Google: Introducing the +1 Button

We all know what it’s like to get a bit of help when you’re looking for it. Online, that advice can come from a number of places: a tweet, a shared video, or a blog post, to name a few. With Google Social Search we’ve been working to show that content when it’s useful, making search more personally relevant.

We think sharing on the web can be even better–that people might share more recommendations, more often, if they knew their advice would be used to help their friends and contacts right when they’re searching for relevant topics on Google. That’s why we’re introducing the +1 button, an easy way for Google users to recommend your content right from the search results pages (and, soon, from your site).

+1 is a simple idea. Let’s use Brian as an example. When Brian signs in to his Google Account and sees one of your pages in the organic search results on Google (or your search ads if you’re using AdWords), he can +1 it and recommend your page to the world.

The next time Brian’s friend Mary is signed in and searching on Google and your page appears, she might see a personalized annotation letting her know that Brian +1’d it. So Brian’s +1 helps Mary decide that your site is worth checking out.

We expect that these personalized annotations will help sites stand out by showing users which search results are personally relevant to them. As a result, +1’s could increase both the quality and quantity of traffic to the sites people care about.

But the +1 button isn’t just for search results. We’re working on a +1 button that you can put on your pages too, making it easy for people to recommend your content on Google search without leaving your site. If you want to be notified when the +1 button is available for your website, you can sign up for email updates at our +1 webmaster site.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll add +1 buttons to search results and ads on We’ll also start to look at +1’s as one of the many signals we use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking, including social signals from other services. For +1’s, as with any new ranking signal, we’ll be starting carefully and learning how those signals affect search quality over time. At first the +1 button will appear for English searches only on, but we’re working to add more languages in the future.

We’re excited about using +1’s to make search more personal, relevant and compelling. We hope you’re excited too! If you have questions about the +1 button and how it affects search on, you can check the Google Webmaster Central Help Center.

Everyone Depends on You

Your sales efforts impact everyone. Without them, everything stops.

That’s how important you are to your company and the people in it.

Every sales week and month, you and your team will almost certainly be presented with sales challenges and periods of time that test your resolve to make the next call and, in some cases, even question your career choice.

Perhaps this happens more for those of us in sales because our clear occupational purpose is to move product & drive revenue (very measurable and accountable results with no place to hide). If we hit a slump or a particularly challenging string of rejections, it can affect us very personally.

When you hit your difficult sales moments in the coming weeks and months, commit to doing two things…

First – pause and remember that challenges are experienced in all professions, but only those in sales have such an opportunity to be so directly responsible for the success of a business.

Second – focus & keep moving forward only with the sales tasks, activities and thoughts you know are necessary to achieving your sales objectives.

Easier said than done, but practiced well – a great habit is formed.

Google Places to Rollout Repair Option for Merged Listings

Ethan Russell, a Product Manager on Google’s local search team, recently posted some comments on my post: Google Customer Service: Up Against the Algo. He noted that sometime this quarter, Google will be rolling out a service solution to the long standing problem of two listings merging. It doesn’t appear that mergings will cease but rather that, once reported, they will be fixed in a reasonable and predictable timeframe.

Good news for all. Here are his comments and replies to my subsequent email queries:

Ethan Russel: Merged listings are a very frustrating problem — one that we’re working hard to fix. The best thing to do is to click the Report a Problem link on the listing in Google Maps, and choose “Some photos, reviews, or details belong to a different place.” We’re aware that it can currently take quite a while for these problems to be resolved. It’s painful, and it’s one of our top priorities to make this process smoother and faster.

As for some of the advice discussed in this thread, nuking the business listing is at best a temporary fix. As Mike points out, unless the data has changed, the algorithms will eventually make the same decision. Also, providing reviews for your own business is against our policy, even if they have been copied from reviews posted by your customers. I’ll make sure that these points are clarified with our Tags reps.

MB: You noted: We’re aware that it can currently take quite a while for these problems to be resolved. What is the timeframe someone can expect if they follow the procedure you outline?

Ethan Russel: After implementing improvements under development this quarter, we hope to be in the range of 21 days from time of report to time of correction.

MB: You say “under development” this quarter. Does that mean that if the stars are propitious it will be started this quarter or finished this quarter?

Ethan Russel: The work is already in progress, and we hope to finish this quarter.


Merging, an artifact of Google’s duplicate removal process is the “flip side” of the duplicate listing issue. If Google dials up the deduping, the mergings go up and if they dial it down the existence of dupes in the index increases.

Having a Google provided service solution to the merging problem is not an alternative to the best practice as far as minimizing the chances of a listing merging in the first place. The problems leading to mergings revolve around confusion in the NAP (name address and phone) between two distinct listings causing two clusters to become one. Here is a check list to prevent or possibly cure mergings while we are waiting for Google’s solution and to prevent them in the future.

1)Be sure that your business name is short and not keyword spammy. The longer it is and the more similar it is to other spammy business titles the greater the chance of a merge

2)Be sure that your phone number is unique to your business. If your number was previously used by a similar and/or nearby business the chances of a merge go up immeasurably.

3)Be sure that your address is a unique reflection of your actual location.

4)Reinforce the name, address and phone number by widespread dissemination of the basic business NAP throughout the local ecosystem.

5)Carefully position your business on the Map when you edit your business in Places.

6)Be sure that you provide reinforcing geo signals to Google via a KML file, geo-sitemap, hCard, geo-tagged photos, myMap references. Confirm that the geo info provided in all these geo-references is accurate to the specific lat-long minute and second.

Remember that Google’s algo is just an algo and if you nuke a listing without changing anything of the underlying data and signals that the algo looks at, the algo is likely to merge the two listings again.

I am hopeful that Google’s customer service solution might put in place some override to keep it from happening again but there is also the danger that citations, reviews and other data might be wrongly associated with the other listing so doing the above is still a good idea.