Introducing The Google +1 Button!

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The New Social Proof Button
That Everyone’s Talking About…
The Google +1 Button!

Google has jumped back into the social foray with the arrival of its newest contender in the social world..

The Google +1 Button!

Now though, the code has been publicly available for about a week and WordPress plugins are beginning to become stable so it’s time to delve into this new little toy!

Installing the Google +1 Button

The all-important code required to add it to websites is available here. Fortunately for most WordPress users however, lots of share button plugins exist. You will now find support for the G+ buttons built into most of your socials haring buttons including Digg Digg, Flares and Shareaholic and more. 

Enabling Google Analytics Tracking For +1  Activity

For those savvy enough to modify a custom function, Yoast has a tutorial on how to hand Google Analytics the useful bit of info:

How Google +1 Functions

Think of a +1 as a way to help you sort through the 5 million results that search just returned and find a post that one of your friends felt was relevant and valuable! +1 is short hand for “that rocks” or “this post is awesome”

There was a popup after clicking that seems to have gone away today. Also originally you could not remove your +1 if you changed your mind but now you easily can either by re-clicking the button or by removing it from the +1 tab of your Google Profile.Like the Facebook Like button, they may be configured to display personalization to the visitor:

The Google Social Network

What do you get when you take personal profiles plus social proof plus activity and bundle it all together? You get a social network. (Sort of) Did Google just invent a new social network? Now… they just forced you to use theirs (if your a site owner and interested in your search results).

In order to take part in the +1 buttons you must have a valid public Google Profile, which connects to your Google Buzz account.  Not just a email address… but a true social profile. (While the new +1 tab on your Google Profile can be hidden, your pluses will continue to show in the search results.) In fact, all Google Profiles that have not been made public are scheduled for deletion on July 31st.

Google has already said that +1’s will be used as a social signal to influence SERP (search engine) results and because of their integration with Google Profiles which have already been shown to rank higher or lower based on “completeness” because they are “more trusted”, many users are feeling uncomfortable that they are being asked to put a large amount of their personally identifiable information out in the open to attain good search results.

The +1 Button FAQ is a great source for information relating to the button, installing it, its functionality etc.

Why I’m happy…

This button provides a lot more functionality than the buzz button while enabling bloggers, marketers, friends and more to assist each others search placement while also ensuring that their OWN search results show lots of useful stuff from blogs they trust. Win/Win situations rock.

Why I’m dubious…

First of all, Google has three strikes of fail at all of its prior attempts to create a valid social network. At this point they’ve not proven they have a clue. (That is Wave, Buzz & Orkut in case you’re wondering)

Second, while this keeps them OUT of the privacy scandals that Facebook is full of (because Facebook isn’t private either), holding our search placement over our head to coerce us into revealing publicly identifiable information out on the open web where any stalker might easily amass too much information too quickly just reeks of both desperation and bullying. (Although honestly, most of what is asked for, I already have visible all over the place, so it’s not that big of an issue for me.)

Third… and here’s the kicker… if you are not in the blogging niche, IM niche, SEO niche, or a geek that might enjoy sharing other technical docs with their coworkers… there is ZERO reason to click this button! It has little use to the average person who, when they want their friend Susan to check out this new cake recipe would rather click the FB share button and have it posted to her close pocket of friends on Facebook. Somewhere, the cart got put before the horse.

Share buttons are usually a natural PRODUCT of a healthy social network… not the creator of them.

My advice?

Install the buttons, set up your Google Profile, use the buttons, help your friends by clicking them and hope that Google has more cards up it’s sleeve for this concept that it has not revealed yet. Don’t however let them replace Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social platforms on which YOU are established. Don’t however delay as there is likely to be a lot of “first mover” improvements for those that start building pluses before their competition.

I hope this post helps you get a clearer picture of what is going on in the realm of the fun new Google Plus One button. As you can see, its not quite all the peaches and ponies that some have said… yet at the same time there is a lot of power here.

I look forward to your comments below and to comparing notes on what impact you feel this button will have particularly as it relates to YOUR target audience. Thanks in advance for your tweets, likes, shares, and PLUSES!

Kimberly Castleberry
Your Partner In Online Success

Want to see MY Recommendations in your search results?

Connect with me on Google Buzz by visiting my profile, clicking on the “Buzz” tab, and then clicking on the Follow Kimberly button. (Unlike the magic Google button in my sidebar, which I’d LOVE for you to click, this will not add my CONTENT to your search until I have +1’d all of it.)

Published June 6th, 2011, Updated July 21st 2014

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  1. says

    Great recap Kim, this answered all of my questions about the +1 button.
    I’ve also added it to my list of things to do this week. :)


  2. says

    Hi Kim, I (like probably many others) haven’t been taking the news of the Google +1 button very seriously. Like you say, so far they haven’t exactly proved a major player in social networking spheres.
    However, I love the different arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’ that you present here. I can absolutely see the potential of the button now and view it in a far more positive light in terms of ‘useful arsenal’ to include on my site. Yet I still have to say, I agree with you that it is a bit like ‘the stick’ treatment on Google’s part, “You WILL use our new toy otherwise your website rankings WILL suffer”… Let’s wait and see :)

  3. Tim & Sole says

    Hi Kim,

    Another great post!

