What is the Importance of the Google +1 Button Versus PageRank?

Plus 1 vs PageRank

SEO is one of the most effective methods for increasing visibility and  boosting traffic online. And with Google the being undisputed king of  the online search game, its ranking system is the one most publishers and marketers aim to please with their SEO efforts. However, many have found that keeping up with the company’s ever changing algorithm can be a full time job in and of itself.

If you’re among those who feel this way, brace yourself because the advent of the Google +1 button could lead to one of the biggest changes yet.

The +1 Button’s Potential Impact on Search Rankings

Since rolling out the +1 button in the spring of 2011, it was apparent  that Google had big plans for the feature that instantly drew comparisons to the Facebook Like button. What became clear was the search giant’s ambitions of using it as a measure of good content and ordering rankings in the results pages. According to a recent article published by technology news site Wired, it has now been confirmed that Google will indeed use the +1 button as a tool that helps it organize rankings and weed out search engine spam, a problem the company and its competitors have been fighting for some time.

In order to get an idea of where the Google +1 button stands in terms of importance, one must first understand how it works. Remember, this feature is quite similar to what Facebook has going on with its Like button, so the best way to describe it is a convenient method for giving a piece of content your stamp of approval, an endorsement if you will. Slowly but surely, the +1 button has been making its rounds throughout the web. In fact, you may have noticed it more often in the search results and on web pages alongside buttons from Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.

The Wired story featured quotes from a Google spokesperson, who states that the company will not only be studying +1 button clicks in regard to influencing rankings and the order of results, but also as a measure of overall quality. Judging from the spokesperson’s comments and what has already been speculated for months now, it is starting to look like webmasters may need to tally up a certain number of clicks if they want to enjoy a comfortable spot in the rankings. From this perspective, the +1 button could become one of the many crucial factors that help determine PageRank, which would make it extremely important for obvious reasons.

Another Step in the Evolution of Search

To be clear, Google is not doing away with its PageRank system. Instead, it appears to be using the +1 button to improve that system and the quality of the results it delivers to the searcher. Above all, it looks like another step in the evolution that has seen search become more personal and relevant right before our very eyes.

Francis Santos

Francis Santos is a best practices activist and advocate for leading web and permission-based email marketing software. In addition, he is also the executive editor for separate popular news blog, Geek Peeks.

12 thoughts on “What is the Importance of the Google +1 Button Versus PageRank?

  1. “The Wired story featured quotes from a Google spokesperson, who states that the company will not only be studying +1 button clicks in regard to influencing rankings and the order of results, but also as a measure of overall quality.”

    They are playing a dangerous game here. While I’m against Google Plus as a network (scrape the whole thing) I do give some credit to those doing research on the matter. I’ve seen varied resluts from using google plus to get sites indexed and ranking in the search engines.

  2. The +1 button came out before Google+ and it seemed like people outside of the tech/internet marketing world had no idea what it was. The increasing popularity of Google+ has brought awareness and people seem to get that they are tied together, but Google+ still hasn’t gone as mainstream as Facebook. I doubt that content is getting as many +1’s as it is getting Likes.

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  5. I don’t think the launch of Google +1 has been enough of an impact to make it an indicator which is a worthwhile investment in your time. Even the Facebook like doesn’t provide enough of a solid indicator to a website’s success.

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