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Which Is Of More Value A Tweet Or Google’s +1

As I’ve been blog hopping the past few days I’ve seen heaps of discussions going on about Google’s +1. Some say they love it, some say they hate it and others don’t seem to give a damn. Those who dislike it seem to think it’s doomed and it’s only a matter of time before Google pulls the plug. Personally, I think as far as Google is concerned the +1 is more than just a social media tool.

Some of the comments on the posts I’ve read asked such questions as to which is more important. Should you delete the Twitter icon just so you can promote Google’s +1 or do you leave both. As far as I’m concerned I believe in giving my readers a choice so I’m not going to pull one just for the sake of the other. Even so, I believe both are of value, one short term and the other long term and I reckon you may just be interested in what I have to say about the value of both social media buttons.

Twitter escultura de arenaTwitter’s biggest value, as far as promotion is concerned, is short term at best. Let’s say you write a brilliant post and someone with a huge following gives it a tweet. That tweet may be picked up by someone else who also tweets it and on it goes. This can lead to a huge traffic spike, I know because it’s happened to me a couple of times, but unfortunately it is very short lived. If you’re lucky you’ll get a few comments, you might even get a couple of people subscribing to your list, but that’s it. Once the spike is over things go back to normal as if it never happened.

Now we have Google’s +1 button. Is it really a rip off of FaceBook’s like button or is it a lot more than that? If you ask me the +1 will have far reaching consequences as its way more important than merely being tied to social media interaction. Think about it, apart from making the lives of SEO experts, and bloggers miserable, what is Googles main purpose in life? According to Google:

Google’s mission: Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

So, they don’t really care about us except for when it comes to two things; the first is making them money by displaying Adsense ads and the second is by us providing quality content for their users, but these pale next to their main purpose for existing, that of providing the best search engine results for their customers.

Why do you think they keep changing their algorithm? I put it to you that backlinks will lose it’s importance sooner than you think. The biggest problem with backlinks is that it may not offer the most accurate way of determining the worth of any given site. Google knows that just because someone has a huge amount of backlinks doesn’t necessarily mean it’s providing the best content. It could also be because they have a bigger bank account or know how to do better SEO than the rest.

What if Google decided to let it’s users decide as to which is the better site? It could well be that Google’s ultimate plan for it’s +1 button goes way beyond the social media aspect. What if it plans to incorporate the results of the +1s into its search algorithm? Let’s say there are two sites discussing the same topic, one with a lot of backlinks and one with only a few. Let’s also say that the one with a lot of backlinks only had a few +1s but the one with a few backlinks had a lot more. Google may decide that the one with more +1s has a lot more relevance, because that’s what it’s users are saying, thereby bumping it up in the SERPs!

No Paid LinksYeah, sure there are going to be a lot of wankers who will try to game the system by fixing the results, but seriously, don’t you think Google is aware of that? After all, they weren’t born yesterday! If I know Google not only have they got a plan to prevent this, they also have a plan to make those who try to rig the system pay for it. Oh, and there are so many ways they could do this, the least being cancelling their Adsense account and the worst being removing them from the SERPs altogether. If you don’t believe me try it and see what happens.

As far as I’m concerned I think the +1 is a great idea and I hope that it takes off. As long as I continue to provide my readers the best content possible it can only have a positive effect. Anyway, that’s my take on it. Do you think I may have hit the nail on the head or do you think I’ve got it all wrong? If I am right, can you afford not to have Google’s +1 displayed on your blog?

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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 70 Comments

  1. I agree with your conclusions, Sire (not that that means anything!) and I’ve installed the +1 plugin on The Prattle just to see if it gets any use. I’m sure Google plans to incorporate it into their algorithym. They are perfectly aware that backlinks are worthless as a means of determining a site’s worth because of all the “marketing” efforts that have been used to promote sites that have no relevance whatsoever to the one the link was left on. Google has stated over and over that relevance is king in their game book. Link exchange areas have been totally devalued and backlinks have lost much of their former klout. I suspect that they too will be tossed in the trashbin or irrelevance quite soon because they are so heavily gammed. The question is, how will Google prevent the gamers from simply moving on to “I’ll +1 you if you +1 me.”?

    1. I think the answer to be within their code snippet. I’m betting that although we can’t see you clicked on it they can. I’m sure they can use some sort of extrapolation formulae to sift out the baddies.
      Sire recently posted…The Secret To Online Success Is Passive IncomeMy Profile

      1. I’m sure you’re right; when I clicked on your +1 button it made me log into my personal Google account. I don’t know if it will do that every time or if that was just to set up a +1 section of my account and place a cookie with identifying info.

