Google gets Social…again.
Just a few days ago, Google launched Google +1. This is a free participation program (like 99% of Google’s initiatives) that allows web users to vote/recommend (+1) content/pages/websites online. This information (your vote) will be shared with your “network”, which is those gmail/google contacts that you have. Your recommended content will show up more “relevant” in organic search listings to those members of your “network”. Which means, that those results will show up higher in the ranks.Google +1 recommended pages/websites will also begin to show up higher in organic search listings to people ouside your network as well, which is definitely interesting to say the least. For those of you who know anything about web optimization, this has a direct parallel to the relevancy grade that Google’s alogrithm gives pages/websites based on the number of inbound links that particular page/website has. Simply put, the more “votes” a page gets (+1 recommendations, inbound links, social links, Alexa Rating, Google Places reviews, etc) the more “relevant” your page becomes. Thus, Google puts that page higher in the ranks (for appropriate terms of course) based on that assumed relevancy.Phew. That sounds a whole lot more complicated than it really is. Think of it as a political campaign. There’s all these pages out there trying to win the election on certain keywords. The more votes they get (from those sources listed above) the higher they get to winning the election (the number 1 spot).So what does this mean for publishers? Well, could be a little, could be a lot. Google is simply getting more entrenched in the social war with Facebook. It’s all about pushing content out to “friends” and the big companies (Google, Facebook, etc) being able to “capture” you and your friends. What they do with you after they’ve captured you is pretty self-evident. But users don’t mind as long as they aren’t being SPAM marketed. And Businesses love it, especially in this case, because it could boost their organic search rankings (and thus relevant search traffic) significantly in places they didn’t have a chance before ( because of their budget, content, exposure, inbounc links, etc).So I’m on board. We’re going to run a test of Google +1 on one of our Blog Network sites. We’ll give you a 30 day case study analysis once it comes available. But first you ask…why aren’t we using Google +1 on our own website? Or on our Blog Network sites?Because they haven’t completed the WordPress Plugin yet. But they will…and when they do…to the moon Alice (maybe).