With 800 million active users, there’s no doubt that Facebook is the heavyweight of the social media world. Google wants a bigger share of this market and has recently rolled out Google +1. The next time you search online, notice the +1 icons that are popping up here and there.
According to the Google website, “+1 gets conversations going.” You visit a website and can click the +1 button to give that site your personal approval (think of a Facebook “like”). You can add a comment and share a site with individuals or “circles” of friends or coworkers. Google’s goal is to make a Google search more meaningful—if you’re looking for, say, a dentist and a friend sends you her dentist’s website with her +1 endorsement, you’re more likely to click that search return.
Perhaps the major difference between Facebook and Google is that with Google, there are no friend requests. You can view updates by others without sharing your own. Save your list of +1 sites in a special tab on your public Google profile and show or hide them. (You can set up a Google profile in about two minutes.) Google is giving its users a place to create and store content, as well as sharing texts, video chat and user conversations. +1 is another way to manage and share “favorite” sites.
How will Google +1 affect a website’s ranking? Since +1 belongs to Google, it will all be searchable. Google will collect stats generated by +1 tagging; those are being treated similar to inbound links. +1 is just one factor in the top-secret algorithms that Google uses to rank sites, but it is still a factor. Adding +1 to your company’s website gives visitors the opportunity to share your site with others.
We’ll share more about Google +1 in coming months. In the meantime, add +1 to your website—or contact us.