June 1, 2011, 4:23 PM

Follow me, like me

Google and Twitter debut technology for consumers to share and follow retailers' online content.

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Google Inc. and Twitter released separate tools this week that make it easier for retailers to reach online shoppers. The Google feature can let a consumer influence the search results her friends will see on Google, including promoting products she likes, while Twitter’s new tool makes it easier for consumers to receive messages from their favorite e-retailers.

Google today made available code that enables any web site to add a +1 recommendation button to any web page. When Google launched the +1 recommendation tool in March, it allowed web users to indicate they like a particular Google search result, similar to the way Facebook members use that social network’s Like button. +1 recommendations are reflected in the search results that other consumers see and are one of the signals used to calculate organic search results on Google.

Google says consumers will soon see the +1 button on Best Buy and Nordstrom e-retail sites. “With a single click, you can recommend that raincoat, news article or favorite sci-fi movie to friends, contacts and the rest of the world,” Google says in a blog post announcing the expansion of +1.

Webmasters can get the code and instructions on how to add it to sites on Google’s +1 webmaster site.

Meanwhile, microblogging social network Twitter also released web code this week that makes it easier and faster for consumers to start following e-retailers’ Twitter posts. E-retailers that embed a Twitter “follow” button on their sites enable consumers logged into their Twitter accounts to subscribe to the e-retailer’s posts. Previously, to subscribe to a feed, consumers had to visit an e-retailer’s Twitter page and click to subscribe to the feed. Adding the new code makes it possible to bypass that step and keep the consumer on the e-retail site.

“For publishers and brands, adding the follow button to your web site and using Twitter to stay connected with your audience is a powerful combination. People who follow your account are much more likely to retweet and engage with your tweets, and to repeatedly visit your web site,” says a Twitter blog post announcing the follow button.

Webmasters can configure a follow button for their web site by visiting the resources section of Twitter.com.

Zhiheng Wang, staff software engineer at Google, will speak at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition 2011 in a session entitled “Do your web pages need a new fitness regimen?

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