Despite its reputation as a search giant, it’s no secret that Google has fallen behind in the social media game; even the company’s former CEO and current Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has admitted that Google missed out on “the friend thing.” But with the +1 button, Google hopes to change all that.
Initially announced in March, the +1 button allows you to “recommend content to your friends and contacts directly from Google search results and ads,” effectively making “search results even more helpful and relevant.” Today the company announced that they’re rolling the button out to the entire web, using partnerships with news organizations like The Washington Post and Reuters to help the new feature gain momentum.
The +1 button takes something the company is great at–turning up relevant search results–and adds a social twist. By clicking on the +1 button that appears next to each search result, you can share relevant websites, articles and profiles with your friends. Then, according to the Google Blog, “the next time your connections search, they could see your +1’s directly in their search results, helping them find your recommendations when they’re most useful.” The more votes your social circle gives a website or article, the higher up it will move in your search results.
The +1 button is the newest player in the movement to make the web more social. For publishers, adding the button to your site can increase visibility of your articles and help nudge them up in search results, effectively clinching more pageviews.
The embed code is officially live today, so you can add the +1 button to your website by following Google’s instructions here.