Great minds think alike. And sometimes, they outright steal from one another. Google’s new +1 is quite clearly from the latter category, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not valuable. The Facebook Like button, as you likely already know, is a way for Facebook (and Facebook users) to extend its influence out into the web. When a user “Likes” a blog or webpage that gets turned into a news item on Facebook. This allows other Facebook friends to see your web browsing activity and which pages you recommend. The benefit to the page displaying the Like button is that it shows a measure of the item’s popularity in the social network.
The Google +1 button does largely the same thing. Except, of course, for Google. The difference is that when you +1 something, it shows up on a new tab on your Google profile. You can choose to show or hide your Google +1 tab. By making your Google +1 public, you can share your +1’s with your friends. By making it private, you can use your Google +1’s as a repository for your own collections of bookmarks and favorites.
In this way, Google +1 is much like a social bookmarking website, like Delicious or Stumbleupon. But there’s a twist.
When you Google, you’ll see search results that your friends have +1’d . This adds a whole new layer to your search results. Now, you can find out not only what the Googlebot thinks is the most relevant and interesting result for your query, you can see what your friends think, too.
For now, the main way to +1 something is if a webmaster adds a +1 button to their page or post. If you’re logged in to your Google account, when you click the +1, it’ll add the page to your +1 tab. It’ll also, as the name implies, +1 the item. You can see a running to total in the badge/button.
The other way to Google +1 an item is to add the Google +1 button to your Google search results. This is an experimental function for now, so you’ll have to activate it. You can do so at the[[http://www.google.com/+1/button/|Google+1 page]. Note, however that you can only use one experimental feature at a time, so if you’re already participating in an experiment, you’ll have to disable it. With the Google +1 experiment activated, you’ll see a +1 button next to each search result. This is a bit counterintuitive, since you’ll have to come back to the search engine results page in order to +1 something.
In my opinion, I believe Google +1 will be a game changer--especially for marketer and publishers. Having a high number of Google +1’s will be equivalent to getting the top Google result--especially since most searchers are becoming weary of SEO tactics. Google +1 is more like a recommendation from a friend, which is far more meaningful and compelling for most users.
Of course, Google +1 data will likely be harvested for targeted advertising purposes as well. You’ll love or hate this aspect of it, but it won’t likely change your mind about Google. Google and Facebook have been collecting data to optimize its advertising for years. This is just oine more way they can do it.