walkman - 3:11 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)
Wow, Brett pretty much summarized everything. You risk not being included in the insider tweets Brett ;)
but what if that fails and they don't see patronage? there doesn't seem to be any indication of it succeeding and they can see success only if webmasters cooperate.Since there is a huge dependence on webmasters, google will definitely try to tease them with rankings..
You need to understand one thing: Google only cares about its own objectives. If it drives you and me and Jeff out of business, who cares? Panda and G's response to complaints made that clear. So G will shape SERPS up to subsidize their disastrous G+, tough luck to you and me. If it doesn't work and they start to lose money, they'll change it again and those still hanging to a site will have to deal with other updates to "promote high quality sites."
Do you worry about ants as you walk to the coffee shop? No.
Now that I really don't believe. Google's serps didn't change that radically, there's not a bunch of new sites at the top of the serps with no links and lots of +1's.
Search for a techie story and see the pictures of writers with a link to their G profile. A surprising number are on the front page, remember Google bribed them with top rankings and white-listing even during Panda. (There's no real money in those terms so G only gained by doing that. Now those G robots praise Google because they are members of the undeclared club. They even have G engineers in their circles. OMG!)
If so, I'm skeptical as to how many people are using this. I've not seen it on sites, and nobody I know who's not a webmaster is signed up into a Google account.
I believe the question you are asking is: does G have enough data to really re-rank based on G+? I doubt lack of data will stop them from doing what they had in mind. They pull the same crap with the "open source" Android, follow the Google line (use G products) and Verizon and Motorola would get a head-start.
Edit to add: According to a Forbes writer that was there, G told publishers straight upfront, use G+ on your sites or your rankings will suffer (a lot.) The story disappeared from Forbes quite fast, maybe she feared the rankings disappear for writing about it?