So the big question is whether Google +1 will gain enough momentum to be as popular as Facebook Like and Twitter and what impact will that have on Google search results.
What is Google +1?
In a nutshell, Google +1 is a way for people to indicate whether they like a particular piece of content.
It’s Google’s attempt to compete with Facebook’s “Like” button which has virtually become the de-facto standard for sharing and giving a thumbs up for content we like or find interesting.
What Effect Will Google +1 Have On Search Results?
That’s certainly what a lot of people are asking. At this stage, the effect is quite minimal, but it’s safe to say that if Google +1 takes off in a big way, it will become a much more important factor in search engine rankings.
Here’s what Google has to say about it:
+1 helps people discover relevant content–a website, a Google search result, or an ad–from the people they already know and trust. Adding the +1 button to your pages lets users recommend your content, knowing that their friends and contacts will see their recommendation when it’s most relevant–in the context of Google search results.
When a signed-in Google user is searching, your Google search result snippet may be annotated with the names of the user’s connections who’ve +1’d your page. If none of a user’s connections has +1’d your page, your snippet may display the aggregate number of +1’s your page has received.
and particularly this quote is revealing:
Content recommended by friends and acquaintances is often more relevant than content from strangers. For example, a movie review from an expert is useful, but a movie review from a friend who shares your tastes can be even better. Because of this, +1’s from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a user’s query. This is just one of many signals Google may use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking, and we’re constantly tweaking and improving our algorithm to improve overall search quality. For +1’s, as with any new ranking signal, we’ll be starting carefully and learning how those signals affect search quality.
Notice that Google says that they’ll be seeing how Google _+1 is used and adjusting their search algorithms accordingly.
Should I Start Using Google +1?
Regardless of whether Google +1 actually takes off or not, it certainly doesn’t hurt to start implementing it on your sites. The worst that can happen is that it will unused or ignored and you can remove it at a later date.
However, if Google +1 does take off, it is a great advantage to get in early to establish some ratings on your sites.
Implementing Google +1 is pretty simple. You can either generate a code snippet to add to you site at:
or if you have a WordPress site, then you can use the Google +1 WordPress Plugin from WPMU.org
Given Google +1 is quite new, there aren’t too many Google +1 plugins at this stage, but I’m sure that plenty more will be developed and that Google +1 will be incorporated into the popular social bookmarking plugins.
Hopefully you’ll notice this article has Google +1 buttons at the top and bottom of the article.