A couple of months ago, we reported on the launch of Google's +1 button for Google search engine results and AdWords ads. While Google had only hinted that a +1 button would become available for websites, the day has finally come.
Today, Google announced that websites can now add the +1 button to their sites, including individual web pages and articles. If you need to catch up on the initial news of what the +1 button is, watch the overview video below or read this article .
How +1 Works on Websites
Up until now, Google users were able to recommend content to their friends and contacts directly from Google search results and ads. Now, users can recommend content on a page while they're still on it.
Think of it as a Facebook "Like" button for the web. With the Facebook Like button, when a user Likes something via the button on a website, it shows up in their Facebook friends' news feeds. Similarly, when a Google user clicks the +1 button on a web page or article, their connections will see their +1’s within their search results. This enables users to easily view recommendations from their connections where they’re most useful -- in search results.
The only catch is that users must be signed into their Google Account in order to view +1 recommendations in search results, and web users must have a public Google Profile in order to +1 things. The first time you +1 something, Google will confront you with a confirmation screen that looks like this:
A Google user's +1s are also aggregated in a tab on that user's individual Google Profile, which users can choose to make visible or not.
How to Add the +1 Button to Your Website
Google offers helpful instructions and a code generator to enable site owners to add the new +1 Buttons to their websites. You can find these instructions here .
Why +1 Is Important for Marketers
Google's +1 button for websites enables marketers to take further advantage of social search. By adding the buttons to their web pages and content items such as landing pages and blog articles, marketers will have even more opportunities to extend the reach of their content.
Think about it -- just as you are more likely to choose one restaurant over another due to a recommendation from a friend, wouldn't you be more likely to click on a search result if one of your contacts +1'ed it? If one of your blog's readers +1'ed an article you wrote and a friend of theirs notices that in their search results, you're opening yourself up to potential new readers who might not have otherwise found you online.
The main marketing takeaway here is simple. Google and other social media sites are releasing buttons like this all the time (heck, Twitter just announced its new Follow Button yesterday!). If you do nothing else, focus on creating remarkable content that your readers will think is worthy of a +1 and will naturally want to share with their networks anyway. The power of social sharing is phenomenal, and Google's new addition helps marketers to more easily and effectively harness that power.
Will you add Google's new +1 Button to your website and/or blog?
Originally published Jun 1, 2011 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016