One of the sessions not to miss at SES San Francisco will be Timothy Jordan, Developer Advocate at Google, who will be discussing Google+ and the Google +1 button.
In a pre-show interview with Byron Gordon, Jordan discusses what highlights attendees can expect from his session on "Getting more from Google+ and the +1 Button" at SES Francisco, on Thursday August 18 at 3pm PST. He plans to discuss the Google+ Project (Plus) and the Google +1 button and the wider Google strategy of "socializing" all it's products.
In light of the lack of official information about Plus, particularly for those users who have not been part of the limited "field trial", you will see in the video how refreshing it is to get an official perspective from the Googleplex on the Google+ project. In this interview, Jordan provides some tips and workarounds in answer to some of the important questions that many Google+ users and socially-minded businesses are asking.
Questions answered include:
Should we be using this platform for our business brands?
Editted for clarity, Jordan said, "We're not quite ready for businesses or brands to have a presence on Plus. We realize this is a particular use case with really special needs. So, hold off [creating business pages] for now, but in the meantime if users they want to designate somebody in the company that has their own presence on Google+ and can represent the company in that capacity, that's fantastic. We've see some people do this with great success."
What are best practices for webmasters to use the Google +1 Button?
"The +1 button allow users to endorse the content of each user but even more importantly, webmasters are beginning to place the +1 button on category pages, not just recommending a single product but an entire category of product on a website."
In addition, Jordan recommends placement of the +1 button on the homepage of a website, that way users when selecting your +1 button are endorsing your entire website, including your brand."
How might developers use the +1 button to improve search?
Jordan elaborates on the subject of best practices when using the Google +1 button by suggesting webmasters take advantage of the callback mechanism.
A possible use of the +1 button on mobile devices, is that users could +1 an item in a store and essentially book mark that product so that is easily findable when they go back to search online.
Such a use of the Google +1 button would be akin to scanning a QR code to retrieve information, or using a barcode scanning app to search for alternative prices. However, the simplicity of the +1 button within mobile apps such as barcode scanners could have exciting implications on conversion behavior, potentially drives purchasing both in-store and offline by allowing users to "bookmark" real objects.
Another use of the callback mechanism, is to tailor product recommendations "after the click" of the Google +1 button. He cites the hypothetical example of a retailer who has a page dedicated sunglasses, which a user likes and so clicks the +1 button. Based on the +1 data callback mechanism, the retailer could immediately display product recommendations, and show those recommendations in page, immediately after the click. Alternatively, the retailer could customize the user experience of the store, based on the +1 cookie data, and display more recommendations for that user's next visit.
How can webmasters improve the implementation of the Google +1 button?
"The speed of the +1 button has been increased and is now three times faster than when it was first introduced".
Jordan also stressed that webmasters can make the +1 button work even faster if they include canonical URLs to all of their webpages. Google recently increased supprt for using canonical URLs.
How can I search Google Plus?
As for searching within Plus, Google realizes that users expect something great - and consequently is still in development. Jordan recommends as a "patch-on" solution, using Google.com, where you can restrict a search to a particular site. So, if you want to search across posts within Google Plus, Timothy suggests you go to Google.com, type in your search query, and add a site colon, and then plus.google.com.
An example of it in action is searching for mentions of your own website. E.g. http://www.google.com/search?q=%22search+engine+watch%22+site%3Aplus.google.com
This tip also came in particularly handy last night to find out news of the riots in London e.g. london riots site:http://plus.google.com
What is Google's "real names" policy on Google Plus?
On the topic of the Google Real Names policy. Timothy says that Google profiles are designed for users to have a public page on the Web that represents a real person in the real-world that you can connect with. By using a common name, it enables your friends and social network that would like to find you to make a connection with you.
Google has also modified the process for account suspensions relating to a breach of the Google+ Terms & Conditions. Now, your profile isn't suspended immediately for review but you are given a chance to change your name. If your profile is suspended your review by Google, you still have access to your normal Google account and all of your Gmail.
More Mountain Views on the Google Plus Project
In tandem with this interview with Timothy Jordan, Search Engine Watch also spoke to Jim Prosser, a PR spokesperson representing Google+. In that conversation Google confirmed that Google+ "developer tools are coming," adding that, "it's just a matter of time."
On the question of whether Google Realtime search will return, Prosser said:
"We're exploring how to incorporate our recently launched Google+ project into this functionality going forward, so stay tuned. Our vision is to have google.com/realtime include Google+ information along with other realtime data from a variety of sources."