        Alex says he’s already seeing people offering to, for a small fee, get your site 1000 +1 clicks from legitimate accounts. This is gaming the system. The question is, how many of those 1000 “legitimate” accounts have any relevance to yours. I suspect that Google will use the profile info in the google account to filter those clicks for relevance. Thus, some guy who prattles about simple mountain life clicking of a site that sells lottery tickes may not carry much weight (eventually) where someone who identifies themselves as a professional gambler or lottery addict would. The real quastion is, what about the one who identifies herself as “mother of four, wife and an avid golfer”, regular people do play the lottery. If the gamers set up 1000 google accounts and load the profiles with plain valilla information, how is Google going to put a lid on that? Maybe if these accounts start generating patterns, like a whole group that all +1 a page on the same day, and do this consistently, Google may catch on and slap them down. Ah, but I’m just blathering. Sorry.

        1. It only does that the first time Allan, after that the button updates automatically, although if you hover you mouse over it your information will pop up.

          Sure there are people offering money promising to get legitimate clicks. I wouldn’t trust them. For a gamer to set up 1000 accounts he would have to use 1000 different computers running 1000 different IPs otherwise Google is going to know just like they know when you click on your own Adsense ads.

          Don’t worry Allan, it may take awhile but Google will make those who try and cheat the system pay for their wrong doings.
          Sire recently posted…Will Google Penalise You For Using ZaparenaMy Profile

  2. I still say there is way to much opportunity for abuse. Now, when Google does retaliate they do it big, but not fast. ““““
    I’ll be st the bar waiting to see what happens.

    1. Yep, it will happen and when it does those concerned will get the biggest Google slap ever. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if once Google determined which sites were being falsely promoted they would remove them from the SERPs altogether.
      Sire recently posted…Failure Is The Next Step On Your Journey To SuccessMy Profile

      1. Unfortunately, Google has not yet succeeded in stopping the abuse of all those millions of spam blogs that SEO firms have created, with the same content and only articles and links to their clients’ pages. Google won’t only make more money and it will be worse in the SERP. (Yes, this was a good analyze article of the +1 button)

        1. Yep, and perhaps the +1 is just what is needed to make all those millions of spam blogs useless, which is basically what they are.

  3. I heard many people say that Google has finally realized the power of social media. I think this is partially true as i don’t believe that Google is replicating the Facebook’s “Like” button just for the social networking sake.

  4. Great, interesting article, got me thinking about the +1 for google is sort of like the “like” button for facebook. So they claim it will get me more qualified traffic and such. I think it’s a positive move from google, and will probably have more value than tweets in the future. But ss for now, i think tweets are more of value.

    1. Actually Keith, it’s not so much that I’m SEO savvy, if anything its my business sense kicking in. If I were Google this is exactly what I would do.
      Sire recently posted…How I Am Marketing My Online Lottery NicheMy Profile

        1. Common sense and a honed business mind goes hand in hand Keith. :smile2_ee:

          Checked out the article Keith, looks like I’m not the only one who thinks Google has other things planned for their +1.
          Sire recently posted…Will Google Penalise You For Using ZaparenaMy Profile

  5. Hmm, I honestly hope that this won’t happen, because I am pretty sure that new website won’t stand a chance versus those 1000++ +1’s. Also, like I said in an other comment this +1 represent subjective opinions and might not indicate the best source of information.

    Also, I know that google can find out if someone is inflating their +1 but I already started to see people selling +1’s from genuine accounts that actually had activity and all that. So, I think this system can be gamed too, even more easier then the linking system.
    Alex recently posted…Jocuri 3dMy Profile

    1. Alex if those sites got there 1000’s of +1s from gaming the system then they will be punished for it. It’s my opinion that new websites need this. They can still do all the normal SEO, the +1’s will merely show that others like their content, which I’m sure is what Google wants.
      Sire recently posted…The Birth Of Another Blog- Buying Lottery Tickets OnlineMy Profile

  6. I hear what you are saying about google possibly using the +1 button in their algo, but I believe they all ready do this kind of tracking with the bounce rate stats of a site for a given search term. I’m no SEO guru, but I doubt they would have difficulty tracking this.

