As expected, Google has begun the Internet-wide roll-out of its new +1 Button, a social sharing feature that rivals Facebook‘s “Like” button. The +1 Button is now available for all web publishers who wish to put the button on their website. And a number of news organizations, online retailers and other popular websites are already on board.
Like many other share buttons out there, +1 works with “a single click,” Google boasts, allowing people to tip off friends to cool articles, websites or products they like. Unlike other share features, however, +1 is fully integrated into Google search, so a “+1″ shows up next to a link in Google search results when that link has been shared by any of a user’s Google contacts. Not only that, but a particular search result receives a higher page ranking the more contacts share the link using +1.
“With a single click you can recommend that raincoat, news article or favorite sci-fi movie to friends, contacts and the rest of the world,” writes Google software engineer Evan Gilbert, who worked on +1, in a post on the Google blog. “The next time your connections search, they could see your +1’s directly in their search results, helping them find your recommendations when they’re most useful.”
By making it easy to install +1 on a website, Google hopes to make the sharing feature as ubiquitous as Facebook’s “Like” button has become. Of course, it remains to be seen whether websites will take to +1. But since the service offers higher page ranking on Google as an incentive, we’re pretty sure many will at least give it a try.