There has been a lot of discussion over recent days about the increasing impact that Google's little blue +1 button is beginning to have on SERPs and with it has come the inevitable talk of manipulation.
Google first (unofficially) announced its intentions to begin utilising +1 data in its ranking algorithms in an email to Wired this week and in it they said:
“Google will study the clicks on +1 buttons as a signal that influences the ranking and appearance of websites in search results. 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.”
Its a potentially epic change of direction for the big G. Since its inception Google has been based around it core PageRank and Link Trust algos but it seems that it could be about to join the socially networked era.
On discovering that they may have let the cat out of the bag the company quickly backtracked, attempting to downplay its 'announcement' - which, for anyone that knows Google like we do is a sure fire signal of their intent.
Much of this development is of course down to the manipulation of the existing core factors and so has begun the inevitable talk of selling +1s to anyone and their pet dog by those less scrupulous in the industry and the fact that the +1s themselves must still have some kind of quality ranking as some +1s will carry more weight than others.
Perhaps this could be where our thoughts on Author Trust becoming more central to the ranking debate. By allowing individuals and not sites, platforms of technology to earn the actual 'value' the argument that we are heading for a MAJOR algorithm shift actually begins to hold some weight. After all, with social media playing a bigger and bigger part the web has gone through a full cycle anyway.
Any talk of buying +1s kind of misses the point.
For those of us 'old' enough (in 'net' terms) to remember the phrases 'me media' to 'we media' (coined to describe how we moved from the world of traditional print media to online sharing) we seem to be coming full circle again into a world where while the 'we' bit is important but it is the personalisation of what is now a very crowded web that is the holy grail once again. Could +1 and Author Rank solve quest for the 'perfect algorithm'? In a word, 'no'. But its going to be fun watching it all develop...
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog, it was written by Simon Penson, Founder and Managing Director of Zazzle Media.
Sign up for our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media for the latest news.