What is Google +1 (Plus One) & How Do I Use It?

If you already know about Google +1 and just want instructions for adding the button then read How to Add Google +1 to Website Tonight.

Most people would agree that they are more likely to trust a business or try a product when someone they know recommended it. Now you can leave your recommendations and see recommendations from all of your friends, family, and business acquaintances directly in Google’s search results – all with the click of a single button. Google calls this new feature +1 (pronounced “Plus One”).

Here’s how it works; when you search Google and find a website that you like you can click the +1 button next to the search result (images below). Then when someone related to you (ex: friends, family, business acquaintances, etc) does a Google search that has that same webpage in the results it will show them that you clicked +1. This is your way of saying, “this is pretty cool” or “you should check this out”. Of course you will also see what they’ve recommended when you’re searching Google.

Google Plus One Example


What if the +1 button does not show in my search results?

As of now (June 2011) the new +1 feature is still “experimental” according to Google, but it will be added to the standard search results soon. You can jump in early and turn on +1 by visiting Google Experiments and clicking Join this experiment next to +1 button. I highly recommend that you do this. You will have the option to turn off +1 if you want but only until Google makes it part of the standard search results, at which time it will be permanently turned on for everyone.


Google +1 Button v.s. Facebook “Like” Button

Google’s new +1 button is like Facebook’s “like” button on steroids. The big difference is when the recommendation is seen and who gets to see it. Facebook’s like button shows everyone what you “like” when they’re on your Facebook profile or on the webpage that you “liked”. With Google +1 only your network of friends, family, and business contacts see your recommendations, which makes each recommendation more personal. And you see their recommendations right when you need them most, when you are doing a Google search. Next time you are searching Google for a new dentist, an auto dealer, instructions for working with Website Tonight or anything else, you might find that someone you trust has already given one of the search results their stamp of approval.


Google +1 Privacy

As of now (June 2011) Google only allows your Google contacts to see what you +1. Obviously that means you must be logged into your Google / Gmail account to use +1. To see who is on your Google contact list first login to your Google account, then click this link: Google Contact List. This eliminates a lot of spam “likes” and narrows down the recommendations to just people that are similar to you in some way.

Plus One recommendations are only shared in related Google searches. For example, no one will see if you +1 this website unless they do a Google search for “Website Tonight” or “GoDaddy website builder help” or something else that ProSiteTonight.com is a result for. This keeps the recommendations relevant to what you and others in your network are interested in at that moment.


Google +1 and Page Rank

You’re probably wondering if getting lot’s of people to click the +1 button on your website will improve your search rank. Well, clicking the +1 button won’t immediately improve the rank of a webpage, but it does highlight it within the business network / social circle of the person that clicked +1. Because personal recommendations are a highly successful form of marketing the +1 will ultimately improve the click-through-rate of the webpage in the search results, which does contribute positively to page rank.


Add +1 to Website Tonight

Click this link if you are ready to Add Google +1 to Website Tonight.

Now that I’ve helped you understand Google +1, do me a favor and +1 this webpage. The +1 button can be found at the top of the right-hand sidebar (on every page). Or you can click the button below to +1 the home page of Pro Site Tonight.

Thanks! :)

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