SEO Inc. Blog

Google +1 and Webmaster Tools: What does the New Data Mean for SEO?

We at SEO Inc. are analytic junkies, and when a new form of measurement comes out we must evaluate it. Google +1 is of course brand new. But we are already seeing signs of the sharing function in Google Analytics and Webmaster tools. In this post, we will take a look at how Google +1 and Webmaster Tools interface. Our goal is to simply understand the measurement units and the possible effects on SEO.

Search Impact, Activity and Audience

+1 Metrics in Webmaster Tools

Google +1 in Webmaster Tools has three categories of data: Search Impact, Activity and Audience. Let’s take a look at each of these data categories, as there are subsets of analytical data in each.

Search Impact

The search impact report section has two main pieces of information, +1 annotated impressions and +1 annotated clicks. These two metrics measure the clicks and impressions that result from people using the +1 button within search results and on a webpage. There is an additional piece of data here that is meant to further gauge the success of +1 – CTR.

Search Impact Webmaster Tools

In this section we are given data on CTR without +1, CTR with +1, and CTR Change with +1. So let’s take a moment and consider why this makes sense here. Well, when someone +1’s a web page, whether it be from the actual page or a search result, they are actually endorsing that piece of content to their friends. When a friend then logs into a Google Account and does a search, they can see the items that were +1ed by people they are connected to. Because the search result is endorsed by their friends, it is essentially recommended and thus should increase CTR for a particular search listing.

Here is the full list of data we can see in the Search Impact section.


The activity report mainly shows the amount of new +1s that take place within a given time period. +1s pertain to a particular URL. Furthermore, this feature takes it a step further by segmenting the data based on +1s from your website and +1s from other sites. According to Google, +1s from other sites are, “The number of times users have +1’d your page in search results or ads.”

Activity for +1 Webmaster Tools

This area also shows the change in +1s and overall new +1s. Let’s take a look at the entire data offering in this area.


The new Google Webmaster Tools Audience tab is pretty straightforward, but it also shows some quality aggregate date. In this tab you can see the total number of unique users who +1’d your pages. This could be an important factor for overall rankings in the future. It also may influence PageRank for areas like the home page. As an additional perk in this section you can segment the data by time period, just as you can filter by time in the other sections.

Audience +1 Webmaster Tools

Will Google +1 Data in Webmaster Tools be Important in the Future?

As of right now we see new data, but have only been given vague statements regarding the impact that +1s will have on search results. We have been told that more shares mean more visibility in search engines, but specifics are still a mystery. Although this is a common theme with Google, I would venture to say that Google will place quite a bit of emphasis on the +1 button in the future and make its importance to SEO overwhelmingly clear. With the competition Facebook is creating, the +1 button is Google’s main form of defense. The more power they can give to the button the more people will utilize it. The more they utilize the button, the more they will become ingrained in Google, and eventually, sign up for a Google+ Profile in the Google+ Project.

About Garry Grant

Garry Grant is a veteran expert in search engine optimization and the digital marketing industry. With nearly 20 years of experience, Garry has successfully built a multi-service operation at SEO, Inc., developing proprietary technologies through complex strategic solutions. He has extensive experience in key initiatives and operational responsibilities grounded in information technology and performance management.

Garry’s expertise and esteemed reputation, coupled with SEO Inc.’s impressive client success record has earned him such accolades as Entrepreneur Magazine's 2005 Hot List for the Hottest Internet Property, Inc. 500 2007 Honorary award for Fastest Growing Private Company in America, an Inc. 500 top 50 Company in San Diego, and interviews with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post.

Garry Grant began his online career in 1993 creating strategic Web and e-business solutions for, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Premiere Radio Networks, Clear Channel Communications, EarthLink and Artisan Motion Pictures. Today, Garry and SEO Inc.’s highly skilled digital strategists develop proprietary technology and strategic digital marketing direction for Fortune 500 companies including, SC Johnson, McAfee,, Inc Magazine, IGN, Tacorri, LPL Financial, National Kidney Foundation, G4 TV, Fuel TV and Sony, just to name a few.