SEO Shop Puts 50 Google +1s on Sale for Just $9.99

You knew it had to happen, right? As soon as Google opened up its search engine to "social signals," the search engine optimization shops had to find ways to game the system. One,, an arm of*, is offering +1s at the rate of 50 for $10, 250 for $30, or 2,000 for $170. In a galling turn, the company says, "Buying Plus Ones can help your site out by showing Google that the content featured on it or the page being is of value to real people and not spammy." That is to say, you should buy their spammy +1 service to prove to Google that your content is not spammy. Ugh.

But there's more. Plussem has thought of everything, it seems, in terms of making the +1s seem the most authentic. Here's what they promise:

  • 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

From watching the trouble that Digg, Reddit, and their ilk have had stopping even amateur operations from beating their upvoting systems, I shudder to think what a professional operation will do to +1ing on the open Internet.

And another note: this is only possible because of the wild labor market that now exists for digital work. It's just a numbers game. If you can get X number of people hitting that +1 button to drive your sales up by more than you pay them, then it works. And in a way, it's a nice, market-based redistribution of money. Instead of paying a few high-priced advertising firms to drive sales, you pay a ton of very poor people with Internet access in developing countries a tiny slice of the money you would have spent on traditional marketing before.

The downside is that all of that social blocking and tackling is invisible to search engine users. They think The Magic Google Machine decided they should buy from one place rather than another because it's "more relevant."

*Correction 7/26: This story originally gave the company URL here as when it is, in fact, We regret the error.

Via @sheigh.

Presented by

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus


How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.


Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.


The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.


Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.


Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses


Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In