Google search results. But what about at an aggregate? Currently, they do not.

The webmaster asked:

My site sells 99% to the US market. The US market users on my site really don't use +1 at all. International users do use it a good bit though. So basically I'm getting All of my +1s for outside my target market.

Should I just scrap my +1 buttons or will it help my target market rankings? I haven't heard anything about the geotargeting of plus one.

Tedster replied:

Well, I doubt that +1 would ever become the only factor, or even the strongest factor. But I can see it being one of hundreds of factors.

This thread asks the question if the effects of +1 are to be geo-targeted. I haven't seen anything official about that, and no experimental testing either. So I'll hazard a guess that they will eventually become one of many geographic signals. But before that happens, I'm sure Google will make an attempt to normalize the +1 data in some way.


Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Jeff Downer Indianapolis IN

01/02/2012 04:29 pm

I can think of a lot of reasons for implementing the +1 button, however after reading the thread I am still unclear as to why he was considering removing it. Even if the benefits of having +1 are difficult to grasp at the moment, why not be patient and reap the the rewards of being an early adopter (well, I guess the +1is ubiquitous now).

James Norris

01/03/2012 01:02 am

I have recently added +1 on a couple of sites. I understand why someone would remove them and only keeping them at the moment to appease Google's algorithm/s

High Core

01/03/2012 08:39 am

+1 is a good and powerfull thing which can boost your traffic, use it like it, and never remove. :)

Jonny Ross

01/04/2012 12:09 am

Now this is very interesting. However not sure I agree with "international users" are using it more... Is there concrete evidence of this ? And if so google will take this into account and shape the +1's

Nick Stamoulis

01/04/2012 02:50 pm

Google uses the +1 button as a social signal, so it really shouldn't be removed.  When it comes to search and social, we need to pay careful attention to any move Google makes and incorporate it into our strategy.  

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