I've recently added Google Plus One Buttons to pages here. I used to have other buttons - Twitter, Facebook "like" and even some others if we go back far enough. I've removed everything else and now have only the Google button.
Why this and not the others? Well, there are several reasons. First, I don't really like these things. There's a dirty underside of tit for tat trading in a lot of this social media tagging and I find that very distasteful. It bothers me to participate in something that is subject to great abuse.
So why use Google PlusOne?
Simply because this is the first social button that directly affects search engine results. If someone recommends a page here by clicking that PlusOne, Google will use that information in its search results.
Although I can't be sure of this, I suspect that the potential for spamming abuse is lower. For example, if somebody goes on a rampage and clicks that button on a few thousand (or even a few hundred) pages here, I would think that Google would recognize those as likely being invalid and would ignore them. They might also be able to detect cross-trading: if John is plussing Mary's pages and Mary is plussing John's, Google could notice that if their pages run Adsense or use Analytics. This may eliminate some of the fraud associated with social recommendations.
So, for now at least, I've added these buttons. People have started using them. I'm not sure what happens when someone not signed in with a Google account does this - I assume Google asks them to create an account (and this may all be tied in with Google's new, still in beta, Google+).
These could become very important. If you have a website and care about Google traffic, you probably should be thinking about adding these.
Got something to add? Send me email.
More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2011-08-21 Anthony Lawrence
The history of the world teaches us that succession is dangerous and that the strong take what they want. It's not likely to be any different with Linux. (Tony Lawrence)