The Resident Connection, Written Posts

Google’s Version of Facebook’s “Like” Button – +1

5 Comments 31 March 2011

OK, this is different (yet kinda similar), but it’s definitely one of the better “social” plays Google has made.  With the Google +1 button, you can tell people in your Google network what websites, blogposts, webpages, etc. that you (essentially) like.  What’s pretty cool about it is that when you are logged into Google and start searching for stuff, Google will highlight things your network has given a +1.  So when you’re looking for a plumber, Realtor, car, apartment, TV, etc., Google will give credit to your friend’s +1’s and have them show in your search results.  Check out more details and a video with this link to Google’s blog.

Time will tell how this truly works, and like everything Google does it will evolve over time.  Right now you can use the button right in Google by logging into your Google account and doing some regular Google searches.  The +1 button will show up right next to the results that come back and you can quickly opt-in to the program to begin giving websites/pages your +1.  Soon, Google will also give web developers the ability to add +1 buttons to their websites.  Much like Facebook’s “Like” button, people will have the ability to +1 just about anything online.  This will be the true test for the concept, but is much better than what Google Buzz can do in my opinion.

So what does this mean for your business online?  Here are my thoughts.

– Keywords will still be important, but the weight those carry could likely fade.  Time will tell.

– It’s more important than ever to know where your customers are online and connect with them.

– Your “brochure” content online will only get you so far.  To be relevant you’ll want +1 opportunities on more and more pages.  Social is a big opportunity!

– Content quality vs. quantity will be more important.  Another jab at content farms.

– The mobile play with this will evolve quickly. Make sure your business sites are mobile friendly.

So what do you think?  Will this take off like the “Like” button?  Facebook has over 600 million active users and Google as of last November has 193.3 million Gmail users.  Of course this number is growing rapidly with the market share growth of Android phones.  (If you didn’t know, one has to create a Google/Gmail account to use the Android App Store.)  I’ll be curious to see if something like this encourages more people to sign up for a Google account online.  Even if people don’t, what will be the value of the nearly 200 million people that could potentially use this feature, and especially ones that will be able to quickly use it on their Android phone?  As of this post I did not see any +1 functionality on Google’s mobile site, however.

Of course, I can dream up some other crazy ideas Google might have up their sleeve using GPS or check in apps with this as well.  I’m sure some nerd at Google has that in some plans somewhere.  Bottom line, I know I’m watching very closely, how about you?

  • For those of you that might be trying to join the +1 brigade and it’s not working for you automatically, you can go here http://www.google.com/experimental/index.html to add the +1 feature.

  • Jason Pelish

    The one thing about Facebook likes is that you can comment on them and thereby validate that your friend did indeed post them there. If there isn’t a mechanism that tells me which friends +1ed the search result then how can I validate that the score isn’t fabricated?

    • Jason, click on the image in my post and you will see the links I had previously “shared”, but you will also see what I’ve +1’d. Sure, I think there could be concern that users are gaming the system, but Google has always had to deal with that. I think the checks and balances are there, but I see your point. Thanks for the comment.

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