Google Plus One Hurting Rankings Or Helping Rankings?

Jul 26, 2011 • 8:29 am | comments (15) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Plus SlowWe know that Google has said that plus ones can have a positive impact on your rankings but we also know site speed can have a negative impact on rankings.

A WebmasterWorld thread has reports of webmasters pulling the Google Plus One button from their sites because they have been one more element to slow down the page load time of their pages.

One webmaster said:

It was a real pain to add the +1 button and make it fit in layout and get along the other buttons alignment. But what I noticed once I finished spread it all over my site is a horrible slow down in page load.

All page loads fast, but the +1 button is the last one in loading and while it does leaves the page like frozen until it does completely. For instance the main navigation menu (pure css) won't show subitems until the +1 button finally appears.

Truth be told, there are ways to speed up the buttons through some tricks. Michael Butler at RustyBrick (my company) posted an article named JavaScript Hover Effects to Speed Up Page Load Time. Basically, you do not load the buttons until a user places their mouse over the button. Before the user does that, the button is simply an image.

One webmaster claimed that his rankings slipped after adding the plus one button and then shortly after removing it, the rankings came back. Of course, there can be other reasons and factors, but this is what he said:

Just thought I'd add that about 10 days after posting that I removed the +1 buttons from the news articles and within 48hrs the traffic to the news section was back to normal levels (up to about 150/200 uniques a day). Two note: 1) adding +1 was the only change I had made to the news section in months and 2) during all that time, traffic to other parts of the site always remained consistent.

The last time we covered a topic like this was with the Facebook like button where a Googler said it will have no impact on your rankings.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Update: Hours after I posted this, Google announced a faster Google Plus One button. Clearly this post had nothing to do with them releasing it, I am sure it was in development for a while.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: July 25, 2011



07/26/2011 12:51 pm

From my perspective +1 is a total waste. 1. It slows down page speed, so it basically cancels itself out. 2. In order for it to be useful a user had to be logged into their Google account and on top of that have a Google account at all.  Judging from my newsletter list, less than 5% of my users have a G account.  Probably less than half of those are logged into G at all times. 


07/26/2011 01:15 pm

"the +1 button is the last one in loading and while it does leaves the page like frozen until it does completely" yeah, bit like when you're trying to view the Google SERPs :o/

Black Seo Guy

07/26/2011 01:50 pm

I don't know how much weight it holds but I'm looking to keep the facebook button because I think the plus one will not do that much for seo..just my opinion that Google will not let something be that easy. "Black Seo Guy "Signing Off"

07/26/2011 03:46 pm

Just load the buttons via iframe or ajax after the page completes -I don't see the problem here?

Mark Warner

07/26/2011 07:04 pm

I have put them in an iframe using the url the script produces ... you can find it on the net ...  ... _/+1/button?url= etc etc works fine ,, but obviously if they alter the parameters you are screwed .. working example


07/27/2011 02:04 am

i donno abt ur first reason .. bt abt 2 .. dude evn to like(fb like) u need to logged to fb .. so i dont think wat u said is a problm ..


07/27/2011 02:05 am

I'll recommend Michael Butler's idea to our programmer.

Thomas Marty

07/27/2011 03:08 am

There are some good plus one services out there, but be careful with who you go to. I have tried several of the Google plus one services and the best one I have found is - They guarantee their work 100%, so if any of your plus ones fall off for whatever reason, they replace them with no questions asked or your money back. Many of the other plus one services are not offering any guarantee like this, so go with a provider that is trusted and guarantees their work.

steve fox

07/27/2011 07:55 am

yea, +1 seconds load , lol  They really got to fix this. On my site it is 1 second to load, scrabble word finder


07/27/2011 02:25 pm

Had it at the beginning along with FB and twitter but decided to remove the "G +1" due to extremely slow loading.  Also you never know with google they might discontinue this service next year so why bother. 


07/27/2011 07:24 pm

Between FB and twitter .js files I think there is enough .... G+ is not as popular yet so I dont see a reason to overload the page with unnecessary javascripts

Vannesa Iscoa

07/28/2011 12:46 am

Google plus one has updated and is now 3 times faster. May be worth another shot.


08/06/2011 10:59 am

Most of the users have left to use G+ due to its slow loading. They are happy to use FB and Twitter which is still better than G+. Even i refuse to use G+.. debt relief


09/10/2011 11:40 pm

It does not seem as popular as tweet button, or fb button either rpg online games


04/26/2012 04:47 pm

Here is the solution I developed: Create an Iframe width=80 (or so) height=25 (or so) set the "frameborder" property=0 [iframe frameborder="0"  width=80 height=25] [/iframe>]Set the src like this:src=,webmaster @

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