Skip to main content

Google introduces the “+1” button

Google just introduced a bold new feature today that could (maybe) become quite a huge thing: +1’s.

At first glance it doesn’t seem like much: when viewing search results (and related ads), you can click the “+1” icon next to a result to show that you approve of it.  When your friends have those same sites come up in their search results, they’ll see that you approved of it.  Here’s a quick video showing how it works:

They’re slowly rolling it out on the main Google site, but you can activate it now by turning it on in the Google Experimental Labs page.

The tricky part is how Google will determine who your “friends” are.  On Facebook it’s quite clear; with Google, not so much.  For now they’ll be using your Google Contacts, Buzz followers, chat buddies and other Google tools, and may eventually tie into sources like Twitter to try to make the recommendations as solid as possible.

Sometime in the future, websites will have the ability to add “+1” icons to their pages, similar to the Facebook “Like” buttons that are showing up everywhere.

The big criticism I’m hearing so far is that you won’t want to +1 a search result until you’ve actually visited the site, but by then you’re not likely to go back to the search results to do it.  Very true.  However, this is where Google could make this thing huge — if I were to add a +1 button on my site, and it’s tied to the +1 in the search results, I’ll have no choice but to add it to all of my sites or be left behind.  Google is by far the biggest search engine, and that’s not changing any time soon.  If all of my competition has +1’s by their search results and I don’t, I’m toast.  Expect to see a ton of websites add this feature as soon as it becomes available.

One last piece of this is that they show all of your +1’s on your Google Profile (if you enable that feature).  For example, here’s mine.  Not especially valuable, but an interesting addition.

So this thing could turn out to be pretty big, but in the meantime it’s kind of a cute toy.

About the Author

Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

View Mickey's Profile

More from Our Blog

H1 & H2: Why You Should Always Use Headers in Your Website Content

Not only do headers make online content easier for humans to understand, but header tags (like H1 and H2) also guide bots on how to...

Read More
white printer paper on white table

5 Benefits of a Podcast for Your Business

The audience for podcasts has grown steadily over the past decade, and the amount of diverse content out there means there truly is something for…

Read More
positive black woman talking to radio host

Case Studies: Telling Client Stories To Help Build Brand Awareness

Using stories of your existing clients and past projects gives your experience specificity. In marketing, we call these case studies—which is a boring name for...

Read More
white ruled book