Recently, Google unveiled its response to Facebook’s “Like” button with the +1 feature in search results. The new feature places a “+1” icon alongside your search results, giving Google users the ability to recommend Google search results, websites, and ads to friends within their social circle.
While this feature is helpful for searchers who are looking for the best solution for an answer, Google’s + 1 will be much more beneficial to site owners and small businesses alike.
Google’s +1 button is now available as an add-on for your small business website, much like the Twitter, Facebook or Digg buttons that you can use to optimize your SEO and social marketing efforts (want to “+1″ this article? We added the Google +1 button to the right column of our blog). By adding the +1 button to your site, visitors won’t have to back out of your site to click the +1 button in Google’s search results, streamlining the entire process. And who would recommend a search result to their friends before actually clicking on the link?
There are already a number of ways for your fans to socially share your business’ content with their friends, so why add another button? Google hasn’t given us everything on its social efforts, but much of the talk recently is the inclusion of social cues in search results. Currently, Google’s search algorithm takes into account time on your website, bounce rate and counting links to measure popularity, all of which will continue to be relevant, but Google’s +1 will add new insight.
Think of Google +1 as not only a popularity vote for your site, but also a trusted vote when used within someone’s social network (generally, friends don’t spam one another). Just think of the potential value this can have for your business. It’s like word of mouth marketing, but on the Internet’s largest platform.
Will Google’s +1 trump other methods of social sharing? Probably not, but it will definitely be a game changer, and one that your small business should not ignore. Will you be adding Google’s +1 to your website or blog? Sound off in the comments below!