What is a +1 then?
The Google plus +1 is so much more than your stamp of approval. It’s inherent ambiguousness – it’s not a word or a familiar symbol – opens the doorway to a wider meaning.
Are there times on Facebook when you want to click like, but it feels inappropriate because the post is about something sad or troubling? If you’re looking for another way to express your appreciation for a post, the +1 is how you do it.
Do you want to make a public recommendation because the content is superb, even if you don’t agree with the point of view? The +1 is your vehicle. How about when you merely want to acknowledge you’ve read something directed to you? +1 can signify you’ve done this.
As a simple response that your comment has been seen, the +1 reminds me of Facebook likes. However, +1’s always originate from a human, unlike Facebook likes, which can be bought and can come from spam.
The +1 gets even better.
The Best Thing About +1’s
The wider interpretation of +1’s as compared to other content appreciation signals is far from its best feature. Perhaps the best thing about +1’s is they give you a wider audience.
There are three ways this can happen.
1. As a recommended search result.
Your name might show up in the Google search results of people who have you in their Google+ network for content that you’ve +1’d. This demonstrates how powerful growing your Google+ network can be.
3. As a recommended post.
When your post is +1’d by someone, it can appear in your Extended Circles streams. This means the people who’ve circled you, as well as the people who’ve circled them, could end up seeing your post. The Google+ post header would read: “(Your name) +1’d this.”
3. In an advertisement.
Your Google+ profile picture and name could show up in ads. When you +1 a brand or brand’s content, Google could use this in their advertisements on other web sites.
You can choose to opt out of this by going to Settings at the bottom of the drop-down menu on the left side in your Google+ account. Once there, find Shared Endorsements and uncheck the box that reads “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.” Be sure to click save.
Want to know one more cool thing about the Google +1?
The more +1’s and comments you get, the greater chance you will rank higher in search results. That is to say, there’s not a cause and effect relationship, but there’s a direct correlation. This comes as no surprise when you consider that most content with a lot of +1’s, comments, and reshares are probably quality content.
Searchmetrics tells us,
“Web pages that rank higher in Google searches tend to have more Google+ plus ones and Facebook shares. While having a relevant keyword in the web site domain name or web address now seems less closely linked with high rankings according to new research. And while pages with higher quality content rank better, top brand web pages apparently continue to automatically rank in top positions without obeying the same rules as other sites.”
This is the impact of social media as a content marketing strategy. And it’s not going away. Google+ is a smart place to begin your social media efforts if you want to extend the reach of your brand and your content.
Google defines the +1 as a feature that helps people discover and share relative content from people you know and trust. Using the +1 to engage with your Google+ circles gives far greater results than any other content appreciation features in social media.