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Google Gets Social With +1

Social media hasn’t exactly been the forte of Google so far. To date they have had 5 attempts themselves (Orkut, Dodgeball, Lively, Wave and Buzz) which range from unmitigated failure to still-around-but-not-that-popular. They have had some good results with both Blogger and YouTube, but these were existing businesses that were purchsed by Google.
However, they seem intent on breaking into the social market, and this is probably due to the staggering success of Facebook in recent years. There has been a lot of chatter about a Facebook rival from the big G, and now it seems they are gearing up for a social media push of their own. A leaked internal memo from Google shows the importance they are now placing on this, with 25% of the employees bonuses at stake! Obviously some urgency is required with this…

The latest offering from the search giant is a ‘+1’ button. Currently it is only available to logged in users with Google accounts, it has to be activated to use. When activated it gives a +1 button next to any link returned in search results, allowing you to recommend the site to your friends and other Google users. In a statement by Google, they say:

Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1’s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.

Although only Google users can currently rate sites, it is widely thought that this will be rolled out across the whole Google network if popular enough. Google have basically admitted in the small quote above that this will contribute to search engine rankings as well (i.e. others on the web). This would bring a whole new way for Google to rank sites, and bring social media into another of the web’s most used sites.
Soon, you might have to add another icon to your site. Follow me on Twitter, like our Facebook page and +1 us on Google.


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