As you have probably heard by now, Google has just launched the +1 button, which is essentially their way of competing with the Facebook Like button. If you haven’t heard, you have probably seen it popping up in Google search results and on websites. You can see mine is now neatly aligned with my other share buttons.
What Does Google +1 Do?
This is Google’s introduction video for the +1 button.
If you’re not a fan of people knowing what you like, or personalized search results in Google, you will want to read more about how the Google +1 button affects personalized search and how to set your search options so you’re not trapped in a filter bubble.
Also, since the recommendations are meant for your connections to see, you could end up in search results just like this.
I personally see it as a way of branding – your face will show up more often now when people are connected to you via Gmail, Twitter, Quora, and other social networks. A nice little reminder that you are out there recommending great content. Just remember that anything you recommend via the +1 button (and other social networks) can now be found by anyone just in random search results.
What Happens When You Click on the Google +1 Button
Whenever you hover over a +1 button when logged in to your Google account, you will see the following tooltip, as I did on Mashable’s post about how you can Google +1 their stories.
If you click on it, you’ll get a friendly popup confirming your decision to recommend the page or website you are on.
If you have mistakenly clicked on a +1 that you have changed your mind about recommending, you can click on the +1 button again to remove your vote, or you can go to your Google Profile, hover over the X and delete it.
How to Add Google +1 to Your WordPress Blog
This is for self-hosted versions of WordPress only – it does not apply for blogs on WordPress.com.
The implementation of the code is rather simple. If you visit Google’s +1 button code generator, you will get everything you need, including the option to customize your button between four different sizes to fit your site’s theme.
Then you will want to place the following call for the button where you want the button to appear, preferably next to your other social sharing buttons which are probably in your single.php template or, for Thesis users, your custom_functions.php or Thesis Openhook box.
You can see the full coding of my share buttons, now updated with the Google +1 in my social sharing buttons post.
What Does This Mean for Search Rankings?
Google has a nice little FAQ page for the +1 button that covers how recommendations for your site will affect search rankings. Essentially they elude to the fact that they will see how peer recommendations affect search quality. AKA, it will not hurt if your website, blog, and individual pages have lots of recommendations!
Is Google +1 More Important Facebook Like or Tweet Buttons?
Here’s how I see it. If you are looking for more traffic from Twitter, then the best way to get it is to make it easy for Twitter users to share your content with their followers. All it takes sometimes is that one Twitter follower with hundreds of thousands of followers to take your content from zero to viral with one tweet.
If you are looking for more traffic from Facebook, then the best way to get it is to make it easy for Facebook users to like or share your content with their friends as they take up some nice real estate on the user’s Facebook profile and in new feeds.
So should you replace Twitter and Facebook with Google +1? Probably not. Give your visitors the choice on how they want to share your content with their connections. Just add Google +1 as another way to share!
Your Google +1 Thoughts
Have you installed the button yet on your site? Do you feel it’s as powerful as other social sharing buttons? Share your thoughts, and your +1’s!