Why Isn't Anyone Clicking The Google +1 Button?

by wrylilt

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 Fad?
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.

Updated: 09/26/2011, wrylilt
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thranax on 10/24/2011

Google implemented it. Of course one day everyone will do it, or the Google will get angry =)


lifeboost on 10/17/2011

Ah... I've been wondering what that button was about! Thanks for sharing the information! :)

Jimmie on 09/26/2011

I'm far more concerned about privacy with FB than with Google. I feel that Google allows users more control than FB does. (That is why I am not on FB.)
I think that it's simply new and time will see Google +1 gaining in popularity.
(By the way, gave this article a Google +1!)

Molly on 09/26/2011

Plus the fact that some people just don't care. Such as the facebook, twitter, digg and other buttons people have on pages they want you to click on, some times it just gets a little tiresome. When I do a search for something, it's no one else's business what I'm searching for and I've found what I wanted to find for myself the rest is just a PITA. "Like this" "tweet that" "digg something else".......now the +1?? Give me a break, all I want to do is search for something I want or need to know, it's not up to me to make sure a strangers page gets found on the internet. Sorry if this sounds a little harsh but it is realistic and some people just get tired of the stupid buttons on everyone's webpage when all they want is to find out a little information on a subject they're interested in.

Michey on 09/26/2011

Yep! You read my mind, Why? I think they are shy... maybe not knowing the potential power of +1, so i agree with you and I encourage everybody to use it...
By the way there is no privacy issues if you chose your circles well...

petunia on 09/26/2011

I have noticed that people don't use the G+ button, but hopefully they will learn. I try to click it every time I like a site. I think it's important to all of us that we use this new rating.

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