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How Google’s +1 Button Affects SEO

Profile photo of Mike Gordon Submitted by Mike Gordon August 6, 2015 Website :

Ever since the days of Google Buzz, the “+1 button” has been a mystery for both content producers and users as well. Some people may think that it shares some similarities to the “Like” button used by Facebook, but Google’s +1 button doesn’t actually share content to a user’s social stream. So what is it?


Defining the Google +1 Button

According to Google, the +1 button is a very helpful feature that allows people to share and also discover relevant content from users they already trust and know as well. There are different types of content that users can +1, including ads, websites and of course, Google search results. Once a piece of content is +1-ed, it’s going to become visible on websites with a plus 1 button, in Google search results and in the tab with the same name in their Google Plus profile.

However, it seems that the +1 feature becomes even more important when Google announced they would launch Search Plus Your World. In one of his interviews with the press, Google’s director of product management, Jack Menzel, said that Google Plus users can search not only data shared with the public, but they can also search across data that’s private and has been shared only with them. When it comes to the way results are going to be displayed, those that have gotten the highest number of +1s will of course show up higher in the results. While that’s great news for a lot of users, does the +1 feature affect SEO as well and if so, how? Well, about that we’re going to talk about below.


The Benefits Of Google +1

There are quite a few noteworthy perks for +1 users and one of them is that when a user clicks on the plus one button, the link’s social influence is immediately increased, meaning that the link is going to rank higher (become more relevant) in the search engine results page. On top of that, it seems that websites, posts or any type of content that receives +1s is going to become a lot more convincing, sometimes becoming even more trustworthy and credible than expert reviews. Given the fact that this vote from someone that’s part of a social circle offers annotations, the link is going to stand out in the search results which means that particular website is going to get more traffic.

Another benefit of having a website where the +1 button is enabled is that when users click it, Google bots are immediately notified so they can crawl the page again and index it. So if you had any doubt that introducing this button on your website is going to somehow have a negative impact on search engine optimization, now you know that’s untrue.


The Experiment Performed By SEO Effect

According to SEO Effect (a popular SEO provider), it seems that users who were logged into Google Services couldn’t use the +1 feature and the results were only based on the browser. Therefore, the company’s +1 experiment on the CTR and impressions from search results to the website was unfortunately short lived. Nevertheless, it’s still a very important ranking signal in Google Search Results.

Further into the experiment, SEO Effect noticed that content which was given a plus-one by users became a lot more popular and the particular website it was hosted on received more traffic. Even though the website hosting the content that received plus ones from users didn’t get more impressions, the average position for various KWs increased by up to twenty four percent. This means that those pages got more clicks and the average search position of that page increased by twenty percent.

This means that even if someone is not signed into their Google Account, the results are still going to display the number of plus one votes a specific link has, meaning that its authority is going to be positively affected. On the other hand, if the number of plus-ones for a specific post or page increases rapidly, then Google’s damping algorithm will step in automatically to ensure that the +1s are valid.


Is it an SEO Tactic Worth Considering?

According to most SEO experts, it seems that the +1 is just an added jump to hoop through and also a waste of time. If we look at the stats, we can clearly see that only a small number of users have adopted it, but Google is certainly going to speed up the adoption rate by tilting its relevancy algorithm to achieve that. In fact, many users already expect that to happen, since Google did the same thing with the Google Checkout buttons on AdWords advertisements.

However, it’s important to be aware that this is still a social signal and because off-page search engine optimization is extremely hard given the fact that the Panda update limits a wide range of linking practices, social signals are becoming more and more relevant. In fact, when it comes to off-page search engine optimization, Tweets, Facebook likes and +1s hold a lot of importance.

If they are combined with excellent on-page SEO strategies, these signals can be very effective in giving your brand authority and trust in the ever expanding world wide web. Because there are a lot of people that use Google Accounts, don’t be surprised to find out along the way that social search has a lot more impact than you imagined it would have.


Should You Add the +1 Button to Your Website?

There are many big names in the world of internet marketers, but also many popular websites that have already introduced the +1 button since they know it will help them rank higher. And given the fact there is so much proof it is actually effective at doing that, you should also think about implementing it on your website. After all, the code is quite simple to implement and the off-page search engine optimization benefits far outweigh the few minutes it takes to add the code to your website. In fact, in the first month after you’ll have added it, your website is going to significantly improve in ranking, especially if you already get a lot of traffic.

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11 Responses to “How Google’s +1 Button Affects SEO” Leave a reply ›

  • Profile photo of Arjay [Moderator] Profile

    Hello Mike,

    Thanks for sharing this. But remember to always click the “king this” to “king” your own posts after sharing. I noticed you didn’t do that for this post.