    1. Hey Laney, perhaps the bounce rate doesn’t give them enough information and they’re looking for something more?

  7. Twitter:
    Very nicely written, Sire. I have to admit that though I’ve known about it coming I didn’t pay it much attention, even after I’d seen the video. And yet I’ve added the plugin, just to give people another option. People have to have a Google account, which is how they track who’s clicking on what button, so at some point they’d know if someone looked like they were abusing the system I figure.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…My Failed Sidebar Experiment And Why I Can’t Change ItMy Profile

      1. Twitter:
        Sire, there’s a second thing called Google+ which seems to be a challenge to Facebook in some fashion. I was watching a video of it yesterday; now that might be interesting.
        Mitch Mitchell recently posted…When “Scam” Is A Scam Of SortsMy Profile

        1. Just had a look at it and you’re right Mitch, it does sound interesting.

  8. I’m so thrilled you did this follow-up to your initial post on Google’s new toy.

    I appreciate your logical approach to the what I initially dismissed as ‘yet another plugin’ ~ and have just installed it on my blog.

    As you said in one of the comments above – If I were Google, that’s what I would do.

    Bliss-ings and thanks for keeping us up to date!
    the goddess known as Jacqui

    1. Hey Jacqui, so nice to see you again. After reading a lot of what was going on around the net I thought I couldn’t help myself, I just had to do an early update. Glad you liked it.

  9. According to me Google’s +1 rating system can be easily abused. Website owners can easily change proxy’s, will vote and rate themselves and can even ask their friends to vote for their site. I really don’t like this system but time will tell how effective this Google+1 button are..
    I will still prefer SEO and backlinks to decide rank and quality of web page rather than bunch of guys clicking on rating button.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with asking friends to vote for their site but the way +1 works they will never know if they actually did vote. :cheese1_ee:

      As for people rigging the system I’m sure Google is keeping an eye on them and has ways to make them pay for the efforts. I’m sure Google has introduced the +1 button because they know backlinks alone do not give an accurate result as to the true value of a site.

  10. So glad you wrote about this Sire because I’ve been wondering about this.

    Like many people, I have my concerns. But I believe that in the scheme of things, Google always seems to catch up with those who are “gaming” the system. As long as we stay honest and true to ourselves, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that it can continue to work for us little guys.

    If we continue to build up a good following and ask our followers to like our page, Google will eventually see us as having relative content and acknowledge us as well. So I guess it’s time for me to share a post over at my place on this same topic. So glad I read yours because it really does make sense what you have shared with us. Guess I better get that button on my site now. :-)

    Thanks Sire!


    1. No worries Adrienne, it warms my heart when I get comments from people who get some value from my post as it makes it all worth while.

  11. I think you have a better grasp of the long term implications of Plus One than the vast majority of the articles and posts I have read on the subject.

    Yes, Plus One is entirely different from Twitter and Facebook shares. Plus One influences the Google search results – today for your friends – soon for the whole world.

    Plus One is another step in the direction started by the ability to block sites from your own future search results.
    On that subject, the Google website says: “By blocking a site, only your own search results will be directly affected. However, Google may use blocking information to improve the ranking of search results overall.” Not very subtle is it? My money is on Google using Plus One results in their overall search algorithm within a year.

    By tying Plus One to each person’s Google Profile, they get a fairly good way to track and manage results. Can it be manipulated? Of course, but less so than links. Besides, Plus One won’t replace links – it will be just another factor in the increasingly complex algorithm.

    1. That’s how I look at it Jonathan, it will be used by Google to refine their algorithm in order to give their users the best possible result when they Google their search terms.

      I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I pity those fools who will try to pull the wool over Google’s far reaching eyes. :guns_tb:

  12. Google+1 is almost as the Like button. Some people can turned off to always sign in into their account ( Google or Facebook) just to like an article. The Like button works great in the original facebook platform, its easy to like something once you’re signed into your account.

    You asked

    can you afford not to have Google’s +1 displayed on your blog?

    No, as a blogger you have to use every available measures to promote yourself and establish your credibility.

    1. I’m usually always signed in, as I think most people are, and so that isn’t a problem. :smile1_ee:

  13. I do think the +1 button has the potential to lead to more long term traffic if it affects the SERP ranking of pages based on how many votes it received. I do think however that if you have larger Twitter networks, and are tweeting out a product or service to sell then Twitter should not be ignored. One is not going to be “better” than the other as far as one should be used and the other not, but rather +1 will have to be incorporated as an additional strategy for increasing a site value and traffic.

    1. Justin, not everyone has a huge following and even those that do I’m sure only a small percentage actually listen to their tweets and an even smaller percent actually act on them.

      As to the +1 button, if it does affect the SERPs thereby increasing targeted traffic, then over time it will have a more positive effect.

  14. Fascinating analysis, Sire. I have to say, of all the articles on Google +1, this is the best in depth analysis I have read.

