This tiny new button could have a big impact!
Up until recently, using Google’s “+1” button really didn’t do much of anything. Now, Google has made it so that people can use the +1 feature to share content with their circles as a part of their Google+ profile.
Starting in June and prior to launching Google+, Google added +1 buttons on news stories and websites. When pushed, they did basically nothing. Well, nothing real useful, as it would allow users to see what their contacts had +1ed. It would appear next to the search result on Google’s search pages, but that was about all.
Now, the +1 feature will work very similarly to the “Like” feature Facebook has seeded at popular sites throughout the web. When a user clicks the +1 button on a website, a link to it will be displayed on their Google+ profile. The feature works by grabbing an image and a snippet of text from the page or news story. The user can then also decide what Circle to which they’d like to post it.
What does Google’s +1 functionality mean for marketers and their goal of improving marketing effectiveness?
- Start conversations. Clicking the +1 button gives a link your public stamp of approval, which could be particularly handy for people aiming to be recognized as a thought leader. Marketers can also add a comment by sharing it with selected Circles on Google+.
- Keep conversations going. When a friend or contact searches on Google, they could see your +1. Not only does it help them find some of the best stuff on the web, it offers the opportunity for another conversation start!
- +Snippets. A feature of sharing on Google+ are “+Snippets”, which are the thumbnail images and short blurbs about the content that appears when a link is shared when it is posted to a Google+ page. Marketers can customize what the snippet for their content will look like to increase its effectiveness, from the photo that appears to the teaser text that draws people in.
The feature isn’t live for all Google+ members, but will be soon. However, the true power of the +1 button is yet to be seen. When Google includes it in its search engine’s algorithm to determine how it ranks sites, watch out! Online marketing effectiveness for websites rank in Google search is going to be a whole new ballgame!
Do you think Google adding the +1 feature to its algorithm will hurt or harm your website’s search ranking?