Just A Matter Of Time: Google +1′s Being Sold By The Thousands

A report by the Atlantic shined a light on a new “social media service” which allows users to purchase Google +1′s in bulk.  The site in question, Pluseem, has a variety of different Google+ package sizes, from 50 plusses to 2,000, with the prices ranging from $0.18 – $0.38 per plus.

Of course this is a direct violation of Google’s quality guidelines:

Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”

The service makes the following claims about their sale of plusses:

  • All +1′s come from people with a Google account that has been verified by phone (Phone Verified Accounts)
  • All +1′s come from real people. No bots are being used!
  • All +1′s are being given by manually going to your website and clicking the +1 button
  • It’s untraceable because the +1′s are being given from different IP’s
  • All +1′s are given dripped over a couple of days so it looks natural

Interestingly, the website in question was sold less than one week ago for $115 (about the price of 1,000 plusses!)   Of course this isn’t the only site out there with promises of gaming social platforms.  With some simple searches, anyone can find a variety of packages that offer similar services. This is also fairly regular on other popular sites like Digg, Facebook and Twitter.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Services Like These

You can absolutely get some quick votes with a product like this … but should you?  Any skilled  internet marketer knows this isn’t good marketing or great SEO; it’s spamming.  Much like links, quality matters immensely for and social product.  On Facebook your EdgeRank will slip if marketing to a non-relevant audience.  On LinkedIn’s Today your profession directly affects your likes and shares.  There is no reason why Google would not use quality and relevancy as well with +1′s. By paying for non-relevant users to vote or like your content on a social network you are effectively muddying your message.

In conclusion, will 2,000 votes from random users over a few days help your website?  Probably not. Will  it will hurt your long-term strategy while violating Google’s quality guidelines? Most likely.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Google: +1


About The Author: is the Chief Marketing Officer for Cypress North, a company that specializes in social media and search marketing services and web-based application development. He has been in the Internet marketing industry for 6+ years and specializes in Social Media Marketing. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

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  • Matthew Read

    I think any SEO worth his salt will avoid buying bulk +1′s, what I think is hilarious is when they say “All +1′s are given dripped over a couple of days so it looks natural” because even if you buy 400 and they do this over a week, 400 one week to none the next will still look unnatural, and I doubt that anyone will want to be paying for +1′s constantly all every week!

  • http://solvater.com Arafath Hashmi

    I think this all the fault of SEO specialists, after hiking the concept of ” +1′s increase the SERP ” this is all happening, poor people knowingly or unknowingly getting in these traps… I think every SEO specialist make sure somethings before making it public, because in the upcoming future SEO is going to play a big role.. :)

  • jon lane

    Never mind the unethical implications of selling +1s to people; why are Google abusing the English language by inserting an apostrophe where it doesn’t need to be? It should be +1s, not +1′s.

    Sorry, I know it’s not strictly SEO-related, but its’ still wrong.

  • http://www.sethnickerson.com Seth Nickerson

    Why do SEOs buy links? They work. Why would an SEO purchase +1s from accounts whose interests and other “likes” parallel the products or services of the site they are trying to promote? It would work, at least based upon what we know about G+ right now.

    Google’s got the tools in place to measure the velocity of +1s, so hopefully they have the mechanisms to sniff out any that are too suspicious. But as we’ve seen with other algorithm solutions, nothing is perfect.

    Purchased +1s may not be that valuable anyway, unless the accounts they come from can boast any sort of authority and have connections to other valuable profiles.

  • http://www.rjdinternational.com Robert Duncan

    or you could go to tweers.com and get them for free.

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