SMX East 2011: Up Close with Google+ and Google +1

What does Google+ mean to SEO, PPC, Social Media and the real world? The Google+ powered panel for “Up Close with Google+ and Google +1” shares all we need to know (or at least what they are allowed to tell us) at the after-lunch, SMX East session.


Danny Sullivan puts us in a Google+ frame of mind with a +1 intro of Bruce Clay who has been doing SEO since 1996, longer than Google!  Cheers for Bruce Clay and SEO.

Google sets the record straight with Google Lead Product Manager

Christian Oestlien. He starts with some Google web social-osophy:

“The Web is a series of connected sites and links, behind all the sites are people. People are the core to the Internet experience. With the explosion of content, users are empowered more than ever to be publishers, authors and bloggers.”

What is Google thinking about Google+?

They are aiming to rethink and reinvent the way people think about Google.

It’s about bringing people to the core front of the Google experience, a social experience that permeates every aspect of what you do. As long as people are using Google, they will essentially be using Google+.

That’s what Google is thinking…

“It’s not so much about competing against Facebook,” says Oestlien. “It’s about the Google experience and how it will be improved by making Google a much more personal and human experience.”

The push seems to be about sharing with friends, family and work “circles”in different ways.

+You – Get up close and personal

You may have noticed the +you pop up in the top left section when logged into Gmail. The point: making I easy for your online world resemble real world. It’s about you and turning the connection into a unique real experience, according to Google+.

What You Can Find “Under the Hood” in Google+

  • Circles – custom sets results in nuance sharing – while having a public identity but having a personalized private side to it
  • Hangouts – allows you to have a video chat real time with whom you choose
  • Instant uploads – Android phone will auto upload any photos taken on phone
  • Sparks – search for an “interest” and spark up a conversation – for example pick Lady Gaga as an interest and follow her feed.

+1 Button

Introduced in June, the +1 button is currently on more than

1 million websites and is generating over 4 billion impressions a day. Think of +1 as a social brand endorsement platform – search, sites, video, and mobile will be influenced by +1.

Why Does it Matter?

  • 71% say family members and friends are influential.
  • Google’s +1 is a way friends and family can endorse something see online.
  • 90% of people trust recommendations of people they know.
  • Think about how Page Rank looks at what websites are pointing to, +1 allows Google to see what people are looking at.
  • Users can +1 each individual sub-URL that has the +1 button.

New stuff about Google+ …


  • Google+ users will see the ability to share straight into stream
  • Ability to search and also share to Circles
  • Google+ shows up in search

Measuring impact of Google +1

  • Google Webmaster tools – CTR and users, audience composition
  • Google Analytics – compares G+1 to all social widgets

Google +1 and Ranking

  • +1 will not impact ranking, social search will be mixed up in regular search.
  • +1 will not have an impact on rankings if you are not logged into Google.

Behaviors in Google+ – Google is seeing a nice combination of public and private Circles. People are using Circles. Can’t record hangout sessions.

Google+ for Brands

Brand pages are expected to roll out “soon” said Christian Oestlien.

What can brands expect from Google+ Pages?

  • Social relationships becoming personal relationships with customers
  • A more personalized business experience with customers
  • Real users behind accounts communicating with Brand Pages

Google is seeing Circles empower brands to segment audiences for different communication purposes.

  • Tailor message to different audiences.
  • There will be unique ways for brands to use Circles in segmenting.

What about Google Places and Google + for brands merging? The answer is that Google would like brands to have one core identity on Google (read between the lines).

When someone checks in to a business on Google+, does that business get a +1 on Google Places? As of now, the answer is no. But Christian Oestlien thought this was a very smart question (**that I asked**), so… maybe! But at the very least, Google called my question smart!

So, the jury is out how Google will step up to the G plate and really combine the power of search with the power of sharing. Once Google+ is fully built, will we ever have a reason to leave Google?  We might have every reason to stay.

, author of Social PR Secrets, was named one of the top 40 Digital Strategists for 2013. @lisabuyer is passionate and ambitious about how Public Relations, Social Media and Online Marketing influence each other. She is President and CEO of The Buyer Group, an interactive public relations and social agency located in Celebration, Florida and editor for Social #PR Chat covering trends in Social PR, Mobile PR, Brand PR and SEO PR. A columnist with Search Engine Watch and a regular speaker with PubCon, SES and part of the @ClickZ faculty and most recently became an instructor of the University of San Francisco’s online Advanced Social Media certificate program.

See Lisa's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (2)
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2 Replies to “SMX East 2011: Up Close with Google+ and Google +1”

I have seen several different studies done with the Google +1 helping rankings. They have increased the rankings for the keywords they were trying to rank for by a decent amount so I believe they definitely do have an effect on rankings.

Virginia Nussey

Makes sense, Caleb. Thanks for sharing your experience. Since Matt Cutts said +1s could be looked at as a quality factor for ranking, I wouldn’t doubt it. Then there’s the way that social proof influences people to trust, click through, try out or engage with a brand. No way around it, social indicators should be paid attention to.


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