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August 18, 2011

SES San Francisco 2011: Getting More from Google+ and the Google +1 Button

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Speakers:
Jonathan Allen, Director, SearchEngineWatch
Timothy Jordan, Developer Advocate, Google

Timothy stars with why the +1 button is important, authors in search and stuctured markup.

The Google+ Project

They notice that users are becoming more apparent in their online life. When you’re online it’s not too different than when you’re offline. Tools on the Internet are meant to help you exist like you would offline. But it’s not all perfect yet. Not everyone online is your friend. It’d be nice if you could treat people as they are and not as the artifice forces you to. Circles lets you share as you would offline, share what matters with people that matter.

SES SFSparks: Conversations online is of a quality that can be improved upon. Creating good content you’re looking for and a convenient way to start a conversation online.

Hangouts: It’s not just interesting for what it means now, but also what it could mean over time. Connecting people and information is what the ultimate goal is.

Mobile: You can share what’s around without hassle. Our lives happen all the time and not just when we’re at a desk. You should be able to share where you are in a fast and easy way.

Games: Having fun is part of our human experience. You should be able to play games and share game info with the people it matters to.

You: Adding you to Google. Putting you first, across all of Google.

Why +1?

90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know.
71% say reviews from family members and friends influence decisions.

If you see that a friend linked a link in the search results, that could influence your decision to click and your activity on that site. When you click the +1 button on search, you show up. It’s just a one click process. It can happen on search and search ads. Another use case is from the page or article itself. You may want to read it before you endorse it.

There are many places users can +1 and it all comes together in search. Social connections may very well improve CTR on search ads and organic listings. This traffic is coming to your site pre-qualified. It may increase the engagement and quality of the person on your site.

Recent Works

Analytics: On Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics, see search activity across a site with the +1 button. You can see search impact, change in CTR with +1. You can prove the value of the button to yourself and colleagues. You also get anonymized user data.

The speed of the button has improved. It’s 3x faster than when it first came out. There’s also an async snippet you can use.

Bubbles: it hovers and indicates a few things to the user. It includes a user’s image/face and name and lets you know you’re logged into the account you want to be at the time.

Canonicalization: All the +1s aggregate to the same place as long as the URL is the same. Indicate to Google the true URL if there are parameters or other reasons multiple URLs might be used. It’s good for search and the +1 button.

Placement of the button should be obvious to what the user is adding their endorsement. Pages, products, a domain – spread them around.

Callback

Use this to get more info out of the +1 button by knowing when it’s clicked, and improve the user experience of the button.

Authorship

We’re talking about people. It’d be cool if we could improve user experience with authors they like most. In search, a query may return a result from an author who’s opted into the program. If you have a site with authors, ask them to create a Google Profile and include a list of sites they contribute to, and on the site they contribute to have it link back to the Google Profile.

Google +

More info: goo.gl/1vc45

Structured Markup

This is a bit of an aside, but it’s a good audience to talk about it. Schema.org is structured markup we can all agree upon. It’s simple to implement and has benefits.

Listing a description, title, and rating in search results is a rich snippet powered by structured markup. The more you indicate what the page is about, the more cool stuff they can do in SERPs.

He shows an example of the HTML code and it looks very simple. Search for “rich snippet testing tool” for more info.

Jonathan asks if we’ll see a stage where you don’t +1 for everyone, but for specific Circles?

Timothy says the +1 is a public action. He thinks making it private or using circles is an interesting idea.

Jonathan talks about collaborative search movement, for example families dealing with an illness that they don’t want to share with everyone, but just the support community.

Timothy likes the idea.

For businesses, we don’t have business pages on Google+. How do you see what’s happening for businesses on Facebook and Twitter and how that might effect Google+?

Timothy’s not going to talk about how other companies have handled business profiles. They’re working on the unique use case with unique solutions and will be offering it soon. One thing businesses are doing is using a company employee as a representative for the company in Circles, like Timothy Dell holding Hangouts.

Will there be integration of +1 in mobile, Jonathan asks?

Timothy says they’re working toward that because they see a lot of good use for +1 in mobile. With Instant Upload, for instance, you take a photo and it uploads it to Picasa right away. It’s a simplification of the process that makes it more sharable.

What advice will you give businesses to plan long term in social?

Publishers have told Timothy you designate someone to do the job of social across the Web. The job is people. There’s someone interacting with people and engineering people into products. The first step toward integrating something new is putting thought into it and making sure it’s someone’s responsibility.

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