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Well, no. Unless Google is shooting itself in the foot, then either the research is wrong or pages that attract +1's are hosted and linked to in more SEO friendly ways.

Google is really unlikely to be blatantly and obviously fixing its rankings. That is the golden goose. everything goes away when that is shown to be true in public.

it's really quite simple. The pages that get more +1s and likes and comments and whatever metric you want are the ones that are good. The ones that are good also get more links and other signals that are used in algorithms. The hidden middle-factor here is "quality."

That, or simply: "the pages that have more +1s have them because they ranked and got more traffic. e.g. nobody's +1ing pages that they can't find."

When sites.google.com first came out it ranked their own pages much better than a new site (they've since turned it down a bit). Many tech reporters say the only reason they use Google+ is to post stories on there because Google will rank it more highly than their own site.

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