Google has just launched the +1 button! Basically this is a way for people to vote up a search result so it is more likely to appear as number 1 on Google . They’ve also popped in some recognition so it your search results will be affected by the things your contacts have recommended.
It’s a little like the Facebook like button or having your tweets re-tweeted.
However, before we get all excited about the pros and cons of this there are a few things you need to know. First, in order to +1 things, you first need a public Google profile. Without this no one could see who recommended what (very anti-social!)
But you don’t have to publicly share your +1’s, if you choose not to the +1 can still appear as part of an anonymous aggregated count of the people who have also +1’d the same thing.
Things that you +1’s are stored in a new tab on your Google profile so you can use it as a reference of websites you love around the web.
And, as this is new, and still very much in the experimental stages, Google is currently excluding it from its ranking algorithm. That’s partly because they are worried that early +1 users could warp search results before there’s enough data. This is despite the fact that it does consider shares on services like Twitter as a signal in its core search results.
So at the moment people tweeting links (and re-tweets of them) are still more influential for your website, but watch this space as Google also plan to count facebook ‘likes’ in their algorithms as soon as they have resolved the technical issues surrounding this.
Social Media Optimisation is fast becoming as important as Search Engine Optimisation!