Google has introduced  a new feature in its suite of social search services — the +1 button. Similar to Facebook’s ubiquitous Like Button, the +1 enables users to exchange recommendations within Google’s search results. Eventually users will also be able to “+1” on sites across the web.
Like Facebook’s Like Button or Twitter’s ‘Tweet This’ button, which have quickly spread across the Internet, Google’s +1 seeks to employ a user’s social graph to improve their search experience, making it quicker and more personal. As Rob Spiro, Product Manager, writes in Google’s blog post introducing the service, “The beauty of +1’s is their relevance — you get the right recommendations (because they come from people who matter to you), at the right time (when you are actually looking for information about that topic) and in the right format (your search results).”
Google’s recent launches of Buzz and now the +1 feature highlights the growing interconnection between search and social, and the increased role that relationship will play in integrated marketing strategies. As Mike Jarvinen, VP Marketing Strategy at The Search Agency, explains, “Coming to your local webpage: ‘Tweet This, Like This or +1 This.’ It makes sense that Google would get in the game – it will it provide the same type of open graph over time that Facebook and Twitter have made ubiquitous. By allowing that integration directly in SEM ads and SEO results with potential signals of helping rankings (won’t help quality score for ads yet but who knows about the future), there is potential to make a big splash in not only how we think about search but also how we think about truly integrated marketing with search at its center.”
In addition, marketers will have a new source of data to gauge the effectiveness of ad copy and web content. As Josh Peters, Social Media Manager at The Search Agency, explains, ” With the +1 feature, webmasters (via Google Webmaster Tools) will be able to see how many times their pages are +1’d and advertisers will be able to see what ads get +1’d as well. An altruistic view of this is that we will be able to know which content is liked more and thus as content creators and advertisers we can make better and better content and targeted ads. I think the full breadth of this has yet to be envisioned, but with all the updates Google has done recently to social search and Google Profiles it looks like bigger things are in the works.”
The service should become widely available over the next couple of months. Have you given it a try yet? Let us know your early impressions and what impact the +1 will have on your marketing strategy.