Flaw or Feature? Google+ Pages Can Lose Their Ability to +1

As a Google+ Local Page brand manager, one of my duties is often to build a following for a Google+ Page. There are many ways a Google+ Page can build a following such as resharing, engaging, and +1ing. On a couple of the pages I manage, I had a circle created of certain people and pages which I followed. I would +1 many of the things people in this circle posted. I also had a circle of other individuals located near the business which I would regularly engage with by commenting, mentioning, and of course, adding a +1 to many of their posts.

Yesterday, April 21, 2014, using my personal account, I visited the profile of an account that I had just +1d from a page and noticed the +1 was not showing. I went back to the page and visited this profile and it said the +1 was there. I gave it a few hours and nothing changed.

At first I thought that maybe there was a maximum number of +1s a page can give. But what is the number? 1,500? 2,000? And is it permanent? Or do you get 1,500 +1s per month? And if so is it 1,500 for every 30 days, or 1,500 in a calendar month?

Next, I tested unplussing things to see if my “plus power” would come back. This was a painful process but fortunately there were at least 3 profiles that I had plussed many things on and I have circled people who I regularly plus. I went back and “unplussed” hundreds of my previous +1s, surely enough to get the page back under the potential 1,500 +1 threshold. It did not help.

missing plus one

What I know so far:

  • 2 of the pages I manage lost their +1 ability on or around April 3, 2014.
  • When a page that has lost it’s +1 ability +1s something, the recipient of the +1 gets a notification saying they received a +1, but if they “view post activity” the +1 is not visible.
  • When a page that has lost it’s +1 ability +1s something, it is still visible to the PAGE but invisible to everyone else, even the recipient. The +1 does not affect the # of +1s on the recipients account UNLESS you are logged into the page that has provided the invisible +1.
  • +1s given prior to April 3, 2014 still display publicly.

 What I’m not sure about:

Did the page get tagged as spam? It still shows up in search. It is a genuine business page tied to a verified local business. There have been no communications from Google. It is possible, but I do not think it is spam (and the page has NOT been spamming).

Potential test:

Someone could potentially set up a new page and go +1 a ton of posts and see how long it takes for a page to lose its +1 ability. I am not going to do this at the moment but I’d love to know how it works out.


I can not disclose which page this is as I’m under NDA. The issue is easy enough to replicate anyways.


I will follow up on the case of the missing +1 when I know more. At the moment I am guessing that there is a bug in the Google+ system.

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