Do +1's affect PageRank?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Google +1's affecting PageRank?

This should be a fairly quick one :D

Since the launch of the +1 button, people have suggested (or even claimed!) that it affects Ranking.  A lot of people went so far as to state that a volume of +1's would even increase a pages PR score.

It even reached the point where sites like Mashable had posts about it.

So, as it deals with G+ and PageRank ... I thought I'd cover it.

Do +1's affect PR?

Well, as far as I'm aware, PR is based solely on Links.
That means that the +1 button does Not alter a pages PR.
Well - not directly...

What do you mean "not directly"?

I mean exactly that :D
If you hit the +1 on this blog post (go on, for the sake of scientific experimentation, hit the +1...), it will not tell Google to increase this pages PageRank.
But after you hit the +1 (you did do it, right?), you can go and see it on your profile ([yourprofileid]/plusones).
That URL is crawlable ... and those links are "normal" - they pass PR.
That means if can see what you have plussed, it can pass some of that PR through the links from your profiles /plusones page, and thus indirectly influence the pages PR.

Need an example?

Well, lets try looking at my +1's :D
Somewhere in that lot I've plussed a post by +Bill Slawski;
Google's Agent Rank / Author Rank Patent Filing

Here's the code from that part of the /plusones page;

<td class="As FCa" align="center">
<div aria-hidden="true" class="BT">
<a href=""  
<img src="//;container=pos&amp;gadget=;rewriteMime=image/*&amp;resize_w=45&amp;no_expand=1&amp;fallback_url=">
<td class="As yCa">
<div class="zCa l-mHa">
<a href="" title="" class="QC">
Google's Agent Rank / Author Rank Patent Filing
<a class="HX" href="">
<p class="GCa">
A look back at my original writeup of Google's First Agent Rank patent filing, now being referred to by many as Author Rank.
<td class="As ACa">
<button class="l-XT BCa" src="//" style="" title="Delete">

As you can see, there is no "Nofollow" showing in that code.
Further, none of it is JS based.
This means those links should be passing PageRank.

So what and where is the value?

To avoid some people getting overly excited or misunderstanding, and because I like to be complete/thorough...
... there is likely to be little PR value flowing through those links.
  1. Most peoples /plusones page will have low/no PR
  2. The number of links on the page will likely impact the PR value through the links
Note: The /plusones page only shows a limited number of +'d content.  Once that limit is reached, you get the [more] link at the bottom of the page.
This means that G may not see the content that slides out of view (No idea if G will retain the value of the link once it's out of sight).

So unless you are lucky enough to get +'d by someone who has a high /plusones page PR score, and only a few +'s on that page, the value will be small.
The upside is - if you're content is good enough, and you are popular enough (or it gets socialised a lot), you should see some improvement.

If you want/need help understanding PageRank and volume of links etc., why not look at the PageRank - what is it and why is it important? post