There is certainly no shortage of actions to take when you land on a good page: you can Like it, Follow it, Digg it, Reddit, StumbleUpon it, Bizzingo it, +1 it, and you can even read it. While Facebook’s Like button is the most prominent, and the most powerful, Google is facing the challenge with equal simplicity and a growing number of sites featuring the button.
The point of Google’s +1 feature is to produce more individualized search results which harness the power of social networking. The feature is available to webmasters across the board, and with enough use, it can be a powerful tool with which Google hopes to challenge Facebook in the social arena. Google has already informed webmasters that their +1 statistics will affect organic search results (and Google is the first stop in the majority of online sales, according to a Bank of America survey, so search results matter). This is obviously an incentive for sites to incorporate the button.
Unlike other of Google’s social efforts, the +1 will be more central to users’ search experience. Webmasters will promote the +1 for traffic, and in turn, Google, for relevant searches, will display the faces of friends that have +1’d. Again, end users get the benefit of personalized results, but businesses benefit from the exposure and connection to your network. It will, by its sheer, ubiquitous, presence be more noticeable and noticed than Buzz .
Users signed into Google accounts will see the +1 figuring prominently in future searches. Since its March launch, it has been limited to Google results and ads. Step two makes +1 available to webmasters, which will allow users to expand their +1ing to services, articles, products, and more.
+1 will help SEO efforts in that Google uses these statistics to help determine page rank. Search results have already incorporated social results, and the extra pull of friends’ influence can help add credibility to PPC campaigns and improve click-through-rates. +1 is an endorsement, so your site is given automatic credibility.
Have you added +1 to your site yet?