Fifty ClickMob accounts on non-social sites are worth a lot more, for a short time you could totally dominate sites like HN, Slashdot and Reddit. But Google+ accounts that are not connected to relevant people, I just don't see the value...
Google may also show aggregate +1's in their search results in the future (so social proof right in the search results):
>>And even if none of your friends are baristas or caffeine addicts, we may still show you how many people across the web have +1’d your local coffee shop.
>>For instance, your +1 could appear as part of an anonymous aggregated count of the people who have also +1’d the same thing
EDIT: For tl;dr, The article mentions that +1s are likely coming from developing countries.
In fact, I would be very surprised if Google _didn't_ weight +1 data, and simply used the total number as their "+1 Signal".
These kind of service ("liking", "digging", and anything that involves "votes" of some kind) has been offered since forever, why would it be any different with Google's +1?
1. Attempt to detect these scam +1 votes, and either ignore them or penalise the targetted sites (although the latter is risky as it can be exploited to destroy the ranking of competitors)
2. Focus on encouraging more genuine use of the +1 button, so any +1 results that can affordably be bought are lost in the noise.
3. The spy vs spy option. Start selling +1 votes themselves under a dummy name, and then immediately remove them as spam (whilst optionally continuing to display them in google analytics). Google could of course afford to undercut all other sellers, and their +1 selling services could appear at the top of all relevant searches, rather than other sites attempting the same.
Option 1 seems the most likely for google, but if I were a small startup I'd definitely pick option 3, then blog about it a few months later.
Could Google just see a site get 1,000 +1's in a week and then never get another for 2 weeks and then blacklist it like the above news algorithm?
So now Google has hundreds of +1 votes coming from otherwise legitimate users. How do they fight that?
edit: didn't find the actual site, but similar: http://www.freelancer.com/projects/Internet-Marketing-Link-B...