Q. Do Google +1's affect a website ranking?
A. "Not really a direct effect" – Matt Cutts, Google Web Spam
The question which was aired live yesterday within the latest instalment of ‘Power Searching With Google Hangout on Air #2' was asked to the head of Google Web Spam team, Matt Cutts following the question being sent into the live feed show by a tuned in website owner.
On the question being asked to Cutts, he seemed to indicate that social metrics such as Google +1's could become a metric that they would look to consider in future years but at the moment he revealed that there is no direct link between the two, instead jumping ahead to talk about the Google Authorship feature which was announced not so long ago.
While speaking about Google Authorship, Cutts seems to show the mentality that Google have over the feature, explaining that some users might link the page to authority due to the production of the image of the author, however this seemed to be more aimed towards the fact that he thought that including an image such as that seen on the search engine rankings page for sites that have this feature enabled, could experience a better click through rate than they previously did.
Whether this means that Google are now looking out for authorship to be included on authority sites is still to be seen but following the news that having Google Authorship enabled on your site would increase the number of results that any author has within the results pages, surely they are a great way to increase your visibility.
Finally a conclusion can be put under the debate as to whether we should be looking towards social elements for the moment but definitely check out the video as it seems to me that Google will be looking for ways to incorporate this metric into their ranking factors in the non too distant future.
Check out the latest Google Hangout video below:
Or skip to the introduction of Matt Cutts Here.