Word of Mouth and Search Results Converge with Google +1
Greg Slama Associate Director, Search Marketing
April 7th | 2011 By
At a Glance:
Newly launched pilot which allows searchers to recommend/share results from Paid and Organic Searches (web pages are soon to come).
- Currently, opt in only through www.google.com/experimental/
- Requires a Google Profile page and will only appear when logged in
- Sharing occurs within ones Google Network of contacts
- Soon to roll out across all search results
Why Is This Important?
- 90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know
- 71% say reviews from family members or friends influence purchase decisions
Sources: Econsultancy July 2009,
Harris Interactive June 2010
How Does +1 Work?
Who Will See +1 Results?
- Results will be shown to ones Google Network, which currently includes:
– Gmail Contacts
– Google Talk Chat List
– Followers on Google Reader & Google Buzz
- Expect Google to roll in non-Google services such as Twitter & Flickr in the not so distant future
What Can Be +1’d?
What Can’t Be +1’d? (Yet)
Currently, most universal search results cannot be+1’d but these are expected enhancements:
Note: +1 is not currently appearing in Mobile results
Does This Impact My Media Strategy?
Since adoption will be low in the short term, your current Paid Search strategy is still valid
- Google states that +1 will not directly impact Quality Score & CPC
- Since +1 may lift CTR there may be an indirect impact to the above
- If specific ads are getting more +1’s in a category, those without may fall from line of sight
- Metrics are not yet available and on release will create a new set of metrics for brand marketers but will require scale to truly impact direct marketers
Does This Impact My SEO Strategy?
Due to link spam, SEO strategists have been calling for a new set of ranking signals to inform PageRank and this will begin to impact SEO
- You must be relevant to appear for a query in the first place, so SEO best practices still apply
- Social signals already play a role in personalization and ranking, therefore watch for +1 impact and prioritize with other social initiatives
- SEO and Social will continue to converge which will require the lines between these teams to more nebulous
What Else Is Important For Marketers?
- All results will have the +1 option, you cannot opt out
- As results become more relevant through the use of social signals, search results on page 2 become more obsolete
- Human centric messaging in results become more important and may help you get +1’d
- User experience will carry similar weight as customer experience
- If +1 recommendations begin to cross Paid and Organic listings (currently they do not) integration will become even more important
- It will be crucial for +1 to have a significant impact on the relevance of results of Google searchers for it to become widely adopted
Hardly… but diversification of social strategies will be needed
- +1 won’t kill Facebook as their value proposition is much more than the ‘Like’ button
- The Facebook user base is massive and it is unlikely people will switch
- Google is expected to roll +1 into larger social initiatives
- In the end, expect +1 to live alongside the ‘Like’ button on most websites
Can +1 Be Measured?
- +1’s and +1 undos will be available at the Ad Group and Ad level in Paid Search
It is unknown whether Organic search results will show up in Google Webmaster Tools (or otherwise)
- Keep doing what you are doing today in Paid and Organic Search
- Begin discussions between Social and SEO teams
- As results become available, understand what Ads are being +1’d and adjust strategy appropriately
- Prepare to add the +1 button to your website, Google is to announce the release soon