Update: 3/26/19- Google Plus One shuttered their doors recently. If you don’t want to go the way of Google Plus One then schedule a free consultation with me today to help you find your next client.
If you have done a Google search in the past week you probably noticed that there is a new feature called the Google Plus One next to every website. Plus, you may have noticed a number of your favorite websites starting to use this Google plus one feature as well, including yours truly.
Basically, Google Plus One is Google’s way of wedging them self into the social arena by leveraging their power in search. I have some mixed feelings about this venture that I will share below.
Google Plus One Features
You now have the power to approve which sites you believe will not only help your searches but also your network’s searches. This means that you have you can influence your network’s searches whenever you hit the Google plus one button. It is very similar to social networking buttons that you see across the web, except that this is specifically for Google searches.
Google Plus One Pros
- Google Plus One limits yourself of the junk sites you sometimes find in a search. Sometimes there are sites that have nothing to do with what you want. If your network has done similar searches to you then you will know what sites are relevant.
- People with large social networks will get a lot more mileage out of Google searches. That means if you have 10000 Google chat connections you will definitely have more people who can find your website more easily than someone with 1000 Google chat connections. It is almost an encouragement for quantity over quality (not sure if that is a pro)
- It is always good to know that you are not alone searching for relevant information online. Ever do a search and wonder if you are the first person to ever look for this item. Now that I know that John or Chris has searched for this item as well, I will have more confidence in my own search.
Google Plus One Cons
- I am one of the most socially connected people out there. Even still, I have never really used Google for their social features, because they were always a bit lacking. Therefore, my 15 social connections according to Google Dashboard sort of make this feature irrelevant at the moment for me.
- Expanding on the first point, I would like to mention that Google Talk is not as widely used as other instant messenger systems, such as Skype or Facebook chat. Skype right now has around 700 million users(Source: SkypeJournal). Also, Facebook just crossed the 700 million mark as well, which means their chat users have access to a lot of connections. The best I could find about Google Voice was from last year with only 1 million registered users. The latest on Google Talk was from 2008 when there were 15 million users in the United States. (Source EQO.com) The information is a bit limiting, which leads me to believe they do not want people to know how few users they have.
- Why I am mentioning all these statistics. Google might eventually piggyback their Google Plus One off of other networks, such as Twitter, Youtube, etc. For right now, they do not have the strong network needed to make these search decisions necessarily potent. That does not mean this will not change in the future, but for the time being, I have some challenges with seeing the widespread use.
With this in mind, my belief is that Google might have finally managed to come up with a long term useful social application that we can not ignore. They leveraged their search strength into something useful for social media.
Google Plus One is a social button that is listed next to every website on the largest website in the world. 50% of all internet users go to Google every month. It will be virtually impossible to ignore Google Plus One, so start to determine your strategy for using this button today for increased search.