We’ve all seen it. We’ve all used it – the “Like” feature on Facebook.
At some point or another each of us has undoubtedly caved in to the irresistible urge to share a great website, funny pic or shocking video with our friends, family and coworkers.
Now, Google’s caught onto the trend, offering users the opportunity to “+1” their favorite web pages – to basically give friends from their Google contacts the “Go” sign on websites they enjoy.
The +1 feature, which is currently available in Beta, is similar to Facebook’s popular “Like” button, publicly allowing users to spotlight the sites that they enjoy. Google has even offered users the option to only share their +1s with friends, family and coworkers from their own, personal Google contact accounts instead of automatically making the preferences visible to the general public. The selectiveness of this feature may give Google +1s an advantage over the often-criticized “share-all” aspect of Facebook.
But don’t expect to see the demise of the Facebook “Like.” Users and web marketers will most likely use +1 as an additional social networking tool, not a replacement. Plans to integrate +1s into established networking platforms such as Twitter and Flickr are already underway, but since +1s and “Like”s compete more directly, don’t expect to see +1s on your Facebook friends’ pages anytime soon.
bring your +1
Google’s new +1 feature has the potential to take the giant online service provider and extend it even further into the role of a fully integrated member of the established social network landscape. The success of +1 could mean big things for both everyday net surfers and forward thinking, professional web marketers.
By actively rating websites using +1, Internet users move towards further improving the quality of the Google search results they receive. Just as search engines already take into account web page content relevance when deciding search result rankings, if Google +1 gains acceptance with users, +1ing will heighten the importance of targeted, strategic search engine optimization (SEO) techniques in the web development process.
just the facts, m’am
Most people hate spam sites and would never put their stamp of approval on a website that falls into that category. The advent of Google +1 increases the importance of integrating relevant and useful information, marketing strategy-based web design and simplified navigation throughout an entire website, rather than only on a specifically created web ad landing page.
If you’re looking for your website to increase awareness of a cause, make a sale or attract a following, now is the time to step up your SEO. Don’t get lost in the tide, just as the newest wave of web marketing prepares to sweep in.