So some of us are seeing the Google +1 button all over the place. I still have not accepted my invitation to join the Google Plus revolution, and I don’t think I will, unless of course it is expedient for my business. But for all practical purposes, I don’t really want my plus ones to affect the search engine results with Google. I know that some of you really love the idea of personalized search, but I want to know what everyone else is seeing when they put in a search term and not just what Google thinks I should see.
Yes, maybe this is just the marketer in me, but if everyone has different search results because of sites they have plus one’d (such a stupid term), then it really makes it hard to gauge your performance levels in SEO.
And just because I plus one a site does not mean that I may want to see another site ranking higher than that one. Perhaps it is a new site that I have not heard of before, or a new kind of software is out, but because I did not plus one it that page is buried on page 2 (no-mans land).
Also on this topic, many services are now being offered that will get you 100-1000 Google +1′s if you pay them a certain amount. We all knew this was coming. If they think a new fad will help their rankings in Google people will pay for it.
But paying for Google Plus Ones is really just a waste of money. Think about it. If someone plus ones a page it only affects that person. It will not automatically change the search results for everyone just because Joe Shmoe likes a page buried on page 13.
And if Google DID decide to change the search results for everyone based on a website getting a lot of +1′s, then YES, buying these + 1′s WOULD in fact be effective, although it should be fairly easy for Google to tell that the same “people” are plus oneing (is that a word) sites like crazy that have no relation whatsoever.
To get a plus one account you need to verify you are a human with a phone, but still companies have 1,000′s of these accounts right now and they are using them to pump up sites that marketers are wanting to get a boost in rankings.
Why I really don’t like that Google uses social signals to rank sites.
So with Google using all of these social signals, are backlinks a thing of the past? Hardly. Just like the backlinks system has been abused now the social networking scene will get abused just as bad if not worse. This is really going to pollute the “innocence” of social media. Social media was supposed to be about people interacting with people. But since Google can’t decide how to rank sites without getting confused by 1,000s of spammy backlinks it wants to crash the social party and use it to make smarter ranking decisions. Well this just invites spammers to abuse social networks like crazy and over time it just becomes one big spam fest that most of us will get sick of.
It seemed like a good idea for Google to use social signals right? But if we are already seeing services selling Facebook likes, Diggs, Google +1′s, and Stumbles, imagine what it will be like in a few years if Google continues to rely on these fickle benchmarks.
Any thoughts on this? I would love to hear about it in the comment section below.