Google’s Foray into Social Search

(April 11, 2011) – Google has just debuted a new search feature, titled simply +1. This tool is meant to make searching a more social experience, and pits Google directly against Facebook with their familiar “Like” button.

Those with a Google account can click on the small +1 icon next to any search result or advertisement, and anyone on their contact list will be able to see that that particular link received their friend’s seal of approval.

At the time of this writing, anyone interested in using +1 must navigate to Google Experimental Labs in order to activate the feature, but Google says it will begin to appear in standard search results within a few weeks.

It is unclear what kinds of implications +1 will have for the average Internet user. Most people rely on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to keep in touch with their friends.

Search engines like Google are seen as more of a utilitarian means to an end, not as a digital hangout where you’d want to spend time talking to your friends. However, Google’s instant messaging service, GChat, has been rapidly growing in popularity, and +1 could give Google the boost it needs to be a major force in the social realm.

Google maintains that user feedback collected via +1 will influence its search rankings. This is a monumental development because, up until now, users have had no influence on how sites were ranked in Google searches.

Here at Skillman Video Group, we think this is great news! Since we keep our website and blog updated with fresh and interesting content, we believe allowing users to designate their favorite websites can only help us move up in the ratings.

Likewise, the announcement of Google’s +1 can be advantageous to your business as well. If people enjoy the content you are posting and opt to share it with their friends using +1, your site will move up in Google’s search rankings.

This leads to more views, and ultimately, more sales. A corporate blog is a terrific way to keep your readers engaged with relevant, well-written content.