Well, Google has finally pulled up its socks, so to speak. In a bid to reduce Facebook’s dominance of the social game, Google has created a ‘social search’ based on their brand new crowd-sourcing data idea.
A Google user can now recommend the searches they liked or found useful to their friends via the ‘+1’ button. It is like offering a friendly ‘stamp of approval’ by stating to the world that you have ‘+1’d’ the site you found through Google. All you have to do is click on the +1 button and bingo, everyone can see that your friend or someone you know found the site handy, relevant, or interesting.
Now where have we seen this work before? Facebook’s ‘Like’ button! Google is betting on the fact that when a friend or someone you know recommends a site (yes, their name will appear near the +1 button) we will trust that link and use it more than other similar search results.
Remember ’Buzz’, Google’s previous failed attempt at competing with Facebook and Twitter? There was a flood of complaints from users that their privacy was not being protected. Based on that experience, Google has made it clear that all +1s are public, and that users must not be surprised if they +1 a link and it turns up in an entirely different context!
The one and only catch I can think of is that you need to have a Google profile to use the +1. If you don’t, simply create one and check out +1! Who knows, Google’s +1 may become the next ‘buzz’ on the social scene. Pun unintended.
What do you think of Google’s +1? Will Google users be willing to share their personal likes and dislikes publicly, or show preference for +1 recommendations? And more importantly, will this influence search engine results?