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Google Showing +1 Counts on Search Engine Result Pages

June 24th, 2011 | | News Update

After Google launched its +1 button earlier this month, there has finally been some buzz this week about +1 counts showing up on Google’s search engine results pages. You can see this data whether or not you’re logged into Google, though I did find some inconsistencies with the data you see when you’re logged in vs. out (more on this below).

+1 data is currently available for a select number of sites, and it appears as though Google is taking care of their own first. I had a hard time generating some +1 stats, but was able to see data in searches for Google Maps, +1 Button (duh!), YouTube and Mashable. Obviously Google has a vested interest in three out of four of those sites.

Here’s what you’ll see on Google results pages:

Out of curiosity, I ran the same search when I was both logged in and logged out of my Google account, and I found some inconsistencies, albeit small ones, with the data I was seeing.

Here’s what I found when I was logged into Google while searching for Mashable:

And here’s what I saw when I logged out:

I know 4 clicks isn’t a huge difference given the number of people that have +1’d Mashable, but I’m wondering why the data is different? And obviously this discrepancy could mean more to me if my site had a much lower number of +1’s than 4,000.

The other thing I noticed was that while +1 data shows up for a site generated by one keyword, it might not show up for the same result generated by a different keyword search.

Here’s what I saw whey I searched for “Google maps:”

When I searched for “map Google San Francisco,” which also generated Google Maps as the first search result, there was no +1 data:

I can’t figure out Google’s logic in making this data contingent upon search term and not URL, but maybe this is just a bug in the early stages of +1’s SERP presence (wishful hoping). Since the +1 button has the potential to influence whether or not a user clicks on a search result, obviously all site owners would want this data to appear with their URL on all search results regardless of the search query.

For additional reading on +1 counts on SERP, check out the following articles:

Have you seen +1 data in your Google searches this week? Do you think it will be a powerful social tool, or will Facebook’s Like button still take the cake? Let us know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more updates from SEO Boy!


Sarah is an Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.

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  • Anonymous

    For Mashable and not ReadWriteWeb or The New York Times. Huh?

    • Sarah

      Yes, their logic is somewhat confounding. It’ll be interesting to see where it pops up next!

  • http://www.solkormarketing.com/ search engine marketing firm

     The +1 button of Google seems become a huge shout out to
    search that all the webmaster, SEO and other internet users have heard from it.
    That’s another good one from google.

  • http://www.peakbjj.com/ Kickboxing Keller TX

    This has been such a great feature that Google added, its been wonderful addition to an already awesome search engine.