On March 30, search engine giant Google announced the +1 button, which will soon appear in Google search results next to links. When a user clicks the button for a link, Google defines this action as a “public stamp of approval,” as it recommends the link to all of their Gmail contacts. A user’s name also becomes associated with the link “in search, on ads, and across the web,” according to Google. In order to use the product, a user must have a Google Profile. The addition of this new tool from Google is one reason why having a Google Profile is important.
Aside from the obvious fact that the +1 button is another way for Google to compete head-to-head with Facebook, the company’s official reason for the product is that it will make search results on Google more relevant. Jim Prosser, Google’s representative, said that people typically consult with their friends and other people regarding their decisions, so integrating what users recommend to their contacts is an easy way to make Google search results more useful.
The +1 feature won’t be seen en masse for a few months, but for those who are interested in experimenting with the button right away are able to by visiting http://www.google.com/experimental. For now, only a small percentage of sites and searches will have the +1 button, according to Google. However, merely one day after the announcement of the tool, there were already reports that it had popped up on the web.
At this time, Google says the amount of +1s won’t affect search rankings on its search engine. However, according to Prosser it’s something Google is interested in integrating in some form at some point in the future.
Besides the invaluable fact of showing up in search results, Google has stated it plans to offer publishers a version of the button to allow readers to +1 something without leaving the site, comparable to Facebook’s like button, which is already installed on over 2 million websites. In spite of this similarity, Google’s button will likely have a large amount of appeal, particularly since the company says data from +1s will directly influence its market share dominating search rankings. Additionally, it is without a doubt that the new feature will spell bad news for content farms, as their content is far less likely to be shared by users.
Are you worried about the affect the +1 button may have on your website and its content? There’s never been a better time to invest in improving your law firm’s presence on the Internet, with the +1 button addition and Google’s recent algorithm change, to make sure you are doing the best you can to reach your target audience. Contact the Legal Internet marketing team at SLS Consulting by calling 323-254-1510 today for a free growth assessment.
Sources: http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/web/03/31/google.plus.one.mashable/index.html?hpt=Sbin, http://mashable.com/2011/03/30/everything-about-google-plus-1/