Google has just announced the official launch of the Google +1 button. Starting today you will start to see an inundation of +1 buttons taking its place alongside the well known Facebook "Like" and Twitter "Follow" Buttons.
As reported by a WebProNews blog post, Google states that the +1 button:
"Adding +1 buttons to your pages is a great way to help your ads stand out on Google. By giving your visitors more chances to +1 your pages, your search ads and organic results might appear with +1 annotations more often. This could lead to more–and better qualified–traffic to your site."
The real power of the new button will be noticed when conducting personalized searches. The +1 button lets you tell all your friends in your social circle the rest of the world that you recommend the website, travel deal, raincoat, or car you have +1’d. As Google says, it is like giving your personalized stamp of approval on a variety of services.
Use +1 to give something your public stamp of approval, so friends, contacts, and others can find the best stuff when they search. Get recommendations for the things that interest you, right when you want them, in your search results.
Google has stated clearly that social signals are used as ranking factors and this looks to be another desparte push in to the "Social Web." After failed attempts to purchase Twitter and Facebook and the lukewarm reception of Google Buzz, Google is clearly showing that they have no desire to lay complacent in developing a social web structure.
Your +1’s are public. They can appear in Google search results, on ads, and sites across the web. You’ll always be able to see your own +1’s in a new tab on your Google Profile, and if you want, you can share this tab with the world.
As mentioned in our previous Beanstalk blog post, many in the industry feel that the new social metrics will be easy to game. However, I would have to disagree. Google collects a lot of information on users in order to determine that profiles are in fact tied to real people and are authentic. Taking a look at your Google Dashboard will give you a good indication of some of the main factors that Google uses to determine if you are “real” person with authority.
Some of the factors Google will look at are your: Gmail account, Analytics, Blogger, Buzz, Calendar, Contacts, Google Docs, Picassa, Reader, and perhaps most importantly: Social Circle and Content.