Google recently introduced its +1 program. Those following the update have commented that +1 is in response to Facebook’s “Like” button, a way to boost ad rankings according to the “likeability” of an ad. I agree that word-of-mouth marketing is one of the finer marketing tactics at our disposal today. Simply put, if a trustworthy contact recommends a business or service, you may be more apt to finding out more about it.
Similar to the impact that a “recommendation” has on a service/product for companies on LinkedIn, Google’s 1+ allows individuals to view people that have endorsed a website. The major difference is that Google is now displaying this feature directly in search results.
The visual below illustrates where the “1+” button is located. Once you click the icon, a small window appears for you to enter your public profile information. The check box below the open fields gives you the option to share your endorsement across the web.
In order to participate in Google’s 1+ program, you must have a public Google profile. The unique feature, and one that I appreciate as an advocate of consumer privacy, is that you are able to control whether or not people can see websites that you have “1+”. The 1+’s are kept in your profile, and you can choose whether to keep them private (and store them as a library of your favorite places on the web) or share them with the online universe.
Is Google’s 1+ all that it’s cracked up to be? Most people involved in the conversation are mainly focused on its impact on search engine results, for both organic and paid search. Here’s the debate: quality score will improve for websites that have been recommended, thus impacting your ad position/ranking. At this point in time, I’m not fully convinced that there will be a tremendous impact on SEO results. However, we will continue to monitor the progress of the program and its impact. It will be interesting to see how Google factors this new feature into their algorithm to determine website search rankings. I’m sure there will be continued debate and discussion on Google’s 1+ program as it gains popularity and traction. Until then, happy “1+ing”!