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Are +1 ranking effects to be Geotargetted?
Pjman




msg:4401277
 1:20 am on Dec 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

My site sells 99% to the US market. The US market users on my site really don't use +1 at all. International users do use it a good bit though. So basically I'm getting All of my +1s for outside my target market.

Should I just scrap my +1 buttons or will it help my target market rankings? I haven't heard anything about the geotargeting of plus one.

 

goodroi




msg:4401316
 11:04 am on Dec 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't think there has been any research that has demonstrated a strong link between +1 and rankings for the general public.

Pjman




msg:4401344
 3:29 pm on Dec 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Good point. But they say it's coming in 2012. Just like the above the fold ranking changes. So I thought I would get prepped for it ahead of time.

aristotle




msg:4401347
 3:52 pm on Dec 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

You need to weigh the possible benefits against the possible risks, keeping in mind that +1s will probably be a very minor factor in any case. If you don't get enough total +1s, it could conceivably hurt your rankings in all countries. If nearly all of your +1s come from outside the U.S., it could conceivably help your foreign rankings but hurt your U.S. rankings.

Pjman




msg:4401535
 7:34 pm on Dec 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

@aristotle

You're 100% correct. I never thought about the negative influence to my target market. No +1s for me, makes sense.

aristotle




msg:4401537
 8:04 pm on Dec 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well I don't know for sure how Google could use +1s as a ranking signal. But if your site and a competitor's site both have the +1 button installed, what I think could happen is that the Google algorithm could compare the percentages of visitors who click it on each site. If one site's button gets a significantly higher click rate, then it might get a small rankings boost at the expense of the other site.

But if one site doesn't have the button, then it would be harder for Google to compare them. That's what I had in mind.

aristotle




msg:4401539
 8:21 pm on Dec 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

There's something else I should have mentioned. Back when the +1 button first became available, some people said that Google might demote sites that don't have it installed. Some even said that Google was using this possibility as a threat to try to pressure site owners into installing the button. I never believed any of this myself, but think I should mention it here because at that time it was being discussed.

Pjman




msg:4401691
 1:53 pm on Dec 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Some even said that Google was using this possibility as a threat to try to pressure site owners into installing the button.


That was my exact fear. Also the sole reason I thought to even test it out.

I know from over a decade of doing an email list that less than 1% of my users even have a gmail account. So why would I ever waste that loading time for less than 1% of users.

G has really become the "Godfather" of the Internet. I feel like I have to "Kiss the Ring"!

sundaridevi




msg:4401772
 7:45 pm on Dec 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Right now +1 is a miniscule percentage of all social clicks, so it can only grow. But if your site is only seeing a small number of US clicks and a high number of international clicks, then unless you are doing something dramatically different than your competitors (i.e. other serps results for your searches), then they are probably seeing the same thing. This is assuming that the demographic group that buys your product tends to have similar behavior across all sites selling your product. This would not be true if you are doing something to influence this result, like selling a product and only offering US delivery when everybody else offers international delivery, but presumably you would know about something that you are doing that would influence results in this way.

I don't think the threat of not using +1 is being demoted in SERPs, I think that it's more like a missed opportunity. As more and more people use +1, search will look more like facebook ads and searches. Meaning that anything your friends like (e.g. have +1'd) will appear first in searches. This will push down other things from the results, including you if you don't offer +1.

So +1 is not about geotargeting at all, it's about friend and affinity targeting and predicting your interests. That transcends geography.

An example would be, you search for "best surfing in spring". If Hawaiian and Costa Rican beaches are all the top results now, but most of your friends live in San Diego, your results might be some San Diego or Mexican beaches because these are what your friends have all +1'd. What will be interesting is how they filter it. Which is to say, will the first 5 results be affinity and the next 5 be organic, or will there be no limit to the number of affinity results. Or, will affinity results be sectioned off in some way, as Google Place results are now. OR will it be a seperate tab, like MAP, WEB, VIDEO are now? But video results are already included in the mixed search results too. So there are many possibilities here, some having more impact than others.

Exercise: In Facebook, type in a common name or product or rock star. The first results will be your friends or fan pages, the next should be friends of friends, or the fan pages your friends like.

Conclusion: Even if you haven't adapted Facebook because you feel it offers you little, it's models of social interaction seem to be becoming standard.

aristotle




msg:4402270
 9:51 pm on Dec 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

This idea of using +1s as a ranking factor is terribly flawed. This is because websites that support majority views on controversial political and social issues will naturally get more +1s than sites that support minority views (Obviously so, since the majority outnumbers the minority.) This means that Google would effectively always be promoting the majority view by sending more traffic to sites that promote it, which would then further increase its dominance, and so own. The whole idea is terribly flawed.

tedster




msg:4402284
 11:47 pm on Dec 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well, I doubt that +1 would ever become the only factor, or even the strongest factor. But I can see it being one of hundreds of factors.

This thread asks the question if the effects of +1 are to be geo-targeted. I haven't seen anything official about that, and no experimental testing either. So I'll hazard a guess that they will eventually become one of many geographic signals. But before that happens, I'm sure Google will make an attempt to normalize the +1 data in some way.

sundaridevi




msg:4402461
 7:33 pm on Dec 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

This idea of using +1s as a ranking factor is terribly flawed.


This is similar to saying personalized web results from Google are flawed, because they feed us sites we already looked at in priority.

I would look at +1 as an extension of personalized web search. For sure the number of +1s *could* be used to influence organic search results, but that would be very easily gamed, so in my mind this is not the ultimate objective. Also we must remember that +1 is google's answer to Facebook, not it's answer to getting more relevant search results. I think that in it's fullest possible implementation, +1 search can have it's own category (i.e. it's own google search results tab), so you can only see that if that's what you choose to do.

If you've used Facebook search you will see how powerful this can be, finding stuff you already know about because a friend mentioned it, but can't remember enough details on to find it again. This happens to most people on a regular basis.

I would have to belabor the point that if you aren't a facebook user, this probably makes little sense.

Asaad548




msg:4402640
 4:54 pm on Dec 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

+1s help CTR & new content indexed quickly plus probably a ranking factor (a small one)

indybail




msg:4402950
 4:14 pm on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I believe +1 buttons are here to stay. If you are already implementing share buttons then why not +1?

This is Google we are talking about and exactly how they are being used now remains something of a mystery. Rest assured the +1 role will change and expand in the future.

Even if the positives are hard to to see and seem to have little effect now, why not accept the small (if any) current gains and be prepared to reap the rewards of an early adopter?

HuskyPup




msg:4403066
 1:37 am on Jan 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld indybail

If you are already implementing share buttons then why not +1?


Realistically I feel it's the type of share buttons and how one wants a site to present itself. I use addthis, I have no intention of having social crap messing-up my sites' design and function.

Does this ask the question are loads of "you" all chasing after the same thing/subject/widget and you're trying to find an edge?

If so, I can understand your frustration, however my bet is that many are just listening to and reading hearsay that "one should do such and such" in a manic, non-worthwhile chase.

The other day for the first time I saw a UK site with 145K +1 ... IMHO it was crap, it had no value whatsoever, period.

It matters not whether my conjectures are right or wrong, the fact is social-stuff can very easily be a distorter of genuine reality purely because of external and uncontrollable influences amongst ill-informed and swayed voters/clickers/wannabees.

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