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Google +1 strategies
Shatner




msg:4336757
 4:03 am on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Like it or not, it's hear and success in getting people to click it will HELP your search engine rankings.

We've already heard reports in other threads of bloggers forming groups to game it and click each others' +1.

Let's talk about some white hat tactics here though.

How can I get my users to actually click on my +1 buttons?

So far, I've had no success at this. Facebook like, they click by the thousands. +1? Everyone ignores it, does not care.

Let's brainstorm some real strategies here.

Note: Please do not use this thread to complain about Google or tell everyone how you refuse to use the +1. This is a discussion for people who want to use the +1 on their site.

 

Shatner




msg:4336784
 5:57 am on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Here's a personal anecdote to illustrate the uphill battle here.

Tonight I was talking to a friend of mine, a friend who I know visits my site religiously, 5 - 10 times a day.

He IM'd me and said, "Hey have you heard about this new +1 thing Google is doing? I heard about it on the radio. You should add that to your site."

To which I responded, "I've had the +1 button on my site for a month now!"

To which he responded, "Oh is that what that is? I saw it, but didn't know what it was for."

courier




msg:4336818
 7:44 am on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I find when I am using a site for information it is diferent from when I am using it to get a price or buy something. The later, whan I am buying something I want to find a price ASAP and either move on or purchase. I would not have time or the interest to +1 a site of this nature, but in reality this is the site that applies to the internet most.

People normally know what they want if they are going to purchase online, the only thing they want to know is price P&P and arrival time.

I do not want to come on a site read 500 words and find a 'buy now' button at the bottom of the page, and then click a +1 button before I actually get the stuff. G must understand this concept of so called 'user browsing', and if they don't they need to go to school and further their studies.

+1 is suitable and enjoyable for my 9 year old daughter.

lexipixel




msg:4336843
 8:48 am on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I would think if you carved out a div and put a heading calling attention to the fact that Google "+1" button is like a FB "Like" button it would get some milage... e.g.-


Did you find this useful?
If so, please let other know!

Facebook ..... [LIKE]
Google........ [ +1 ]
Twitter ...... [Tweet]


aristotle




msg:4336868
 10:43 am on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

The obvious answer is to create a high quality website. If it's high quality, then people will click its buttons on their own choice, and special "strategies" won't be necessary.

viggen




msg:4336869
 10:48 am on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

The obvious answer is to create a high quality website. If it's high quality, then people will click its buttons on their own choice, and special "strategies" won't be necessary.


Even if you have a high quality website, having a strategy on how to get more +1 is going to benefit the total count (if that is something desirable and needed is a different topic)

High Quality site A has a strategy and High Quality site B hasnt, who is going to have more +1`?

cheers
viggen

londrum




msg:4336871
 10:55 am on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

i think it would help peoples awareness if google made the button the same colour on the serps as it is on our websites.

if you login to your google account and view the serps, its a different size and different colour (until you hover over it). its even a different shape, with a more squashed look.
facebook buttons have a universal look, wherever they appear. why doesn't google do that?

aristotle




msg:4336872
 11:04 am on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Even if you have a high quality website, having a strategy on how to get more +1 is going to benefit the total count (if that is something desirable and needed is a different topic)


Not necessarily. The time you spend thinking about strategies, or starting threads about them, could have been spent improving the quality of your site. The improved quality could induce more additional button clicks than those artificial strategies would have.

But since I don't have any of these buttons on my sites, I don't have to concern myself with it anyway, and can work on better things.

PhilCCMedia




msg:4336879
 11:37 am on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just my personal experience with +1, at work i'm happy to +1 anything that I feel safe having my face against. But browsing the internet isn't reserved for work use only of course. I'm happier to 'like' or 'tweet' anything i'm personally interested in as I believe those networks are more about personality.

So to add something to Shatner's post, maybe separating out the +1 and using a different CTA like 'show your network you support this site'. Setting a standard where people can expect to find the +1 in a certain part of a website could help also, not just lined up alongside all the other SM icons.

nmjudy




msg:4336899
 12:24 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Any strategy you think of should include a way for your users to have some kind of Google account, because if they're not logged in to a Google account - they won't even see the +1 button.

