July 20, 2011

How Google’s +1 button will change search

Debra AskanaseIn late March, Google announced the arrival of its version of the “Like” button, the +1 button, and the world waited to find out what that would really mean. With the launch of Google Plus, it’s pretty clear that “+1″ and Google Plus, Google’s brand new social network, are Google’s play for  social graph domination. While Google Plus has been all the rage the past two weeks, one overlooked point is how the +1 button will change the way we search, interact with search results and use the Web in the future.

Google holds about 64 percent of the total search market. Though Google lost some market share last year to Bing, this should change with the use of Google’s +1 button. In fact, a recent study of 10,000 of the Web’s largest sites found a 33 percent surge in the number of sites adopting +1 in the last few weeks.

What is the +1 button?

In its simplest form, +1 is a button for individuals to publicly share what content they enjoy on the Web. As explained by Google:

“+1’ing is a public action. Anyone on the web can potentially see that you’ve +1’d content when they’re searching on Google or viewing content you’ve +1’d. For this reason, you should only +1 pages when you’re comfortable sharing your recommendation with the world.

Your +1’s may appear to anyone who sees the pages you’ve +1’d. However, we’ll try to display your +1’s to people (specifically those in your social connections) who would find them most useful. Similarly, the +1’s you see will typically be from people in your social connections.”

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