Clearly Google+1 is a direct ‘across the bow’ shot at Facebook. While Google+1 might seem similar to Facebook’s Like button, it is a stronger power of influence when it comes to validating the popularity and authenticity of a website.
It should not be news to anyone at this time that the search engines have been quietly incorporating “social signals” into their search engine algorithms. Algorithms are mathematical computations which help the search engines to determine where your hotel website listing will appear on a search results page. Starting this week, if you are logged into your Google account, you can expect to see Google+1 buttons in your Google search results pages. When a user clicks +1, they’re declaring their affinity for a particular search result, which Google is considering as ‘human vote of confidence.” In the near future you will also see the Google+1 buttons on websites across the web, much like Facebook’s Open Graph and their Like button.
So here is the a-ha moment for hotels; Google has found a way to make us all become influencers of relevancy and as we +1 our way throughout the web, we will be shaping and helping to determine which website will be listed on a results page...and which one’s won’t.
We believe Google+1 is superior to Facebook’s Like button because in order to +1, you have to create a publicly accessible user profile. This will make it difficult for companies to game the system by creating fake profiles. While Facebook is closing in on 700,000 million users, we all know people who have multiple profiles as well as zoo animals who have their own profile pages.
So what does this all mean for hoteliers? Clearly hotel search engine listings, organic and paid, will increasingly be influenced by Likes and +1’s. Does your hotel have a strategy to ensure consumers +1 your search engine listings on Google when presented with the opportunity? If your website ranks well on Google now, are you prepared for the loss of rank position when your competitors have more +1’s than your hotel has? Hoteliers should no longer think as marketers do, but rather think as publishers do. Only relevant, informative not overly promotional content will encourage consumers to +1 your website. Gone are the days of simply providing ‘marketing speak’ to get attention, now and in the future it will be all about providing valuable content.
For more information about Google+1 you can visit the Google+1 website: http://www.google.com/+1/button/