Weekly SEO news: 7 June 2011
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Google's +1 button is now available for websites. The new button will influence the position of your web pages in Google's search results. What exactly does this button do and how can you use it with your web pages?

Also in the news: switching your website to HTTPS might influence your rankings, Google, Yahoo and Bing launch Schema.org, Harvard University has a problem with unwanted links and more.

Table of contents:

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Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Everything you need to know about Google's +1 button

Google's +1 button is now available for websites. The new button will influence the position of your web pages in Google's search results. What exactly does this button do and how can you use it with your web pages?

What is Google's +1 button?

The +1 button is Google's answer to Facebook's "Like" button. It is a button that you can add to your website.

When one of your website visitors clicks the +1 button, your website URL appears on the +1 tab on the user's Google profile. Google wants website visitors to click on the +1 button when they find something interesting or recommendable.

What does Google do with the +1 clicks?

For people who are logged in to Google, their search result snippets might be annotated with the number of +1's that the listed page has received.

If someone who is connected to you through your Google account (Gmail chat list, contacts, etc.) clicked the +1 button, then the name of the person might be listed next to the search result snippet.

Google also announced that the +1 button will influence the search rankings of a page. The number of +1 clicks and the person who clicks on your +1 buttons might influence the position of your pages.

As it is very likely that spammers will try to use the +1 button, Google will perform tests before the +1 button has a major influence on the search results.

According to Google, the number of +1 clicks can also influence the position of an AdWords ad for the page with the +1 button.

How can you add the Google +1 button to your web pages?

It is very easy to add the Google +1 button to your web pages. The button is available in different sizes and different formats.

You can view examples and instructions here: How to add the Google +1 button to your web pages

What is Google's +1 button not?

The Google +1 button is not the same as the Google Buzz button. However, many sites have already replaced their old Google Buzz button with the new +1 button.

It is likely that Google Buzz functionality will also be added to +1. Google also announced analytics for the +1 button to show webmasters info on geography, demographics, content, and search impact.

Although Google's +1 button does not have a major impact on the position of your web pages in Google's search results yet, it does not hurt to add the button to your pages.

Google uses many different signals to specify the position of a web page in the search results. If you want to find out if your web pages have all the elements that are necessary to get high rankings on Google, analyze your web pages with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

John MuellerGoogle's John Mueller about web pages for smartphones

"If you have smartphone content (which we see as normal web-content, as it's generally a normal HTML page, just tweaked in layout for smaller displays) you can use the rel=canonical to point to your desktop version.

This helps us to focus on the desktop version for web-search. When users visit that desktop version with a smartphone, you can redirect them to the mobile version.

This works regardless of the URL structure, so you don't need to use subdomains / subdirectories for smartphone-mobile sites. Even better however is to use the same URLs and to show the appropriate version of the content without a redirect."

The +1 button for websites: recommend content across the web

"Today, we’re releasing +1 buttons to the whole web. As a result, you might start seeing +1 appear on sites large and small across the Internet. [...]

With a single click you can recommend that raincoat, news article or favorite sci-fi movie to friends, contacts and the rest of the world. The next time your connections search, they could see your +1’s directly in their search results, helping them find your recommendations when they’re most useful."

Matt CuttsMatt Cutts: can switching to HTTPS harm ranking?

Matt Cutts answer this question in a video and it seems that he doesn't know the exact answer:

"Even though I am not aware of anything in the code that would prevent it from working perfectly, I would definitely test a little bit first. [...] To the best of my knowledge, I don't know of any reason why you wouldn't be able to rank with just https. It's just I haven't seen a lot of sites do it right now."

Google, Bing and Yahoo introduce Schema.org

"With schema.org, site owners and developers can learn about structured data and improve how their sites appear in major search engines. The site aims to be a one stop resource for webmasters looking to add markup to their pages."

Editor's note: This information will be used for rich snippets and enhanced result pages (for example recipe search).

The websites of Harvard and other universities have problems with spam links

"How on earth could the Web site of a school as prestigious as Harvard contain this type of content — never mind a fair amount of it at that! [...]

Why is so much of this stuff available on university Web sites? The answers to why all of this is available are quite simple and so are the solutions. Finding it all, however, might be a bit more complex for any given university."

Search engine newslets

  • Google's John Mueller about spelling mistakes on user generated content pages.
  • Video: Is serving Googlebot a transcript in place of a video considered to be cloaking? Answer: yes, if Google gets different content than regular users.
  • Is Google figuring out when many businesses share one address?
  • Yahoo's board likely to let the clock run out on Carol Bartz.
  • Google tests a new design for iOS.
  • Twitter announces the Follow button.
  • Google Places now borrowing Yelp reviews without attribution in iPhone app.

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3. Success stories


300,000 readers will read your success story!

Let us know how IBP has helped you to improve your website and we might publish your success story with a link to your website in this newsletter. The more detailed your story is, the better. Click here to tell us your story.

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4. Previous articles

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