Google is taking their social search model a step further by incorporating a “+1″ button alongside every link in their search page. This feature gives you, the searcher, the ability to recommend something to your entire Google network* with a click of the mouse. It is similar, if not exactly, like Facebook’s “Like” icon. As a consumer, I think it will be helpful to know that a contact has +1′d a restaurant when deciding where to eat for dinner. As a marketer, I immediately want to know… how can this “+1″ feature pay off in terms of SEO, reach, and my bottom line.
Google hasn’t directly said if/how these recommendations will affect the overall search rating for the link; that may come later. Its goal (for round 1) is to make search results more relevant to individuals by showing them that someone they know has given it their thumb’s up. It’s an interesting development and for now, a “watch-this-space” moment for SEO and Google search results.
Tip: In order to use Google’s “+1″ feature, you need to have a Google Account. If you already have one, you’ll need to upgrade it. From your account, you’ll be able to see all the items you’ve “+1″, so you can delete your endorsements should choose to.
*Google may add other signals, like your Twitter connections, in the future.