Photo: JimReeves via Flickr
SEO shop Plussem.com is putting Google +1s for sale, The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal reports. You can buy 50 for $10, 250 for $30, or 2,000 for $170.
Something like this was inevitable. Google uses those little +1 sharing buttons it puts next to search results as a criterion in its all-important rankings. So of course someone is going to try to game the system and make money from it.
But what’s scarier is that it looks like it may very well work. Plussem promises:
- 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
Google can come up with lots of ways to fight against SEO tactics, but we don’t really see how it can beat those. Meanwhile SEO shops can hire people from developing countries and pay them a cent per +1 to game Google’s results.
When it comes to search, Google increasingly looks like a victim of its own success.