Google recently announced the launch of its “+1” button, a new social tool that will have major implications on how your company’s website will be ranked on Google. The feature is similar to Facebook’s “like” button. Google’s button will allow users to recommend sites and share those recommendations with their Google contacts through a single click of a button.
How is +1 different from Facebook’s Like button?
Facebook’s Like is all about sharing your preferences, your Likes, with your entire network. Google characterizes the functionality of +1 as a tool to improve your online search experience. When you click +1, those “recommendations” are only shared with you in the context of providing more relevant search content.
The +1 button influences the rankings of websites and Google’s Ads within natural and paid search results listings. As a user, you will also have the ability to select to have recommended sites more visible in your search results.
Google will allow developers to add the +1 button onto websites. Facebook’s Like has a big head start — more than 2 million sites have it installed. According to Mashable, however, “Google plans to offer publishers a +1 button that lets readers +1 something without leaving the publisher’s site. Google’s button will instantly have a lot of appeal, given the company says +1 data will directly influence its market share-dominating search rankings.”
The benefits of +1
In this short promo video, Google describes the +1 button as a way for you and your friends to find relevant information in a sea of options.
So what does this mean?
- Implementing the +1 button on your website will be a way to increase search engine optimization rankings.
- Mashable believes that the +1 button will be bad for content farms, because people will have no reason to +1 bad content. Instead, only quality content will receive organic +1 marks.
- Search will improve, as this will be a signal to improve search relevance.
- The +1 button will have an impact on click-through rates of both search results as well as Google ad content.
- Users will be required to have a Google profile to use the +1 button. As Google gets more profiles they will gather more data on users to utilize for ad targeting. This will ultimately lead to better accuracy.
The breakthrough here is adding a social element to search from the end user perspective. Today Google and its competitors are increasingly searching social media content and boosting the results high in search result rankings. What +1 stands to do is further filter out bad content and promote more relevant content based on the input of users instead of just relying on search spiders and algorithms.
We won’t see the full impact of +1 for months. In fact, it won’t be used by the masses for some time. Although the new feature has not been released to all searchers, if you are interested in testing +1 out, visit Google.com/experimental.
Have you tried +1 yet?