Google’s +1 Button Is Evolving

In Google’s ongoing battle against all things slow, the +1 button (Google’s version of the Facebook “like” or the tweet) has been improved to accommodate faster speed. Google has updated the button so that it loads 3 times faster and at the same time does not affect (negatively, at least) the page load speed of the site it is operating on. As an Atlanta SEO company with a great deal of experience with Google, we know the value of page speed when it comes to optimizing a site.

Other Changes to +1

According to Google, “the async snippet allows your web page to continue loading while your browser downloads the +1 JavaScript. By loading these elements in parallel, we’re ensuring the HTTP request to get the +1 button JavaScript doesn’t lead to an increase in your page load time. For those of you who have already implemented the button, you’ll need to update the code to the new async snippet, and then you should see an overall improvement in your page load time.” Therefore, both the button and the site it is being used on will be faster to allow for optimal user experience.

There are also changes to other aspects of the +1 button being tested. Google is currently testing notification bubbles. For instance, now, when your website’s visitors are looking to +1 something and hover their mouse over the button, a bubble will pop up that says, “Click here to publicly +1 ____.” This way, the user is reminded of the effect the plus one will have, namely that it is something that the public can see when visiting your business’s website. Additionally, after a user plus ones something, a confirmation bubble will pop up, saying “____ +1’d this.” This way, users are again reminded that they have given your site a public badge of approval, and your site will likely benefit from a virtual recommendation.

Why Do We Care?
With reports out there last month saying that the +1 button is more popular than Tweets on 10,000 of the Internet’s largest sites (though, as far as anyone knows, Facebook’s “like” button still dominates), it is important for any site looking to keep its site updated and ranked high in the SERPs to pay close attention to the evolution of the +1 button. Further, according to Search Engine Watch, “10.8 percent of the top websites posted a Facebook “Like” button on their home page, compared to 4.5 percent for Google +1 and 2.1 percent for Twitter share buttons…Since figures were tallied in June, Google +1 has risen from 3.5 percent adoption to 4.5 percent, a 28 percent increase.”

Google's +1 Button Is Evolving

Is this because people are excited at the prospect of being able to publicly like any site across the web (eventually, at least)? Or is it a preemptive move by websites that want their rankings to remain stable (or move upwards, if possible)? Regardless of the reason why sites are implementing the button, it is clearly here to say. Having been met with a great deal of success, the +1 button will only continue to change the landscape of search as time goes on. The increasing emphasis on relevant, high-quality content will only be magnified by the +1 button. Sites may have a ton of content, but would people recommend it? This will come into play more and more as the button becomes even more efficient and popular.

Speaking of Google: What’s Up With Plus Today?

Profiles created during the beta test have not been deleted. In fact, getting an invite is getting even easier as the social network grows (reaching 20 million users after just 3 weeks in existence), since users can simply ask for one (or, in extreme cases, buy one!). Perhaps, just like Google nixed the idea of beta testing business profiles separately, the search engine decided not to delete all beta test profiles? Maybe they just want to test the waters a little more. Only time will tell. However, one thing is for sure: users are treating this iteration of Google + like its an established network. Millions of people are taking advantage of its features on a daily basis.

The fact that the brands one follows on Google + will impact search also places heavy importance on the +1 button. Will a brand you follow on Google + that has also been +1’d by your friends climb your search engine results? More than likely, yes.

EverSpark Interactive is an Atlanta SEO company with eyes constantly on all search engine and SEO related updates. Visit our blog for daily updates about Google, Bing and Yahoo as well as SEO tools, techniques and news.

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