Plus One ButtonIts been plainly obvious for a very long time that Google wants to become more social. Take a look at ‘Google Wave’ and ‘Google Buzz’, both of which flopped significantly. So what makes this latest product any different? Well, so far, it appears to be the only product created to directly compete with the Facebook ‘like’ button for determining what content is most relevant to an individual.  Appearing as a small icon next to every search result and text advertisement, users can then recommend these to their friends by ‘+1ing’ them. In Googles own words:

The +1 button is shorthand for "this is pretty cool" or "you should check this out."

Sometimes it’s easier to find exactly what you’re looking for when someone you know already found it.

Get recommendations for the things that interest you, right when you want them, in your search results.

So how does this work? For a start you need a Gmail account. You should be signed into your account for the button to appear next to your search results. You can then +1 any content you find useful, in a similar way to ‘liking’ a page or product on Facebook. The icon will change from transparent to blue, signalling you have +1’d it. Your friends (those that have a gmail account) will then be able to see your recommendations on links if they operate a similar search. This will also appear on a new tab in your Google account, the +1 tab, which can be set to public or private as you prefer. Google also plans to release ‘add ons’ so the button can be incorporated into news blogs and such. The +1, just like the ‘like’, will be posted on websites and advertisements making the task of search a more social affair.

For me, the success of Google +1 remains in doubt. Whilst the amount of +1’s combined with Googles ‘Panda update’ this year should result in much cleaner and significant search results, i cant help but feel this latest Google product will head the same way as Wave and Buzz. Maybe Google should just stick what its best at?

 As you climb the ladder of success, be sure it’s leaning against the right building. – Quoted from "P.S. I Love You" compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Hayley

Search Analyst at Silkstream
SEO, blogger and Google geek. Committed to helping small business thrive during economic austerity.