Google launches Plus One

We have all become accustomed to the Facebook “like” button. Today Google fights back with its own “Google Plus One” button, so now you will be able to do a search on Google and effectively give a search result a thumbs up. Google’s Plus One service could potentially be a game changer.

Currently, there are reportedly two per cent of Google searchers who are able to see this new feature – and you will need to be logged in to see it. You can even have a go at enabling Google Plus One for your own account at Google Experimental Labs.

Here is an example.

Google Plus One example

So why would Google do this? Quite honestly, if it doesn’t, it will be left behind. Let’s face it, everyone knows you can manipulate where you appear on the Google search engine results page – we do it every day for our clients. But what you can’t fake is a social recommendation. The plan is that Google will show mini pictures of people in your network who have liked a result, thus giving it a social recommendation which will make you, the humble searcher, more likely to click the results. 

Google Plus One will also boost Google’s ability to decide which website gets to the top of the list by taking into account the amount of people who “like” (err sorry, I mean “Plus One”) its listings.

Google Plus One, still in its initial stages, is a little flawed. People are hardly going to “like” a result before they have even clicked on it (unless it’s their own, of course). But don’t worry: Google is launching a Plus One button which you can put on your website, right next to your Facebook Like and Twitter Tweet button. This is where it will start to get interesting.

Google Plus One is a new feature that we are certainly keeping an eye on. I look forward to sharing amore detailed post when we have collected some data.

Guy Levine is the founder of Return on Digital

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