And who’s going to be your +1?

If you ever tire of reading about Google-related stuff, don’t worry, I’m always concerned that I write too much about it. However, someone recently described the current state of B2B marketing like this: in the past, between you and your customers was a wall with a series of doors, marked “exhibitions”, “magazines”, “direct mail” and the like. Now there’s a huge gateway in front of you marked “Google”, and a bunch of mouseholes either side marked “everything else”. So even small developments in the size of that gateway are important, and there seem to be new ones almost every week.

Which brings me on to “+1”.

This is another experiment from Google which we all need to know about. It might not change the marketing world (a number of previous Google experiments have quietly shrivelled up and died) …but it could be important.

“+1” is a way for people to tell Google about pages they like. There have already been some excellent discussions such as this one on Search Engine Land which will give you a coffee-break’s worth of study, so head over there for the full background. My own take is that there are several aspects which may affect all of us, in particular the fact that many Google search users are, in future, going to be presented with results which have a list of friends and colleagues who “recommend” that site. If that’s not an incentive to click on it, what is?

Discussion

  1. David Stonier-Gibson

    I read about the first third of that rather lengthy article at (on, in?) Search Engine Land. Frankly, I can’t get too excited about +1 for B2B, for the following reasons:

    1. AFAICT a googler would have to go back to the search page to click +1. If they click +1 before visiting the target page, their judgement of the page is premature and of little value.

    2. Certainly with most of my B2B customers, I would be quite sure that any social networking activity is quite divorced from work. Most of them wouldn’t know what Facebook is all about. I keep a Facebook account mainly to know what my adult children are up to (rather sad, that!), not as a professional networking thing.

    Having +1 buttons on my own website might make a bit more sense, but only a bit. I can’t see too many customers being part of my social network. The only way would be with LinkedIn, where there may be some marginal benefit.

    OTOH, if I were a B2C marketer I’d be getting very excited at the possibilities.

    David Stonier-Gibson

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  2. Griff

    Whether people really leap on board with this for business (ie adding a+1 button to their site) will (IMHO) depend on whether people believe that one day it will affect normal search rankings (rather than personalised search rankings)

    If the SEO crowd believe that 1000 +1’s will propel their client towards the top of a search by someone who knows none of the people who +1’d the site, then there will be a dash to join in.

    And as far as I can tell, we don’t know if that will actually ever be the case, do we ?

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