Last week we introduced you to Google’s new social network, Google+. This week we are looking at a subset of this, and the first ever social search integration, Google’s +1. The +1 button, fully released early last month, will bring personalized social recommendations to the world’s largest and most popular search engine.
Similar in function to the Facebook “Like” button, Google’s +1 indicates a personal recommendation on search results. Incorporating personal social recommendations all over the Google network will possibly change the way we choose which search results to actually click on, and can therefore change the approach to search engine marketing.
What & Where
Basically, the Google +1 button is an easy way of saying “this is cool” or “check this out”. The direct impact of Google Plus on site traffic is unknown so far, since it’s so new, but we can anticipate it changing the way users choose to select sites that come up in search. You will be able to find the +1 button directly next to search results and on the page itself. Google has released the short code to embed the +1 on your site, which lets visitors know just how many people have recommended you. If you pay for Google AdWords PPC, the +1 will also show up next to your ad.
In Google Search, anyone who is logged in while searching will see the +1 button. The aggregate annotations are public to everyone, and signed in users will also see personalized +1s from their address book in Gmail, contacts in Google Talk, and people in their circles on Google+. We expect that these personalized annotations will become the most useful, since they are coming from individuals with whom the user already communicates with.
The +1 button will be useful for not only the users, who will be getting personalized recommendations from friends and colleagues they know and trust, but it will be equally useful for business, whose page will be shown as recommended to the contacts of everyone who adds the +1. In addition, +1 will also impact the ranking and relevancy according to Google. Google assumes +1s to be highly recommended, highly relevant, and highly credible, thus ranking it above a similar site with fewer or no +1s.
So how will adding a +1 button help your business? Well, sites with a number of aggregated +1’s may increase your page’s visibility in search results and because the +1’s are all added by users, all of their contacts will see your page as highly recommended, thus drawing traffic to your site. Google is constantly changing their algorithm and this new ranking symbol is sure to have an impact on search results and overall traffic.
Innately, all search results will come up with a +1 button next to the page title. In addition, webmasters have the opportunity to add the button itself onto the page by adding this code:
<!– Place this tag in your head or just before your close body tag –>
<!– Place this tag where you want the +1 button to render –>
Each website owner tends to know their visitors best, so when determining where to put the button on the page, consider the location where your viewers will notice it and where it can be most effective. I recommend near the page title or next to sharing links. Also note that Google is likely to crawl your pages with the new +1 button, so now is a good time to go over your Meta data and content, as well.