Getting More from Google+ and the +1 Button: SES San Francisco 2011, Day 3!

Aug 19, 2011 | 2,997 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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 The last session of the SES San Francisco day 3 was titled- 'Getting More from Google+ and the +1 Button'. It was aimed at the latest on Google+ features and the recent works of +1 button. The eminent speakers on the panel were:

Speakers:

  • Jonathan Allen, Director, SearchEngineWatch
  • Timothy Jordan, Developer Advocate, Google

The first speaker to take the stage was Timothy Jordan from Google. He started off by saying that  Internet is all about people and Google's major focus is on users. There are several problems people face everyday and Google is of the belief that these problems can be solved.

To jump to the topic of discussion, the search engine giant has worked on making the online experience of users much better. That is why Google+ has added these features:

Circles- Providing a tool that helps you exist online like you would offline, Circles was introduced to Google+. Circles enables people to share with others according to their real-life social connections. It's all about sharing everything that matters with people in different circles.

  • Sparks- Another great feature of Google+. He said that it helps people to initiate a conversation online. It's an outstanding tool for creating good content users are looking for and an easy way to spark a conversation online.
  • Hangouts- This is another great initiative from Google to help people connect with friends and family. Talking about its future impact, he said that it could mean so much more over time than it does now.  The ultimate goal of hangouts is connecting people and helping them share information.
  • Mobile and Google+ – The next in line was most suited feature for today's rushing generation, Mobile. Adding about this, he said that our lives happen all the time and not just when we are at the desk. With this feature, people can  share wherever they are in a fast and convenient way.
  • Games and Google+ - He added about the recent launch of Games in Google+ saying that having fun is a major aspect of human experience. People can play games as well as share game info with other s who are interested.

He said that with these features, people are sure to enjoy the social experience all the more.

What about the +1 Button?

Diving into the need of +1 Button, Timothy Jordan took the aid of statistics to explain the relevance of the '+1' button.

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

He stressed on the basic fact that if you saw a friend liked or +1ed a link in the search results, that could influence your decision to click and your activity on that site. The +1 button is just a one click process. When you click it on search, you show up. This could happen on search and search ads as well. Another use case would be from the page or article itself. And you might like to read it before endorsing it.

Where to do +1? How it shows up in search?
He then spoke of the many places users can +1 and how it all comes together in the search.

Hot Tip- Social connections may improve click through rates on search ads and organic listings.

The traffic that comes to the sites is pre-qualified and it may very well increase the engagement of the person on a particular site. Taking the discourse further, he mentioned how users can get more from the +1 button-:

  • With Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics, users can see search activity across a site with the +1 button.
  • They can see the search impact, change in CTR with +1 and also prove the value of the button to their colleagues. Furthermore, they get anonymized user data.
  • He added that the +1 button is now 3 times faster than the time it first appeared.
  • Bubbles will let people know you’re logged into the account you want to be at the time.
  • Canonicalization- This ensures that the user is not lost.  All the +1s aggregate to the same place as long as the URL is the same. He said, “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.”
  • Where to put the +1 button on the page- On product categories, on articles, wherever they can be easy to spread around.
  • Callback: This feature lets you know when is the +1 clicked, and improve the user experience of the button.

The Authorship Experience

Timothy then spoke of authorship and ways to improve user experience with authors they like most. He said that while conducting a search, a query may return a result from an author who’s opted into the program. He informed how users who have sites with authors can 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.

The  Structured Markup

Bringing up Structured Markup, he said that including markup in the code can be beneficial for the users. He then put up a search for food stuffing, he informed how users can markup the code on their sites with schema.org markup. Though unrelated to +1, he emphasized upon its importance to the users as it has these benefits.Listing a description, title, and rating in search results is a rich snippet powered by structured markup.

Hot Tip – The more you indicate what the page is about, the more cool stuff they can do in SERPs.

Timothy's takeaway: He advised the users to search for a  'rich snippet testing tool'. This tool ensures that Google correctly analyzes the structured markup and displays it in the search results.

Jonathan Allen took the mic then and put up a question-for Timothy- “ if  they would witness a platform where they don’t +1 for everyone, but for specific Circles?”

To this Timothy replied that +1 is a public action and making it private by using Circles seemed an interesting idea.

Jonathan asked another big question from Timothy, that has been discussed among businesses quite often, since the launch of Google+- what about the businesses' page on Google+. Jonathan made a comparison with Facebook and Twitter, and put up the question. But Timothy stuck to Google's standing statement- that they are working on unique use case for businesses and will be offering it soon.

Timothy further revealed that +1 will soon be integrated in mobile.  “With Instant Upload”, he gave an example, “you take a photo and it uploads to Picasa right away. It’s a simplification of the process that makes it more sharable.”

Concluding the session, Timothy said that the first step towards integrating something new is putting thought into it and making sure it is someone’s responsibility.

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Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Getting More from Google+ and the +1 Button:  SES San Francisco 2011, Day 3!
4.thumbnail Getting More from Google+ and the +1 Button:  SES San Francisco 2011, Day 3!