With the introduction of Google+, it has brought along numerous conjectures that the use of +1′s may be a replacement for their Pagerank algorithm. i.e. clicking the +1 button on many sites, similar to the Facebook ‘like’ button, would increase a websites’ SERPs.
While of course, it’s almost undoubtedly that Google will be using the +1 metric for page positioning; it’s doubtful it could ever become a replacement for the ubiquitous and mystifing Pagerank algorithm.
Although, as many blogs such as WebProNews have pointed out;
“…just as you’ve seen plenty trying to boost their PageRank through black hat tactics, it seems highly likely that these same people will try to exploit the +1 button. Google’s main weapon against this appears to be tying the +1s to your actual identity, by using a strict profile naming policy.
Google wants to know who is doing this +1ing, which should help cut down on abuse.”
There’s certainly been numerous reports of users’ being removed from Google Plus simply for having pseudonyms – so much so, it is even in the national news.
This doesn’t apply to Bing – but what applies to Facebook, Bing and Google is that simply by having the ‘Like’ button on your site, these ‘social’ services are able to easily track people who have not only clicked the ‘Like’ button, but have simply visited your site too.
So much so, German technology news site Heise “changed their social ‘like’ buttons to a two-click format (Original in German). Effectively disabling unintentional automatic tracking of all page visits by third-party social sites like Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Less than 24 hours later over 500 websites have asked about the technology. Facebook is now threatening to blacklist Heise (Original in German).”
This two-click technology isn’t difficult to implement – we’d be happy to help customers (and current non-customers) with writing this if they feel it would be useful.
Many users are finding that they do not like this style of tracking, but it is sure to continue – and be a fight between users, browsers, add-ons and social media companies.
However, despite how Google may use this data, it doesn’t seem likely that – for any search engine – that social media ‘like’ buttons could ever be a complete replacement for their other algorithms, but could certainly be an aid.
As discussed previously, Google already tweak their algorithms regularly, and already obviously between countries – compare a search for Football on Google.com vs Football on Google.co.uk. When this data is used in conjunction with any pages your friends may have enjoyed; (e.g. reviews, cinema listings, etc); it could certainly help to improve ratings – and since it is more difficult to game – that this could be a useful tool to both webmasters and search engines alike.