A 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.
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.