Lee Heidel

The Meteoric Rise of the +1 Button

Google PlusoneIn March, the mighty Google added an innocuous little icon next to search results listings. A simple "+1" button. In June, they made that button available to embed directly on web pages. And now, thanks to the launch of Google+, it's everywhere.

So, what does this Plus One button mean for you, the website owner?

1. Plus Ones show up in search results.
This is huge. Google is now allowing humans to prioritize and recommend web pages, giving preference to people that you actually know. In a long list of search results, pages with +1s will stand out. From the FAQs:
If a user +1's a URL on your site, the Google search result snippet for that URL may be annotated in search results and search ads.

2. Plus Ones will begin affecting search result priority.
While their algorithm is still in control, there is no doubt that these human recommendations will influence how your site will be ranked going forward. As Google moves deeper into personalizing the web, preferences of those in your social circles will tailor your results on a person-by-person basis. Again, from the FAQ:

Content recommended by friends and acquaintances is often more relevant than content from strangers. [...] 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.

3. Plus Ones are already a big part of Google's new social networking website, Google+
Similar to "liking" pages on Facebook, +1s display on Google+ profiles. In fact, there is a whole section of the user profile dedicated to +1s. This social sharing aspect has been a large part of Facebook's success in driving traffic and Google is looking to leverage that as well.

So, how do you add +1 buttons to your site? You can get an embed code directly from Google. You can also use combined sharing widgets like AddThis and ShareThis to add Google +1s, Facebook Likes and Shares and Retweet buttons with only a few lines of code.
If you'd like to add Plus One buttons to your site and need some assistance, we'll be glad to help. Let's Talk.