The big news today was Google’s announcement that they were introducing an experimental +1 button for search results and advertising.
+1 is a kind of Facebook Like button for search, a way for friends to add their endorsement to search results.
When performing a search you’ll be able to hit the +1 button and that will alert other people in your network that you think a link or ad is noteworthy or cool.
This is how Google describe their new button:
Today we’re taking that a step further, enabling you to share recommendations with the world right in Google’s search results. It’s called +1—the digital shorthand for “this is pretty cool.” To recommend something, all you have to do is click +1 on a webpage or ad you find useful. These +1’s will then start appearing in Google’s search results.
+1’s in the aggregate show up in search results. Details are scant. Conceivably the total number of people in a person’s network who have clicked the +1 button will show up in search results in much the same way as Facebook’s Like button shows the total number of people who have Liked a web page.
As with the Like button recommendations aren’t all equal. For example, let’s say I wanted to find out about the latest Ducati Diavel road bike. A search may reveal several people in my network have added a +1 endorsement. But it’s the thinking behind their endorsement that’s more important to me. I want to know why they Plus-ed it. What was it about that search result or ad made it worthy of their endorsement? And that’s missing with Google +1. The only action someone can take is to click the +1 button. It’s a thin popularity indicator.
And that may lead Google to somehow combine Google Buzz – that pretty much tanked – and +1. That would give people the chance to say something about the rationale behind the +1 vote. At least then others could comment on their recommendation providing a more robust form of endorsement.
But until Google provide a way for publishers to add a +1 button to their site it’s all going to amount to a hill of beans. That’s their plans but as of right now they still haven’t rolled it out publicly. Why that’s the case is not clear.
Will I add +1 to this website? Probably, but I don’t expect it to change the world. The Facebook Like button is another proposition altogether.