    I have the +1 button on my blog but either my readers don’t know what it is or prefer tweeting and Liking my blog. At least I give mine a +1.

    My prediction is that this is another way for Google to rank pages, as a factor in addition to other factors. I hope the cheaters are caught and punished harshly! :-)

    1. I’m glad you liked it Carolyn. As to people not clicking on the +1 button, that’s just because it’s so new and there are a lot of people who are still unaware of it, whereas to give a tweet is almost second nature. As to cheaters, they will get their just desserts.

      1. Hi Sire, thanks for visiting my blog, clicking on the +1 and letting my readers know what it is. I’m thinking of writing a blog post on it but it seems a bit self-promoting. I have a Q & A section, so I could cover it in there.

        Yes, karma seems to figure out who is a cheater. And so does Google!

        Have a great day.

        1. No Worries Carolyn, it’s always been my policy to try and reciprocate comments left on this blog. I’ve made many a blogging friend by doing that and I’ve also learned a lot, as I did from your post. :smile1_ee:
          Sire recently posted…Which Is Of More Value A Tweet Or Google’s 1My Profile

  15. I’ve been pretty much ignoring Google +1 hoping that I’d find my way to a post that casts light on it without my having to think too hard. :) Having read this article, I realize that I should definitely install the plug-in. As you say, it will give my readers another way to share.

    1. Hey Sherryl, and to think, out of all the posts out there mine was the one that inspired to install it. :thumbup_tb:

      Thanks for letting me know.

  16. I think answer to this question become more obvious once we see how widely adopted (or not) Google +1 will be.

    Its intent is to display social interaction but in order for it to work – it has to actually pickup momentum.

    1. It’s only been a week and already almost every blog I’ve visited has one, not to mention the amount who are talking about it. I think it’s picking up quite a bit of momentum.

  17. Hey Sire,
    I really am interested to see how Google’s +1 plays out. If it does catch on and enough people start using it, then I feel it will be an invaluable tool. I think one of the reasons that Facebook’s Like button caught on so well is because it seems like everyone has a Facebook. Until recently, I don’t think it was the same for Google Accounts. Unless you were web savvy, you probably wouldn’t have one. However, with the Android phone market taking off, and Google coming out with more services everyday, I think this does have a possibility of catching on. There is also the possibility that it could go the way of Google Wave as well though, haha.

    1. If you already have a adsense account getting a Google account is easy and we all know how many people have an adsense account. :cheese1_ee:

      I don’t know what the Google wave is or was, but I do know what the +1 is all about, maybe that means something. :lol_ee:

      1. Haha, very good point!

        Google Wave was a web app that Google was developing a couple years ago. It was supposed to pretty much revolutionize interactivity online. Last year it was announced that they stopped developing it, and it became a bit of a joke. Maybe I’m just a nerd, haha.

  18. You are quite on point in my opinion. The Google +1 is coming from Google so it would give more weight I would think than a social site. I don’t really like how Google keeps stepping out of their arena and trying to steal the light from others. This isn’t world domination or is it. Yes Google I despise you and you make my head hurt.

  19. This is the same thing I keep repeating for days now. I installed the button on the first day and I could bet on Google adding it to the ranking algorithm. Not sure why people are guessing and saying they want to replace FB like. Maybe they do, but the ultimate goal, with what ever Google does is always improving the algorithm.

    1. It’s good to know we’re both on the same page Brankica, even if its not a FaceBook :lol_tb:

  20. Hey Sire,

    This is great stuff! I hadn’t heard of this plugin, but it sounds very interested and I’m going to install it and give it a try. I would give up on for the other, because I believe everything helps. I have had a couple articles get tweeted from a person with a huge following and I saw the nice traffic spikes. ( :

    I have also noticed that the size of a persons following doesn’t matter as much as some people might think, because I have had some articles get tweeted by a 50k plus following and recieve minimum traffic and retweets. Where as I have had articles get tweeted by a 6k following and recieve a nice traffic spike and retweets for hours.

    So I believe it really depends on the persons following.

    I bet it still puts a smile on your face when you get an article retweeted by a person with a big following! ( :
    Thanks again for the article & time to Retweet!

    God bless,
    William Veasley

    1. Glad you liked it William. I’ve also found the size of the following doesn’t matter as much as the person who gave it a Tweet. Either way it’s short lived and apart from the spike in traffic is of little value.

