Social search with the Google +1 button

Mar. 31, 2011 | by Doug Platts

Google announced last night the roll out of their new Plus One (+1) button. This has got the digital community buzzing about what this means to search and brands.

The button now appears at the end of the web listings on both Paid and Natural results. You can see Google’s video around the product here:

Google SERP

Plus One – what are the implications?

  • The first thing to understand is that this has only been released on, for English searches and only when you are logged in.
  • iCrossing US offices are monitoring the impact of this and as we have further information around this further insights will be shared.
  • “The primary benefit is that search gets better. It gets better in the user interface immediately, and we’ll look at it as a potential signal to improve search quality as well. I find social search extremely useful, especially with the recent updates. This change continues the evolution of social search, and it’s a natural progression to improve the search experience,” said Matt Cutts.
  • You’re also given an option to undo your +1ing, and you’re reminded that you’ve shared your liking of the result publicly to your social network.
  • Aside from Google’s search listings, you can also favorite ads from Google AdWords that show up in search results:
  • - All ads will be getting these buttons
  • - There’s no way for advertisers to turn them off
  • - Clicks on the +1 button next to ads do NOT count as a paid ad click
  • - Advertisers will be able to see stats about which ads are getting the most +1s
  • It is another Social signal Google will be using to deliver more relevant results to the searcher as an individual based on their Social Circle and recommendations from their network of contacts.
  • Brands need to explore influential advocates within Social networks inorder to have a voice within these listings
  • You as a searcher will get more real-time feedback around content/web sites/brands from within the SERPs. This is something Facebook and Twitter could only if they had content ranking (live feeds) but not directly from their Like or retweet data
  • This again highlights the importance brands to generate useful content, or curate useful content, that meets their searchers needs to get them talking about it/recommending it to a friend
  • Yet another (very visual) synergy between search, social & content and how they need to be considered as one strategy rather than various “marketing” streams

Some useful tips:

  • This is the network of connections Google uses to identify relevant social search results:
  • This feature will be rolled out to slowly, but you can try it by enabling the +1 search experiment.
  • Your +1′s are listed in a profile tab, where you can manage them. There’s also a page that lets you disable personalizing Google ads using +1′s and other information from your Google profile.
  • According to Christian Oestlien, Google’s Group Product Manager for Ads, +1 will appear on all Google search ads by default. However advertisers will be able to opt out by submitting a form.
  • Google’s Oestlien said that there’s a common infrastructure for social search/+1 on both the organic and paid sides. As a result user pluses in organic SERPs or on publisher sites away from Google will impact their appearance in paid search ads.

In a nutshell:

The Plus One button has all the characteristics of Like and retweet buttons, but the main differentiator is that recommendations will be visible within the search listings, and attached to specific rankings, which could impact on click-through rate, both positively & negatively.

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    Comment (1)

    • Will Google +1 flop or flourish? | iCrossing Digital Marketing Blog, Search Engine Advertising Blog: iCrossing

      [...] further reading, you can also check out this post by the iCrossing U.K. team with additional tips and implications to [...]Mar 31, 2011 06:39 pm

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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