Google’s New +1 Button and the Demise of Google
Yesterday, Google announced the launch of their +1 button, which will allow Google Profile owners to “+1”, or share/save their recommendations including, but not limited to; websites, products, places, recipes, etc… Many see this as an effort to help further Google’s share of social media functionality and interaction, and, obviously, to compete with Facebook’s Like button. What does the +1 button do? It’s quite simple: just like the Facebook Like button, you will have the ability to +1 different Google items, from search engine results, to comparison shopping. This in turn will shape your future Google experience…
To get started +1’ing, follow these two simple steps:
This data will help to further refine the organic search results that made Google the behemoth it is today. Or will it…? One of the key assets that propelled Google to become the #1 search engine was its ability to rank websites based upon their value, not their marketing budget. Meaning, those sites with “content”, “optimized” pages, and inbound links (from any source) triumphed. In the early days this was all it took to rank well, however, people took advantage of these simplistic ranking parameters, forcing Google (and all search engines alike) to update their algorithms.
Slowly, it became more and more difficult for small companies to rank well for their competitive key phrases. Without investing enormous sums of money with a “SEO Company”, or writing millions of words of content, their listings sank along with their visitor count.
It’s a dog eat dog world, and with social media changing the landscape of search yet again, you will see big box companies rising to the top of the search engine result pages through shear popularity, exposure, and reach. This means the smaller businesses that may have better service, lower prices, or different products, will be lost.
Search engine optimization as we know it today will be gone. Search results will be weighted more by social interaction; +1, Like’s, Tweets, high profile site links, etc… Links always outweighed on site optimization when it comes to ranking higher. Meaning, you could always build links to increase a page’s rank without having to do onsite optimization, but without building the links, onsite optimization won’t get you to the top.
What does this mean for small business? Basically, your marketing budget will need to be invested in social media, that is, encouraging customers to share your websites and media with their friends. It’s an evolution of linking, but much harder to achieve when you don’t have tens of thousands (or millions) of customers to leverage.
It will be interesting to see how these new changes affect Google’s position as the #1 search engine. As competition for one of the top ten positions on the search engine result pages intensifies, large companies (with the marketing budgets) will prevail and small websites will be eliminated. From the beginning, this outcome was inevitable; there are too many companies competing for the same slice of the pie.
So, the question is, how will you differentiate yourself and your company to compete with the big box companies online?
Gena Cornett says:
I believe that you are right on with your comments, and it's not just Google, but Bing as well. The search engines are a popularity contest, and I find that they return fewer and fewer relevant results for the searches I do.