    If you don’t get enough “kings” and engagement, you don’t get to the frontpage and you don’t get good enough traffic. So, always “king” your posts, to get the ball rolling,

    To get more information about what you can do on Kingged, in terms of the rules and others, please join the mailing list here, if you haven’t –

    Arjay [Moderator] recently posted…4 Reasons why is a Boon for BloggersMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Mike Gordon Profile

    Hello Arjay,

    Thank you for reminding me. From now on I will remember to king my own posts every time when I post a new article.


  • Profile photo of Lawrence Berry Profile

    I recently just found out about how google+ can boost your rankings in google and this article was a great reiteration of that. Getting your ranking higher in search engines is a lot of people main focus as it can bring in a considerable amount of traffic. I have been using google plus for a while, but after finding out this, I have been putting in a little more work on my profile, getting more shares on my articles and link building. This is a great article for anyone looking to boost their rankings.
    Lawrence Berry recently posted…6 Ways to Effectively Change People’s BehaviorMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Pawan Kumar Profile

    Hello Mike,
    Google plus has opened the doors for business and brands. Google plus business page helps to increase the authority and reputation of comapny or brand, and boost search ranking.
    Thanks for sharing this article, i found it very informative and interesting. Have a great weekend!
    Pawan Kumar recently posted…12 Famous Brand Logos with Interesting Messages You Never Knew [SlideShare]My Profile

  • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

    Hey Mike,
    The Google +1 button is an important social signal for high ranking. However, appliers can only be successful with it in SEO if they associate valuable content and good positioning.

    Yes, in the coming days Google may see keep seeing this as ranking factor and I support the full implementation by bloggers today!
    Sunday William recently posted…The Anatomy of an Opt-In Form That Drives Traffic in DrovesMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Metz Profile

    Google plus’ +1 is adding value in Search Engine Optimization therefore, it is worth considering.

    Experts that use the button shared their experiences and the benefits on SEO over the internet. Like for example Neil Patel said that “Google has included +1 stats in Webmaster Tools. Through it you can see how many people have clicked “+1″. Neil Patel is up to this moment and time a successful Internet Marketer, writer etc. and one of the living proofs of its effectiveness.

    I must say, many people saw it working. In one article, I’ve read that a newly launched website immediately implement G+ button less than a few hours after announcing gained and also after a few weeks.

    So it is effective and a must try.
    Metz recently posted…5 Ways To Make Money Online – You Haven’t Tried #4!My Profile

  • Profile photo of Mi Muba Profile

    Hi Mike

    Very very informative post.

    It is absolutely right that Google +1 button is mostly taken as just another button of social media to appreciate the work of others.

    But you have well explained how it directly affects the SEO and actually becomes an effective way to tell search engines how popular a given post is.

    Readers experience is now overtaking the technical aspects of online marketing that is why it is must to write for people that also pleases search engines.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful piece of information.
    Mi Muba recently posted…How to be popular on social media with these 100 ways?My Profile

  • Profile photo of Sherman Smith Profile

    Hey Mike,

    Great information about having the Google+ button on your site.

    I’ve noticed an increase in ranking not only by getting +1’s on my website, but also getting mentioned in Google+. I guess you can say that’s the icing on the cake when it comes to generating traffic.

    But yes I’m glad that you explained how it affects SEO. I didn’t know as soon as you click +1, it instantly notifies the google bots, but I guess that would be common sense to know since it’s Google 😉

    Thanks for sharing Mike! Have a great weekend!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Why Your Blog Traffic Generation Strategies SuckMy Profile

  • Profile photo of siddaiah Profile

    Hi Mike,

    I don’t know complete information about Google plus +1 details very well after reading this post, I fairly understood how it helps the search engine optimization, thank you for sharing your knowledge with us, see you soon.
    siddaiah recently posted…How To Use CrowdFire App Twitter Management Unfollow Tool?My Profile

  • Profile photo of Muhammad Mairaj Profile

    Hi Mike,

    Indeed a wonderful post. Which contains bunch of useful information. Thanks for highlighting some significant tips about Google + Button.

    Know doubt it is in the list of astounding social media and it is very beneficial for search engine optimization.

    This practice definitely help out to increase the ranking of your website.

    Thanks for sharing such a fantastic post :)

  • Profile photo of Tom Kimp Profile

    Hello Mike,

    I think the google plus one helped a lot a first, back in 2015 when you wrote this article. I agree, I experimented with google plus one, and saw better results in the search engines compared to social media likes from Facebook, etc..

    I don’t think it makes that much of a dent now. Mainly because google plus one isn’t that big of a social media site now.

    I just don’t get the same results from it now.

    Thanks for sharing

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