I wonder how many Facebook likes would happen if the "Like" button didn't display if users weren't signed into their Facebook account.

These are my biggest challenges in promoting Google +1:
- Educating my users about various Google accounts they can sign up for.
- Convincing them to sign up and stay signed in
- Educating my users about what the +1 button is and what it does
- Dealing with the privacy issues of their personal information showing up in the SERPS (I have users under the age of 13).

On one of my high traffic websites, I put the +1 button on a couple of popular pages. I've gotten 9 people to push the button in the past week. My stats show that a large percent of my traffic is repeat visitors, so obviously, visitors like the website. The +1 button would be so much easier to explain and market if people didn't need to be signed into their Google account beforehand. Also, a better explanation on how the user's personal information will be used should be clearer.

I assume Google will eventually tie the +1 button with the Google+ system that's in beta with limited invites. That will make things easier, but for now, there are way too many steps a webmaster needs to do to even have visitors see the button.

100up




msg:4336936
 2:08 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

We've been running a couple of little giveaways over the last few months linking our twitter account and whatever product page we're promoting at the time.

The +1 button is on the product pages now, so this time around we stuck a thing on the bottom of the contest box saying, 'while you're here, +1 us!' and it's been better than expected.

This particular page got 132 pageviews yesterday, and 14 +1's, just because we asked people to click it.

MrSavage




msg:4336972
 3:38 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

@100up - Very cool! Isn't there a policy around that? I hope there isn't. But Google and do not encourage click is something embedded in my brain. You should captcha the text so their bots can't read your note. Who knows, they probably see the invitation to click and nullify the +1 count. Who knows, but I always assume the worst. If it's clear to do, I'm all over that.

I like the sounds of that +1 clicking club. That's pretty neat and totally legit. It's not breaking policies is it? Groups of friends stick together and enjoy the sames things. Makes sense to me. Threads like "check out this great site, it's worth a click" and so on.

With the market share Google has, it's nuts not to use +1. Do the others really matter in all honesty? I suppose if Google uses the other ones for site ranking it helps.

People need to trust the +1 and the information. I've clicked one and the experience was complicated and reeked with privacy confusion. It seemed complicated to me and I personally don't like being tracked. I'm wondering if the "trust" factor will come into play on whether people use it.

But I've put the +1 on my Panda site. I added to my blog posts. It's the only such type button I put on. Do the others matter? Not in my opinion. I give them one option. Google +1 and that's it.

walkman




msg:4336980
 3:47 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

The obvious answer is to create a high quality website. If it's high quality, then people will click its buttons on their own choice, and special "strategies" won't be necessary.

Probably most webmasters here have user accounts here and find WebmasterWorld useful.

aristotle




msg:4337011
 4:53 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Probably most webmasters here have user accounts here and find WebmasterWorld useful


I don't know what you mean by this -- I didn't say anything about Webmaster World.

As I understand it, this thread is about ways to get more clicks on these social buttons. I tried to suggest that the best way to do this would be to improve the quality of your website. If you don't agree with this, you're certainly entitled to your opinion.

almighty monkey




msg:4337015
 4:57 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Remember 1996? Remember when banner ads were still paying based on CTR, and loads of amateur webmasters were writing 'Did you like this site? Help me out and click on the ad!'

Some folks made a pretty penny that way, before the advertisers caught on. I think it could be adapted.

Might want to make that an image though. Yknow. Tin foil SEO and all.

walkman




msg:4337027
 5:19 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

@aristotle
You said have a great site and +1s will follow. Look at the bottom of each discussion here and see.

netmeg




msg:4337028
 5:24 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

There's two kinds of button interactions that you probably want to address - one that's on your site (if you add it) and one that's actually embedded in the SERPs, on ads, blah blah blah.

Google has done a really lousy job of educating users (i.e. what I call normal people - people who USE websites but don't create or oversee or market them) as to what the +1 Button is, or what it means or why they should click on it. They probably need to invest in some more TV commercials. And do some reassuring.

