Google+, Google’s new social network, has grown at a historic rate in its first month. Will it stick around and have a lasting impact on the world of social networking? The answer is very much up-in-the-air. But one entity it has already tangibly affected is search engine optimization. And quickly, a negative side of this effect is emerging.
One facet of Google+ is the “+1” button, similar to Facebook’s “Like” button. When users click the +1 for an article, video, etc, that content is then posted to his or her Google+ profile. For users signed into Google, there is now a +1 button that appears next to every site that comes up on a Google search. Google has made it very easy for users to show their support for online content on Google+.
Since Google is now both a search engine and a social network, the company wields a great deal of power. One piece of this power is the ability to integrate social networking into search engine optimization. And that is exactly what they’ve said they’ll do. Websites with a high number of +1s, according to Google, will show up higher on Google searches.
This is where the negative comes out. Already, websites are popping up offering pay-per-click, or PPC, services for +1s. Plussem.com is advertising +1s at various rates: 50 clicks for $19.99, 250 for $69.99, and 2000 for $359.99. According to Plussem:
- All +1′s come from people with a Google account that has been verified by phone (Phone Verified Accounts)
- All +1′s come from real people. No bots are being used!
- All +1′s are being given by manually going to your website and clicking the +1 button
- It's untraceable because the +1′s are being given from different IP's
- All +1′s are given dripped over a couple of days so it looks natural
These services are very risky for the client. Google, unsurprisingly, does not support this unethical form of search engine optimization. If it finds out that your website has contracted such SEO firms, your site will be sent to the last page of search results. In other words, it is just not worth it. Try using these authentic SEO tips instead. And for even more on search engine optimization, please visit Hudson Horizons.