Battle of the Titans: Google+ One Button vs. Facebook’s New Subscribe Button

by Joanne Steele on September 15, 2011


I take my role very seriously, of keeping track of what’s important and necessary for small local business owners to pay attention to on the internet.

Mongolian wrestlers

Two titans! Facebook on the left and Google on the right.

Rural tourism businesses used to be the ones who needed to pay close attention to their internet marketing, since they depended on it to communicate with their customers in urban centers.

Now, with the rise in the use of smartphones and local searches, everyone in business needs to pay attention to the internet.

This means paying attention to the two Titans, Google and Facebook. 

Google controls nearly 70% of all searches online, and Facebook equivalent in size to the third largest country in the world. The Battle of the Titans is heating up over the past several weeks and everyone in business needs to pay attention.

Here’s what is happening and what you, a small local business owner, need to do.

About the time Google rolled out their new social networking platform, Google+, they also made a little Plus One button available. You’ll see it at the top of this post. (If you like this post be sure to hit that button.)

It’s Google’s equivalent of the “Like” button for Facebook. (You can hit that button to the right of this post too.)

The big question for Google is how to get Facebook lovers to join Google+? How can they use their position as top search engine, as the teaspoon of sugar to make the medicine of managing two social networks go down?

The answer may be surfacing….

I knew something was afoot, and sure enough, the internet has been buzzing about a conversation between a Forbes Magazine writer and some high level Google masterminds about their plans for that little PlusOne button.

It seems that the Google wonks let the cat out of the bag by intimating that Plus Ones would figure in how your website would be ranked for searches on Google! Read the Forbes article “Stick Google Plus Buttons On Your Pages, Or Your Search Traffic Dies” quick, before someone figures out how to send it into cyberspace forever. It was removed from the Forbes site shortly after publication.

Google has come under scrutiny by the Feds about fairness in configuring their search algorithm, so they backpedaled like mad. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t true!!

Yes, when you PlusOne a website it notifies everyone in your circle at Google+, but now we can be somewhat certain that it has much greater implications for your business placement on search engines.

So what do you do? You put a little Google Plus button on your website and ask, even beg your customers/visitors/readers to hit it. (Go ahead, hit that little puppy at the top of the page!)

Here are two websites that will show you how to do that, or contact your webmaster and have them do it for you.,

I’m sure there will be more about this later. Stay tuned. If it will impact your business, you’ll hear about it here.

But that is not all! Facebook fights back with a Subscribe Button!

If you’ve tried to find anything on Facebook you’ve probably realized that the Facebook search function sucks!  It’s definitely not Google quality partly because of all the privacy settings we use thinking that somehow we can use Facebook and still have some privacy.

With the new Subscribe Button, you can allow people who are not “friends” to see some of the content you post in your news feed. When you configure your Subscribe Button, you can choose how public you want to be.

If you decide to go “public,” Facebook can index what you post and make it available through its ramped up search function.

This is good news for small local business owners!

You are your business. Your personality and tastes dictate what your business looks like and how you serve your customers. YOU are part of the authentic experience of your business.


Yes, it is important for you to have a business page, but allowing your customer to be a part of your Facebook life via your profile gives them another taste of why they love your business so much – you!

Get over the idea that there is anything private about Facebook. There isn’t. It’s as public as any small town gossip circuit.

Follow this rule for posting anything on Facebook – if you don’t want your Mother or your Preacher to know about it, don’t post it!

Then, wean yourself from Mafia Wars and Farmville – all those game posts make you look really silly and frivolous – and enable that Subscribe button on your website and let the world know how wonderful you are!

Go to the Facebook help pages to learn how to set up “Subscribe,” and manage the privacy settings.

Let these two titans keep fighting it out. It’s all good for small local business owners as long as we use the options they toss around in this battle.

Here are several posts you might have missed about Facebook and Google:

How Facebook is like Your Rotary Club

Using Facebook Lists to Organize Your Customers and Friends

Google Alerts Can Help Small Rural Tourism Businesses Become More Profitable

Photo on Flickr by istolethetv

1 Marco September 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm

The Google +1 button is similar to the facebook like button. However, I think the +1 button will dominate as the Google+ network grows.

Also, I found out that you can even buy +1 now on sites like and

What do you think about this?

2 Joanne Steele September 20, 2011 at 11:00 am

Not a good idea. Trying to work around Google’s parameters is like poking a cobra. You’re sure to get bitten, and a “bite” from Google means you get shunted off into cyberspace where nobody can find you. Business that concentrate on providing good content, who put some time into connecting and building relationships will get all the google+’s they deserve.

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