Google has revealed that it could add data from its +1 button to its search algorithm, turning it into a crowdsourcing tool and through a community effort would help re-order search results and fight web spam.
Your site’s ranking and appearance in Google’s search results pages could be influenced by clicks on either the +1 buttons that appear to searchers in their results, or any +1 buttons you embed on your site.
“The purpose of any ranking signal is to improve overall search quality. For +1’s and other social ranking signals, as with any new ranking signal, we’ll be starting carefully and learning how those signals are related to quality,” wrote a spokesperson to Wired.
The +1 sharing button was introduced in March and makes it easier to recommend content across the web. Last week the button received an update and now lets you share content with friends and followers on Google+.
“We’re excited about the +1 button because it brings these personal recommendations to a place where many purchase decisions start – the Google search results page,” explained Brian Lam, a strategic partner manager for Google on the Google Commerce blog. “As more retailers add +1 buttons to their sites, we’re excited about how much more helpful search results will get.”
As Google’s +1 button gets more useful the search giant must tread lightly. As Wired’s Ryan Singel pointed out, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating Google over complaints that the company uses its search dominance to promote its own products over other those of other companies.
The company is being careful about integrating the +1 button into search results. Google told Wired that more than 200 signals factor into a page’s search ranking and that +1 is just one signal among many.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.