      Thanks for the rewet too. :thumbup_tb:

  21. I definitely agree with you that Google’s +1 Button has much more long-lasting effects than other social media buttons. I especially like what you say about the differences between backlinks and ‘+1 votes’ as viewed by Google. Like you mention, I think that backlinks will eventually become irrelevant as a means to determine a site’s relevancy and that the +1 is a much better indicator of this. But, we’ll see, I guess. With Google, one never knows what’s around the corner.
    Petra recently posted…Aus allen Wolken gefallenMy Profile

    1. I don’t know that it will become altogether irrelevant Petra but I’m sure it will lose some of its value. Like you said though, you never know with Google.

  22. This was a great discussion Peter, thanks for opening this topic. I will go with tweets for now since I don’t see much effect from +1 on SERPs.

    1. You do what you think is best Paul, but it’s been my experience that those who wait to long miss the boat. :wink_ee:

  23. I’m still considering implementing the plus one on my blog. I personally am not sure if I would even use it so it’s hard for me to see others really wanting to sign in to their Google account just to say they like something. Especially when it’s not in a central place like Facebook where you can control the privacy settings. I think I’ll pass for now.

    1. It’s not if you would use that matters, what matters is if your readers will use it and as you can see from this post there are people who will take advantage of it. By not having it you’re only depriving yourself.

  24. Most of the people I know Twitter has worked best for them, but maybe that is what they focused on the most. I think that focus gets results.

  25. OK where do you put your 1+ button. My blog I put it just under the post title. It is at the top like most Tweet buttons. It is easier to find there.

    It took a while to find yours. However putting it at the bottom makes sense, when a reader finished reading where will they be? They will be at the bottom.

    I think the 1+ button is too small. It is easy for it to get lost. I have also found it loads very slowly on my blog.
    Ned Carey recently posted…Excited But TiredMy Profile

    1. Ned I’ve placed it in my sidebar as well as the bottom of the post. I recommend the sidebar because that way it keeps track of all of your pages, including your home page. Google has three sizes of badges, just select the biggest one.

      Mine loads pretty slow as well. Reckon it takes awhile to get all that information.
      Sire recently posted…The Bellagio- The Jewel Of Las VegasMy Profile

  26. Hi there,
    the problem with the Google +1 button is that they have developed it “for websites”. Meaning that site publishers now have yet another button to add to their sites (as if we do not have enough of them already).

    But unlike the Twitter’s follow buttons, Facebook’s like button or Stumbleupon’s button, Google’s +1 button is lacking of one very fundamental element – the actual social sharing. Basically Google +1 button is designed to help Google meaning that is has ZERO value for the visitors, meaning that publishers would be begging the visitors to press that useless button. But it is good for those who are ready to press the button for money.
    Regards. Arthur

    1. Actually I don’t think that is entirely true. I would get as much benefit from pressing the +1 button as I would by giving it a Tweet. Then there is also the added bonus that others will benefit from my pressing the +1 button in that they will know I think that site or post has some value. The higher the number the greater the value. This could greatly improve peoples search results, as long as Google makes sure the system isn’t abused.
      Sire recently posted…The Bellagio, The Jewel Of Las VegasMy Profile

  27. Interesting article. I was referred to your blog by Carolyn with The Wonder of Tech.

    When I first heard about the Google +1 button, I wasn’t sure whether or not to embrace it. Your post has given me additional reasons to add the button to my site. I was definitely on the fence before.

    Thanks for the info.

  28. Hey Sire,
    I agree, it is one more thing that a blogger has to try to explain to the reader. Unless the reader is another blogger, a typical internet user is going to have no idea what the button is for, and likely won’t even be logged into a google account to begin with.

    Alas, though, as you have done, I felt compelled to add it to my blog. I gave this article a +1 to show some love.

    Maybe someone will figure out a way to create a plugin that lets a site owner know who +1’d an article. Then we can offer something in return. I wonder if google would likely frown on that.
    Damon recently posted…Credit Counseling North CarolinaMy Profile

    1. Hey Damon, thanks for the luv mate. I don’t think you can make a plugin for that unless Google reveals the code and I can’t see them doing that.

      The +1 is a lot like PR, absolutely useless to the casual surfer and only of importance to other webmeisters and bloggers.
      Sire recently posted…How Art Can Make The Naked Form More AcceptableMy Profile

  29. I have not actually made use of Google +1. Just like other people, I don’t think that it is more valuable that a tweet. Although the application is good, it is just that Twitter is better. I don’t know really, but if Google will consider improving it, we might not know how far it can get.

    1. I see a lot of professional well known bloggers using it Antonia, bloggers such as Darren Rowse and Chris Brogan who also still use Twitter. It’s not about giving one up for the other, rather it’s about utilizing the best features of both.

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