Why Isn't Anyone Clicking The Google +1 Button?
Google thought it would revolutionize search by introducing the +1 button, allowing searchers the chance to basically vote on best sites. So why isn't it working?
The +1 Button - Great Idea or Useless...
Recently I had an article go viral - over 10,000 views in two days. During this time I noticed something interesting - despite equally prominent sharing buttons, the email, tweet and Facebook like buttons got a lot more clicks than the Google +1 button. In fact, the +1 button got only 7 clicks, compared to over 3,000 Facebook likes.
So why isn't the +1 button more popular?
People Aren't Sure What +1 Does
Google hasn't marketed the +1 button very well
When it comes to the actual function of most sharing buttons, most people are familiar with a few particular buttons that they know will help them achieve something - whether that's adding the page to their favorites, sharing their page with friends or simply emailing the link to themselves so they can have another look at the page when they get home from work.
But what does the +1 button do? Currently it doesn't do much more than slightly change personal search engine rankings, and if you have a Google Plus account, adds the links to a special page on your profile. Oh, and supposedly it helps certain pages rank better - but what average searcher really cares about that?
Google has failed to give people the number one thing any marketer knows sells a product - a good reason for or personal interest in the product.
+1 is Too Complicated
Google has forgotten that people like things simple - or they go somewhere that is
Although the release of the +1 button was widely publicised, and many people would've clicked the button just out of curiosity, there was one big problem.
The button wasn't as easy as simply clicking. In fact the first time you click requires you to have a Google account and also brings up options and information about the button.
No matter how times change, people don't. In fact no matter what they say, people don't like change. And they like change even less when it's different or complicated.
People are Concerned About Privacy With the +1 Button
Is Google taking over the internet?
Recently, there have been quite a few articles and theories concerning the monpoly that Google seems to be becoming. With the amount of internet based companies that they now own, including Blogger, Gmail, Knol and now Google Plus, it's possible to do almost anything online using just a single Google account.
Unlike Facebook, which still maintains a single platform despite options to share online pages from many locations, Google allows users to use a huge variety of applications and sites with a single account.
People are becoming more worried that a single click with a Google account will make that information available across a wide range of Google products.
So... Will The +1 Button Ever Take Off?
Or is it doomed like some other unthought out Google products?
It's difficult to say whether the +1 button will ever become as widely clicked as the Facebook like button, or even Digg and Stumble buttons. Of course, over time people become used to things that the earlier generation was surprised, confused or shocked by. The same could happen for the +1 button.
But I think the only thing that may stop the +1 button from dying an early death is if Google Plus takes off as a serious market share social networking site. Something which, according to usage statistics (many people have a Google Plus account but a large percentage still don't use it very much), may be quite some time.