Will you like this?

Yesterday, things were buzzing as Google turned on a new feature.  It’s called +1.  You can read about it here and there are instructions about how to turn it on for your account here.

When you turn it on, and you’re doing a search on Google.com (not Google.ca yet), you’ll see a little +1 icon appearing at the end of a search result.

According to the details at the link above, if you like the result, then you should click on the icon.  When you do, it changes colour like so.

This works, of course, only if you’ve logged in to your Google account.  This is the way that I do business as I have Google Docs and Gmail open all the time that I’m connected.

So, what does this all mean?  According to Google, it’s a vote of confidence for the link so that you can “give something your public stamp of approval, so friends, contacts, and others can find the best stuff when they search”. It sounds like an interesting concept.  We have seen it before.  How about


Both are signs of approval in their associated network.  So, it appears that you have the same functionality with your Google Search Results.  Everyone likes a good supposition so I’m just wondering what happens next…

Could Google combine thinks that you “+1” with its “similar pages” to help refine search results for you?

Could the use of the “+1” start a campaign to get rid of the SEO techniques that put undesirable results at the top of your search?

As indicated in the video, you’ll start to see +1s from your friends and relatives.  How will that happen?  It will certainly put more importance on having an active Google Profile.  In fact, in the short time that I’ve enabled this feature, when I look at my profile, the links that I have +1 have started to accumulate there.  This will certainly lend credibility to the speculation that Google is working to develop its own social network.  As noted also in the video, these +1s will start to appear on webpages.  Almost glossed over in the video was the statement that this will appear also in advertising.  That does seem to shed some insight on the message that’s been appearing in Gmail recently.

Could these better ads be based upon what I +1?

A simple little click has the potential to change a great deal about the Google experience.  The one thing that can’t be figured into the equation is that this customization is really “opt-in”.  If you’re not clicking the +1s, then you won’t have the approved results and you won’t be making recommendations to friends and family.  My initial reaction is that it’s going to take more incentive than that for me to do that.  After all, I would have to open the search result in a new window or backtrack to click the +1 button.  I’m not using the Facebook Like button regularly.  I don’t actually use the Tweet button much either.  I tend to Amplify these days so that the results get filed in my Amplog.  I’m going to be very interested in seeing how this plays out.  Could the +1s replace Delicious or Diigo as a way to aggregate links for some?  After all, many folks use social bookmarking just to collect links and that’s all.

I’d be very interesting in your thoughts about this.  Please leave them or Twitter them.

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OTR Links for 03/31/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.