Will Google +1 Result in the End of Small Business Online?

It’s very simple.

Either Google +1 will affect the search engine results or it will not.

What if it does?

Will the frenetic dash that Digital Media Agencies mean that they then resell their networks to Corporate big gits to help crush the small independent, just as they have on the high street?

A little emotive perhaps.

But what does Google say?

When your ad is shared, Google notes its final landing page URL. When the same URL appears in an organic search listing, the organic listing will include the same personal annotations as would an ad.

Similarly, if a user +1′s one of your organic listings, ads with the same final landing page URL will include the same personal annotations, increasing the chance of your ads getting noticed.

+1′s (whatever their source — organic search, ads, or +1 buttons on publisher sites) is a signal that affects organic search ranking, but +1′s do not change quality scores for ads and ad ranking

How will the +1 button affect my organic search listings?

I had to read it a few times before it sunk in.

Rankings are not going to be affected. It’s just that some hairy seo/social-media-manipulator is going to have their mug next to the search results. As long as you are logged into Google and you circle/follow/adore the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator who has taken the valuable seconds of his existence to +1 it.

My point is this. Is the potential buyer of a cordless power drill, when searching for a Makita 18v going to see and then be influenced by the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator? Or is it going to only other hairy seo/social-media-manipulators who see the results.

I think the latter.

As a commercial persuasion proposition, the Google +1 button will be mostly worthless. The majority of the human effort going into the +1 will stay in the goldfish bowl which the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator lives.

Sometimes the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator does stuff not because it’s going to be of great benefit to the client, but because they have something to sell and the I-don’t-want-to-be-left-behind part of the brain gets excited.

People mistake influence in the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator bubble with an increase in wealth.

I’m not anti social media/social signals/crowd sourcing etc. far from it. But, most of what you hear about it these days is garbage, people need to sell books, fill conferences and get endorsed by the latest over invested fad and so desire has to be created.

It’s as if a food is being sold to hungry people which only increases their hunger.

Stop eating the empty calories.

More like this:
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I hate to say this, I really do. But Google +1 will fail.

I don’t think this because I have done an in depth analysis of it’s features and tested it for the last 6 months it’s more instinctive, so take that for what it’s worth. My thinking is based on the following.

  • Google does search very well, social is a different thing entirely
  • Google isn’t hungry, failure will not move the share price or cause a significant bump in revenues
  • Google can buy Twitter whenever it realises it can’t do social, so why try too hard
  • Sheds of sock puppets are on standby to manipulate the system
  • There is no void for Google + 1 to fill, we can already do what it offers and are embedded in other networks
  • Social networks are powered by fundamental forces like sex, money, social approbation etc. I don’t see any of these primal forces being sated in the current features

There are a few more reasons I will save for the email list.

I hate saying all this because Google could have done it, they left it too late. I remember saying back in 2007 they should do something like this.

They have spent too much of the evening working on their PhD papers and turned up at the party with a bottle of Peach Schnapps wondering why the hot chicks have already left the party.

The other reason of course is that Google search is very, very good and it would be hard to improve it. Google Search and it’s commercial cousin Adwords are truly the works of genius. Which is why it feels awkward watching people get excited over this.

Ah well, gives SEO bloggers something to write about.

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