    We’ve seen more and more of the +1 button lately, especially in the blogosphere. We think you hit it right on the nail about why we all have reasons to be dubious. If it is out there, then as you said, it’s worth the try and see what kind of results it brings to your blog traffic/rank.

    Thanks for such a complete report on this latest button!

  4. says

    Hey Kim,

    Thanks for always keeping us updated and on the cutting edge.

    I love the fact that not only do you give us information that we need and show us how to implement that information, but also your pros and cons, so we really fully understand the application and the implications.

    It looks like it may have some down the road potential, but like you stated, Google has less than a stellar reputation in this area.

    To your continued mastery,

  5. says

    Hi Kim:

    Thanks for all the helpful information about google +1! I just installed it on my blog today. I still don’t fully understand it’s significance but you did bring some clarity for me.


  6. says

    Hello Kim,

    Splendidly informative post on this Google+1 button.

    I added it to my site the other day but I feel I may have placed the code in a non appropriate spot … looking above at you post perhaps there’s a place for it along with Digg Digg and possibly Wibiya might bring out an update too. Here is hoping!

    I wonder do you think the +1 button will take off? I have my doubts but I’ve added it anyway!

    I notice when running searches on Google site with the +1 button already installed have a small greyed out button just next to the title of the site in the search results.

    I hope you are having a lovely week. Sadie :)

    • says

      I have my doubts about its “taking off”… but if we find it effectively lets us SEO boost our friends, then the leverage it serves within communities such as ours make it a must-use in my opinion. I very much believe its going to have “pocket users” and without some additional network being built around it not find any sort of critical mass.

  7. says

    I’m rather dubious about benefits of having a plus one button. Ultimately, if people share links then they are far more likely to do so via Facebook or Twitter. I don’t actually know anyone who uses Buzz.

    I’ll be interested to see what sort of stats people who use the button actually get. I suspect not many people will click it.

  8. says

    We all know Google wants to rule the world, they will keep trying to they get it right when it comes to social media tools they know the future is social and will lose market share if they can not provide a viable social media presence.

  9. says

    I always enjoy visiting your blog Kim! I’ve been reading a lot about the +1 button, and at first I was really excited about it. It seems incredibly powerful in connecting SEO to social media and I do hope that it takes off. And I agree, it will most likely prove very beneficial to the early adopters. For my local business clients, I’ve been very frustrated with Google’s process for capturing reviews on Google Places pages and I thought maybe they weren’t improving the process because they were focused on the +1 instead. I hope this button will help the local businesses too!

  10. says

    I always love visiting your blog Kim! I have been reading all about the Google +1 button and at first, I was really excited! What a great way to connect social media with search engine optimization! I am cautiously optimistic though. Google has shown that they like to reward businesses that have been “liked” by their users because we’ve seen them push businesses up the page when they have multiple reviews on their places page. However, the whole process to submit a review is challenging. I thought maybe they weren’t working to make it easier because the +1 was about to launch, so I hope this is easy for a non-computer wiz! It looks like it just might be!

  11. says

    I have this button concept.. because if every search engine start releasing such button where webmaster can add those buttons?? can we fill websites with only these button?? I think google button may fail. As of I seen no websites still not yet added this google button.

  12. says

    I just hope that it doesn’t goes that way, because then the newcomers will stand minimal chances of actually getting their content ranked in search engines.

    But as per the introductory video, it seems that we’re in an indirect way, going to be affected by this.

    What do you think Kim.

  13. says

    Hi Kimberly Castleberry

    Your post really helped me to understand Introducing The Google +1 Button!. It has great details and yet it is easy to understand.
    That’s what i was looking for. I will definitely share it with others.

    Thanks for sharing.

  14. says

    I totally agree that it’s going to most readily benefit early adopters and those who have a more tech-savvy audience. Most college sports fans won’t know a 1+ from a plugin and won’t care. But for bloggers and website owners who have a community that will share/post an article in more than one way, it’s important to install it.

    Great weighing in on it – I actually did a screencast to help newbies figure out how to get it installed because I think it will help rankings for early adopters especially. Your cons list is pretty much what I feel too – certain niches won’t benefit nearly as much. I talked to a garden blogger who didn’t have a single 1+ on any of his posts after a full week. Meanwhile my “How to Install the Plus One Button” post had four clicks the first day. *laughing* The difference of audience is obvious.

  15. says

    if you are not in the blogging niche, IM niche, SEO niche, or a geek that might enjoy sharing other technical docs with their coworkers… there is ZERO reason to click this button!

    I didn’t know about this and I am glad that you pointed this one out. My gripe with Google’s +1 button was that they forgot to include a 32-px button. So I have no choice but to change my social media buttons to either 24-px and get the equivalent height version of Google +1. Really, its that troublesome.

  16. says

    Hello Kim

    Thanks to your article and you advice section, I just added the + 1 Button. Looking forward to following your updates on the use and effectiveness of the button.

  17. Dan says

    It’s another neat little thing from Google, and also not to mention that if you use Google Webmaster Tools you also get a section for +1 Metrics which tracks +1 stats against your site.

  18. says

    So this is the Google +1 that my friend keeps on telling me. Well after reading this post, I might need to configure this to my blog as well, let’s see what it can do to boost our SERPs.

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