Search is going social. We’ve tasted this through Bing and Google’s recent social search activity, but Google has now taken the lead with a new advancement—the +1 button.
You’ll definitely want to keep the new +1 button on your radar, and get familiar with what it does. It will slowly gain attention and begin to influence search rankings.
The button appears just to the right of the link text on Google. If someone likes a particular site, they press the button. If others have +1’d the site also, you’ll see how many have just under the URL, as shown below.
How does this affect rankings
If Google thinks you and your competitor’s sites offer relevant information to a particular search term, both will appear in search results. However, if your competitor has 136 +1s from visitors while you have eleven, your competitor could potentially outrank you.
Although SEO practices and up-to-date content are still the best way to get high rankings, the new Google +1 button is going to become more important. As people use it—and start relying on it more—it will become more beneficial to your website.
What you can do now
Install the button [deprecated]. If your business website has a Facebook like button and a Twitter follow button, it might be a good time to add a Google +1 button alongside other buttons. You’ll want to advertise it; get some friends to +1 your website, and maybe mention it on your social media outlets.
You can choose to use the +1 button first without any count through the advanced options link. Then switch to the version that does show a count when you have gained some worthy numbers. Don’t be surprised when this button starts gaining speed.