Google Inc. today announced the launch of +1, a social recommendation tool that enables web users to indicate they like a particular Google search result; the tool will soon be available for non-Google web pages like e-retail product pages and news articles. Google says the +1 signal is then reflected in the search results of others. Google says +1s will influence organic search results.
“We’re confident that +1, combined with all of the social content we’re now including in search, will mean even better, more relevant results than you get today,” says Rob Spiro, Google product manager, in a blog post today.
To use +1, which Google says is tech speak for “this is pretty cool,” a web user must activate a Google public profile in his Google Account. The +1 button will then appear next to search results and paid search ads. If a web user wants to recommend a particular search result, he clicks the +1 button.
Google then displays that recommendation to other users when that result appears in a search. When someone in that user’s network of contacts, such as Gmail contacts, sees that result, Google includes the name of the contact and says he +1’d this. A Google product video that explains the service describes +1 as way to give a bit of advice and for “you and your friends to find things in Google search.” It is unclear whether names will be attached in the +1 recommendations of people outside the network or if Google will display the cumulative tally of +1s, similar to the way the number of Facebook Likes are shown.
Google says +1 is now available only for English-language natural and paid search results, but that users will soon be able to find and click the +1 button on other web content, such as on e-retail product pages, blogs and news sites.
Google says +1s will be calculated into how it determines organic search rankings, but says +1s won’t change how it calculates quality scores. Quality scores help determine when a paid ad appears in search results. “Think of +1 buttons as an enhancement that can help already successful search campaigns perform even better,” says Google’s Dan Friedman.