When A + is Not A Plus

It would seem that receiving a +1 on Google Plus is no great benefit in raising your profile in Google’s search rankings.

As a social metric the number of +1’s you receive may be heart warming but doesn’t mean that you will be discovered online any better.

Matt Cutts,  the head of Google Web Spam team confirmed in a ‘Power Searching With Google Hangout on Air #2’ that this was the case.  This is not to say that +1’s won’t become more important in the future but right at the moment Google is more interested in ‘authorship’.

In the short term, we’re still going to have to study and see how good the signal is, so right now, there’s not really a direct effect where if you have a lot of +1s, you’ll rank higher. 

But there are things like, we have an authorship proposal, where you can use nice standards to markup your webpage, and you’ll actually see a picture of the author right there, and it turns out that if you see a picture of the author, sometimes you’ll have higher click through, and people will say, ‘oh, that looks like a trusted resource.’ So there are ways that you can participate and sort of get ready for the longer term trend of getting to know not just that something was said, but who said it and how reputable they were.

So perhaps the main lesson to be learnt is that you need to have Google Authorship enabled on your site. Your online visibility will improve with the number of results your achieve as an author,within the results pages.

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About thedigitalconsultant

Roger Smith is an international, digital consultant and former British Council Director of Online Operations within the East Asia region. http://thedigitalconsultant.blogspot.com
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