In the short term, you could educate your users yourself, I suppose. Put a little link that says "what's this" and explain what clicking the button will mean. It depends on your base, I guess. Some people will happily click anything you put in front of them. Others are much more reticent. I put a few +1 buttons back (minus the count) to see what would happen; one of my friends then emailed me and asked what it was, and when I explained, he wanted to know if he would be sucked into some social media vortex if he clicked on it. And he wasn't entirely joking. So there's *that*.

freejung




msg:4337030
 5:26 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

My experience with +1 is the same -- people use the FB like button, they don't use the +1 button. I never used a "strategy" with the like button, I just put it on my site and people started clicking it immediately, and have continued clicking it. Not so with the +1, I have zero or close to zero clicks even on pages with thousands of likes.

We need to educate users about what the +1 button is.

One approach might be to call attention to the button as part of your conversion or post-conversion process (if you have anything resembling a conversion process). People involved in a conversion event will presumably be your most loyal users and might click the button if you explicitly ask them to.

@MrSavage, yes, you can ask people to click the button. You just can't give them anything of value in exchange for clicks. From Google's +1 button policy:

Publishers may not direct users to click the +1 Button for purposes of misleading users. Publishers should not promote prizes, monies, or monetary equivalents in exchange for +1 Button clicks. For the avoidance of doubt, Publishers can direct users to the +1 Button to enable content and functionality for users and their social connections. When Publishers direct users to the +1 Button, the +1 action must be related to the Publishers’ content and the content or functionality must be available for both the visitor and their social connections.


@aristotle look at the bottom of this page. Also, I think you and courier are missing the point. Shatner reported that users are clicking the FB like button (mine do too), so the problem isn't that the site isn't good enough for users to want to promote it or that they don't want to bother or whatever. At least some people are interested in promoting the site, that's why they click the like button. The question is, why don't the same people also click the +1 button?

I think the answer is obvoius: people are far more invested in their FB profile than they are in their Google profile (if they even have one or know they have one). They FB-like stuff because they want their friends to know what they're interested in. They don't really care what people in their Google network know (again, if they even have a Google account and/or know or care that they have an account and a network with Google.)

Google simply hasn't obtained enough traction as a social network (yet).

Nonetheless, I expect we might be able to get some users to click it if we strongly encourage them to do so.

@nmjudy I am logged out of Google and I still see the button on my site. Presumably you're talking about the one in the SERPs, which I don't think was the topic of the thread.

Planet13




msg:4337031
 5:27 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

You said have a great site and +1s will follow. Look at the bottom of each discussion here and see.


+1

;)

netmeg




msg:4337034
 5:34 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

My peeps wouldn't know a google profile if it jumped up and bit them in the face. Even the ones with gmail. I had a +1 button with a count of 3 (two of which were me) next to a FB Like button with just under 4000 - 3000 of which came in the last two weeks. If they don't know what it is, they ain't gonna click on it.

brinked




msg:4337101
 7:26 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I Implemented the +1 the day it was released on one of my sites. I gave it priority positioning over the facebook like. The google +1 now has about 120 votes and fb like gets about 200-300 likes per day.

So about 3-5 +1's every day vs 200+ likes per day.

Also, No other site in this industry has implemented +1 and there has been no ranking increase as of yet.

To make it clear, this +1 serves 0 purpose as of right now, and if it does not positively effect rankings at all I will be removing it. I feel that many webmasters also feel the same way.

The like button even if it does not help with rankings, is actually seen by their friends and generates traffic and buzz.

MrSavage




msg:4337301
 5:00 am on Jul 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think whoever said "just like the +1 at the bottom of the page" is brilliant. Until you said that, I hadn't noticed it. I'm not going to click it but thanks. If I can't click it without feeling like every move I make is watched, then I'm struggling with the future success of it. I want to click it and then be left alone. I don't want to click and then get dragged into a bunch of privacy settings. Like a one night stand I want in, and then out as quickly as possible. If people find it the way I do, you may see the interest drop off as quickly as it came. And there was no pun intended there ok?

aristotle




msg:4337401
 3:44 pm on Jul 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Brinked said:
No other site in this industry has implemented +1 and there has been no ranking increase as of yet.


