Google’s +1 Brings ‘Likes’ to Search

Facebook’s ‘Like’ button is now ubiquitous. So it was really only a matter of time before Google jumped on the bandwagon…

Yesterday, Google launched ‘+1′, its equivalent of the ‘Like’ button. Building on the ideas of Social Search and Personalised Search, ‘+1’s’ will bring recommendation to its results pages. In the words of Google itself: “The beauty of +1’s is their relevance – you get the right recommendations (because they come from people who matter to you), at the right time (when you are actually looking for information about that topic) and in the right format (your search results).”

To utilise the +1 feature, users will need to create a Google profile, or upgrade their existing one. They will then be able to click the +1 button to the side of a web page or ad, indicating “this is pretty cool” (again – Google’s words). These +1’s will then start to appear in Google’s search results – either specifically showing which of your friends have +1-ed a site, or how many people in general have hit the +1 tab.

In theory, the +1 word of mouth (or “word of click”) tool allows Google to give its users more relevant and trustworthy results than ever – and according to the Search giant, +1’s will become a factor in its organic rankings algorithm.

But what about AdWords ads? Users will also be able to +1 these – so will that affect cost-per-clicks and the position in which an ad is shown?

Google currently states that the way it calculates a campaign’s Quality Score isn’t changing. But clearly there are benefits to be had. A +1’d ad is likely to deliver a more qualified lead than one which is not. So gathering +1’s will become another important part of the online marketing process – both in the organic and advertising elements of the search results.

+1’s will be rolling out over the coming days and weeks. See what Google says about them here – and let us know whether you like them!