Google +1: The New SearchWiki?
I loved it in spite of it being broken from the start. Nonetheless the sheer possibilities once it worked were exactly what I needed to make SEO 2.0 truly become mainstream. I was one of the few people who liked SearchWiki and over the years they phased it out. Just a few weeks ago Google removed the star option to vote up or favorite search results.
Apparently SearchWiki never took off or worked on a large enough scale.
Sad but true. Last week Google reintroduced a SearchWiki-like feature though. Now it’s called Google +1 and instead of buttons to vote results up or down that later became a star you can see a +1 button on your search results once you manage to set up Google +1.
I struggled to do so and finally made it. Now Google +1 appears in my Google.com results (but not on local Google sites like co.uk or .de).
At first I was like “great my SearchWiki is back” but then I found out that it is not, at least not in the way I’d wish. Google +1 is like SearchWiki but with less features. You can vote up sites appearing in search results but you can’t vote those down you don’t want to see.
Google still treats me like a SEO newbie and shows me Wikipedia results along with the Google SEO introduction for noobs. Moreover I get seo-usa.org which is a false friend not dealing with search engine optimization at all. Additionally I get low quality sites like SEO Chat served.
There are strange things happening in these results too, I don’t see the homepage of SEOmoz inspite of voting it up, starring it and bookmarking it on Google bookmarks, I get an old resource from 2008 I’m not particularly interested in.
What’s most striking though is that I can’t see the +1′s by other people
with one exception, I see that Ruud Hein has voted up his site, Search Engine People.
Also social search results and +1 votes seemingly collide with each other. I have voted up SEO Book as well but I can’t see it. Instead I only see that Aaron Wall has shared it.
Just go back to 2008 and compare my custom made SEO results from back then. They were far better and more relevant. There really was an incentive to customize or vote for them. Also look at the sheer number of votes by other people I could see back then. Social proof at its best. Don’t get me wrong, I trust Ruud and he’s my one my best online friends in the SEO industry but where the heck are all the others? I don’ think they haven’t tried Google +1 one week after it’s launch.
Maybe when Google +1 buttons are available for websites as well, similar to the Facebook like button it will turn out useful.
Right now Google +1 has no value even if you really want it to.
I guess it will take Google another 10 years to remove Wikipedia from my results for SEO. Or they just want me to remember the official SEO definition as I don’t care for it and keep on practicing SEO 2.0 whether they like it or not. Or should I say whether they plus one it or not?