A common misconception is that Google uses Facebook “shares” and “likes” in their algorithm for SERP (search engine results pages). They do not. In fact Google cannot nor doesn’t get data from Facebook. They can scrape Facebook Fan Pages and Profile pages but no data sharing exists between these two mega companies.
Bing and Facebook
On the contrary you may have seen a Bing TV commercial recently where the Bing/Facebook Marriage is prominently displayed. There’s definitely some validity in having Facebook as your partner. With over 500 million users Facebook is a force. The interesting point is that FB will definitely provide social proof to Bing’s results (link to article about the power of Facebook and Bing).
Anyway, back to Google and Facebook. Google’s entrance into the social space has been tough. Though the ideas have been great, nothing has really been executed or taken to its fullest potential. For example, Google Wave, which had the perfect mix between social and e-mail. It’s long gone and probably won’t be coming back.
Don’t feel bad for Google
Google has recently came out with Google+1 which allows users to essentially “like” websites right from the search results. If you like something then +1 it. It’s really that easy. Then once you +1 you are entered to win an iPad.
Here are some basic POSITIVES of Google +1.
- Seamlessly works without you having to “friend” or follow someone.
- Your social network is determined by who is in in your “Google social circles” or even in your e-mail network.
- Enhanced search experience reinforcing social proof.
- Your +1’s can be centrally stored on your Google profile
With the good there’s always The bad. Below are a few negatives regarding Google +1
- You must have a Google Account to use it. (not too terrible, who doesn’t have a Google account?)
- Your network is limited to your Google social circle or e-mail.
- Your “friends” may +1 an ad which I’m sure will become “spammy”
- Skeptical it will change? Much like Google Buzz faded into oblivion, if one focuses their strategy on +1 and Google decides to decimate it, then what?
Since Facebook wouldn’t give its data to Google they didn’t really have a choice but to develop their own social sharing system. The advantage Google has is that 70% of searches online are on Google and integrating the +1 social proof will just enhance the search experience. For SEO, the +1 will undoubtedly provide a strong signal enhancing SERP.
So, in the spirit of +1 please feel free to click below!