In the upcoming weeks a significant change to the way people view Google search will occur.
The addition of a +1 button on the right side of Google’s search results will allow users to recommend web-page search results. According to Google’s official announcement 1+ is the digital shorthand for “this is pretty cool,” kind of like Facebook’s Like button. Upon searching on Google, next to a search result will be a grayed out +1 button, and when pressed, you’re saying to the world and your network that you recommend this link. The recommendation will be placed in your Google Profile, and will be seen by anyone in your network, including contacts, chat buddies, etc. There is also an option to keep this information private if you choose so in your profile. Upon doing a search while logged in, all of your +1s or +1s from your network will be enhanced, resulting in a small blip for example that reads, Jane Doe and 17 other people +1’d this. If a search result has gained a lot of +1s but not from people in your network, the number of people without specific names will be viewable. Although Google is mainly focusing on search optimization, in the next few months expect to see a little 1+ button next to Facebook’s Like button and Twitter’s Tweet button on webpages.
The response for the +1 button has been generally positive, but that doesn’t stop a few people from speculating the exploits of user generated recommendations. Will large companies influence employees to click the +1 button for higher visibility? Facebook and Twitter both have algorithms in place to gauge social influence and avoid misuse but does Google have the same? Google stresses that the recommendations will come from people who matter using signals to identify the most useful endorsements, basically your network. One has to wonder how this is going to affect the way people search on Google. With a more optimized search experience, tailored to your likes and the likes of friends and family; the current months will prove interesting for how this will change the Googling experience.
Users of English Google can start +1ing by upgrading an existing Google profile or by creating one, and if you’re still in a hurry try out Google’s experimental search site.