Social Search evolved one step further again this week with the introduction of Google +1 (pronounced ‘Plus one)’ to rival Facebook’s Like button that is seen on thousands of third party websites.
Initially only a small group of Google.com users in the US (searching in English and logged into a Google account) will see the +1 button next to search results, but expect this to be rolled out across the globe in the coming weeks.
I wrote a couple of blogs last month on how Google and Bing had updated their Social Search results and in particular the introduction of the Facebook Like button to Bing results in the US. So what is Google +1 and how will it affect the way we search?
Google + 1 is a small icon that will appear next to organic search listings and Google Adwords text ads on Search results. According to Google..
“The +1 button is shorthand for “this is pretty cool” or “you should check this out.”
Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1’s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.”
The idea is that if you like a site you click on you can recommend it to your social network by hitting the + 1 button. This will then enhance that listing in future searches by people in your social network and may display your beneath the listing in search results.
To use +1 you will first need to create a public Google profile. This will allow people to see what you recommend and friends who have your email address will be able to easily find it. Any +1’s you add will turn blue and be stored in a tab on your Google profile giving you the option to share them either with the world or keep them private for your own record of what you like on the web.
Regardless of whether you choose to publicly share your +1’s tab or keep them private they will still be visible to others viewing the content you +1’d as part of an anonymous count of people who have +1’d the same thing.
For organic listings stats will also be available in Google Webmaster Tools allowing all website owners to keep track of what content on their site is popular.
In addition to the icon appearing alongside organic listings Google +1 will also appear next to Adwords text ads. According to Google all ads will be getting these buttons and there is not going to be an option for advertisers to turn them off. Stats will also be available on which of your adverts are getting +1’d.
Although the +1 icons will initially only be seen in Search Engine listings Google have also stated that in the coming months website owners will be able to place the icon on their web pages. This will work in a similar way to Social sharing icons like the Facebook Like and Tweet this buttons already seen across the web.
You can also find out more about Google +1 on the following links: