The Power of +1

This is not specifically related to Google Plus, but rather to the little +1 links Google has added to search results listings. I am going to argue that this is the single most powerful button on the entire web. With a single click, you can pretty much blow Google’s algorithm out of the water, at least where people in your social circles are concerned.

I’ve recently noticed that people who are in one way or another associated with my Google account (whether they’re in a circle on Google Plus, a follower in Reader, a contact in Gmail or perhaps a follower on Buzz) have been +1’ing things all around the web, and they’re now at the top of the list when I search for particular terms. So if a friend of mine +1’d a site called nevermindifoundmykeys.com, and I searched for “where are my keys at?”, it’s likely that site will beat out all other key-finding sites flat out, hands down, no SEO, web design or link juice about it.

That is phenomenally powerful. Google is somewhat like a democracy: every link to another website counts as a vote (even if some votes are more important than others, ie a link coming from CNN.com is probably more weighted than one coming from shutupanddancelikeacockroach.com). But now we’re not just limited to voting by posting links around the web (which for most sites where it’s easy to post a link, the vote is minimal or not counted at all) and doesn’t start limiting us to needing to be web developers or site owners to cast our votes. Now, we can do so with simply the click of a button.

And it appears that Google is not allowing this to be exploited either, by a handful of posts I’ve seen around the web where people went around whitehat, good SEO practices and ended up with 1000s of +1s, only to have Google realize they were trying to pull a fast one and removing the bogus votes.

So get to it, folks! Start +1’ing the web and make your mark on the search results of the future!

Up Next: Your Blog is a Myth (and other reasons your website could use some spiffying)