Throwing more weight solidly behind their social media effort; Google has now announced a new feature called “+1” (plus one) which allows Google users to recommend effective search results to their friends by clicking a button.
Potentially transforming the way people search; the +1 button will appear next to organic search results, and will let users vote for web pages they’ve found useful with a simple click. This allows people to recommend pages to friends without having to broadcast it across other social media platforms.
Beginning today, the button will start to appear on search results; eventually becoming a stand-alone button, which can be added to web pages in the same way as the Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons.
When you click the button, it’ll light up in colours and tell you you’ve “+1’d” the search result, and give you the option to undo. It’ll also tell you the names of other people in your network (your Google +1 network) who have liked a particular search, and if loads of people who aren’t in your network have recommended it – you’ll just be shown the number of people who have “+1’d” it.
Whilst we think this idea could evolve the way we search; could it also create another opportunity for spammers to take advantage of the system? Companies may begin to outsource a +1 campaign and create obstacles for the genuinely recommended sites. As long as Google monitors any abnormal fluctuations in +1’s, we think the system has a chance of really making an impact.
As the button is only currently available for people with a Google profile, we suggest creating one (if you don’t already have one); so over the coming months you can begin recommending web pages to contacts from your Gmail, Google Reader, or Google Buzz.
With a future intention to create a connection between +1ing and your other social networks, we think this search innovation could spread its way through the branches of social media.
With no idea about how this will affect SEO as we know it; we’ll be on the edge of our seats to see if this revolutionises the way we search, or becomes a meaningless and unnecessary extra, overrun by spammers.