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Google +1 Button on Vagabond Journey

Google +1 button on Vagabond Journey If you notice at the bottom of this page there is a new social media button that says “+1.” This is a button which tells Google that you like this page, the impact of which has some sort of cryptic significance in their search results. The Google +1 button [...]

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Google +1 button on Vagabond Journey

If you notice at the bottom of this page there is a new social media button that says “+1.” This is a button which tells Google that you like this page, the impact of which has some sort of cryptic significance in their search results.

The Google +1 button looks like this:

Google +1 button is on the left

My interpretation of this button is that it is another move towards the internet being catered to serve the tastes of each individual user. If you use the internet, the pages that you view are, more than likely, being tracked on some level — whether it be at the IP level or “account” level after signing into email or social media sites. This is normal, this is the way that the internet works. It is my impression that Internet 2.0 will have search results ordered based upon projected user tastes. So a search that I do will produce a different set of results than a search that you do — sort of like search results are different dependent upon your location.

If you go to Vagabond Journey Travel and click the +1 button you tell Google that this is a page of “authority” for the keywords present on the page (as well as the search query you typed in to get here, if you enter through a search results page) as well as a way of saying, “I like pages like this.” Whereupon — or so it is my impression — similar pages will receive favor in your future searches. Google then puts this information into their algorithm, and, perhaps, will even favor the page for other visitors searching for similar information.

These +1 buttons also serve as a social media like system in which you will be able to see in search results the pages your friends and associates also like, and be able to navigate through the internet in accordance to the preferences of your virtual “tribe.” It is also my impression that your search results, more than likely, will be ordered upon the relevance determine by your “tribe.” So if five of your virtual associates “like” a particular pages, then a virtual assumption may be made that you may like it as well. So in the online world, like the real world, you are judged by the company you keep.

So clicking on the Plus 1 button is like putting on a virtual Vagabond Journey T-Shirt. You give an authoritative nod to my site and work towards its further branding. It is also a way of showing, in a small sense, that you are a virtual part of the Vagabond Journey tribe — which is shown to your broader online community.

Social media has presented a way to “data-tize” the way that the human animal interacts socially, and quantitative information is now available to show what every fool has known forever: birds of a feather tend to flock together.

I am presenting an ideal oversimplification of the future of the interent, and I have also taken some pretty large interpretive liberties. I have not read too much about this, and this is only my opinion — but it is my feeling that the writing is clearly written on the wall: the internet will soon be ordered to serve the individual user. No longer will search results just present general results for a general population, rather they will present pages that are specifically recommend for YOU based upon what you view on the internet as well as they virtual signals that you send.

I do not feel as if this is inherently good or bad, it is just the way that it is. If you don’t mind others knowing that you like Vagabond Journey Travel — if you don’t mind wearing our virtual T-shirt — please click on the +1 buttons near the bottom of each page on this site. Doing so will, ultimately, help VagabondJourney.com move into the future.


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Filed under: Vagabond Journey Updates

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3722 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

7 comments… add one

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  • John D. Wilson June 2, 2011, 12:26 pm

    Good post Wade.
    I think your assumptions are pretty much on target.
    Orson Wells was right on target- he was just a bit early.
    Everything is going to be tracked – good or bad.
    It is all about getting ads in front of the consumer – only reason to track the information.
    John D. Wilson

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    • Wade Shepard June 2, 2011, 3:47 pm

      Thanks. Good point about “direct to individual” advertising. I didn’t go into that here, as it would be too much for this simple entry. But, yes, this is another — major — aspect of tracking everything people do on the internet. But, you are going to be advertised to no matter what, may as well be relevant.

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  • John June 2, 2011, 4:39 pm

    Good post Wade, One thing though.. If G takes this +1 into consideration for rankings in the serps, then that can turn into a nightmare. It is already easy enough to manipulate rankings, this would make it even easier. I was talking to my VA and they were thinking about offering +1 packages. Basically, they have thousands of gmail accounts all under unique IP’s and proxies. Spammers would have a field day with it, going around +1 everything under the sun. Hire a team of people in India and boost your way of the serps. I liked your previous post. I agreed and disgreed with it. The big boys are def taking over the main keywords. Then G wonders why people pull every trick under the sun to get higher rankings, making it hard for the small fish to survive . It’s BS. But that makes me change my game plan and go after the low hanging fruit that the big brands don’t want…YET.. You heard about JC Penny right? Trying to game G HARD this past season, they got hit hard but of course recovered and still going strong. Why? cause G would be a dam fool to penalize them long enough to hurt G’s bottom line. I think G puts on a REAL good act but at the end of the day, just another suit. I firmly believe you can still make a real nice living as a webmaster, It just makes me think outside the box more.

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    • Wade Shepard June 2, 2011, 5:12 pm

      Yup, the people with the cash are going to figure out ways to game the system, and, in this case, it is the big boys that fund the system. Any move that G makes is going to be watched, monitored, and, ultimately, somewhat figured out by the people who can cash in on it. This +1 thing will be no different that any other pull in the Big G’s algorithms. But, as a small webmaster, if it can help me at all why not do it? I have other social media buttons on the site so it is not going to hurt to try this one. Good call on coming up with ways to make a living on a website that is outside of the box, it is truly needed. Web traffic is becoming a lot like fishing. The old adage says that 10% of the fishermen catch 90% of the fish, well, 10% of the websites easily get over 90% of the traffic. The problem is that the percentages are getting smaller at each end of the bell curve. What can be done? Publishing on the internet is becoming like any other media: the big boys rule. Those fruits at the bottom of the tree are also being plucked hard by sites like Ehow and their ilk. I am getting the feeling we are being pushed ever more to the outer frays. Right now I am lifting some weights and am going to try to be a big boy, strut into the fray, and see what I can take.

      The problem is that I won’t cheat.

      I feel like a body builder who refuses to take steroids. Yeah, I can say have my self-righteous pride, but, in the end, I am just another loser hahaha.

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      • john June 5, 2011, 12:13 pm

        +1… Wade, I forgot to ask, how would your bank account looked if you had 5 sites like vagabound journey? say you make atleast $500 a month from vagabound, now if you had 5 sites, 2500 of passive income, not bad

  • john June 5, 2011, 12:24 pm

    oops, i meant straight off adsense revenue

    Link Reply
    • Wade Shepard June 5, 2011, 8:53 pm

      Hello John,

      Right on, it would be good to have a few more sites that had more monetizable topics (information sites tend to have very low visitor/ income ratios) to boost the income, but it is just a matter of the time to make them. I have been starting up mini-sites within VJT recently that have better monetizing potential than the travelogue — such as the travel gear section, which has been going well. I hope to expand to include airfare, hostel review, and other single topic mini-sites in the future. The problem is finding editors to run them, as I am pretty much book up with my commitment to current projects. I would be willing to split profits with the editors, but these will be pretty slim until there is a large body of content built up. VJT is pretty well established, so putting up travel related content on another domain would not really be advantageous — a page put up here is going to do better in terms of bringing in traffic than a page on a new domain.

      Good suggestion about diversifying my platform though. Someday I may branch out into other realms.

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