Do you mean that your site's rankings should improve because it has a +1 button and its competitors don't?
I wonder how the rankings improvement is calculated in a case like this.
Since the competing sites don't have the +1 button, Google doesn't have any +1 data from them to compare with your site, so how does the algorithm determine how much rankings improvement your site should get?

Shatner




msg:4337456
 7:14 pm on Jul 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>The obvious answer is to create a high quality website. If it's high quality, then people will click its buttons on their own choice, and special "strategies" won't be necessary.

This is a useless, condescending statement. And it's not what this thread is for.

Here's an example of how wrong this is.

I have a page on my site with 40,000 facebook likes. Obviously it's a high quality page then, by your estimate, since people have liked it right? It has 0 Google likes.

>>>High Quality site A has a strategy and High Quality site B hasnt, who is going to have more +1`?

THIS.

So please, let's have no more of that naive "if your site didn't suck you'd get votes" talk in this thread. Stop derailing the thread.

Shatner




msg:4337459
 7:23 pm on Jul 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

A lot of people here seem to be suggesting that we should simply ask users to click.

Maybe that explains why the Facebook like has worked so well? The default Facebook "like" button, while it doesn't straight up ask you to click it, the mere fact that it says "like" sort of suggests to people to tell the world whether or not they liked what they just saw. It seems natural.

This vague +1 thing does not. +1 what? +1 dollars? Am I donating money? It's not clear.

The other thing the Facebook like button does that this doesn't, is that it clearly identifies itself as being from Facebook. Most of them have the little "f" Facebook logo next to them. People trust facebook so they feel good about clicking it.

People also trust Google, but the +1 does not identify itself as being from Google AT ALL. Nobody knows where it's from, so they don't trust it and they don't click it. If they knew it was from Google, they might click.

Shatner




msg:4337461
 7:26 pm on Jul 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Another thought on Facebook Like vs Google +1...

When people click a Facebook Like they aren't just supporting a page they like, they are also automatically sharing that with their friends. The idea of sharing it is a big part of their motivation in clicking it.

The +1 lacks that motivation. They aren't sharing the site with anyone, their click just goes off into this vague nethersphere. Where does it go? Nobody knows.

tedster




msg:4337463
 7:30 pm on Jul 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Shatner, you've nailed it. Google's +1 is simply not understood and not well known. I checked within my family, and even those who are online for many hours every day had no idea what I was talking about.

It is a publicity problem, and possibly a naming problem, too, as you've pointed out. If any webmaster hopes to get those +1 clicks this early in the game, they need to help promote and educate about Google's new thing - or wait a good while longer.

[edited by: tedster at 9:05 pm (utc) on Jul 9, 2011]

arikgub




msg:4337470
 8:08 pm on Jul 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

We need to educate users about what the +1 button is.


Why?

It should be the other way round. Let users educate us on what they want, and we will provide them with the best user experience we can.

What's the point in artificially pushing a counter-intuitive button nobody wants to click (so far)? I haven't added the +1 yet and will not do it unless I see it is getting some real traction. The best thing that can happen is that this thing just go the way the other Google's social" initiatives did. It doesn't add any value. So unnecessary.

dstiles




msg:4337494
 8:50 pm on Jul 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

So you go to a site from google SERPS. Because google is sometimes a little careless the site may be less than trustworthy - in fact it's a virus planter.

Hey, guys, there's this +1 button - isn't that a google thing? Click - OMG a virus!

It can happen for FB as well - a well-known source of viruses anyway. As someone pointed out: FB has a recognisable logo that by now is well-known. It can still be a virus source, though.

Excuse me if I click on NONE of these links, especially on a site that's unknown to me.

kd454




msg:4337565
 4:50 am on Jul 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

There is already a big market open for business for +1's. I bought some for a site just to see what happens, can get pretty much unlimited amounts for pretty cheap.. Will be interesting to see if it help with serps.

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