Today (5th April 2011) I started to see Google’s new +1 button for the first time. I have been liaising with friends in the US and Canada and they started seeing it yesterday, but the rollout of the new button has obviously crossed the pond.
The +1 button will also appear next to Google adverts on the right hand side of the results page, which will no doubt increase click through rates for adverts that are +1’d.
What does this mean for the rest of us?
We assume that Google will come out with the option to add the +1 button to our web pages in a similar way to the Facebook like button. I can see that would help if we all start seeing the blue +1 button’s next to search engine listings. However as you will see below, in is not that obvious how this button is going to work.
Google say this about how it works:
How to +1 something
To +1 something, all you have to do is click the +1 button. When you +1:
- The +1 button will turn blue, and you’ll see a message box confirming your +1.
- Your +1’s will be automatically added to the +1’s tab in your profile and will be viewable across the Web. While your +1’s are public, the +1’s tab on your Google profile is viewable only to you unless you specify otherwise.
- To undo a +1, click the +1 button again. You can also manage and delete your +1’s directly from the +1’s tab in your profile.
In discussing this with Louise, we are wondering how the +1 button will gain anything like the traction the Facebook like button has. For one thing, you need to have a Google profile. In doing a very un-scientific straw-poll of my contacts over the last 24 hours most of them have never heard of a Google profile. Certainly the people who come on our trainings are mostly not very aware of their Google account. Contrast this to people’s awareness of their Facebook account and you begin to see the difference.
Is this Google’s left brain response to Facebooks right brain like button? Or could it drive a completely new level of engagement with the search results, bring social proof into the search results? If Google can make the whole profile management process very easy for people (which they have done an amazing amount of work on in the last 12 months), then it could be very interesting. However, in my experience adoption could be very slow.
It will certainly provide Google with another data point to order the search results and adverts and that in itself might encourage website owners to implement the +1 button on there web pages so that they don’t loose out. What are your thoughts? Why don’t you leave a comment below or click the Facebook like button at the top of this post;)