June 1, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Google has begun rolling out Google +1, the search giant’s version of a Facebook Like button. Popping up in search results, Places, YouTube, and many other popular sites, +1 is a simple way for web users to recommend content to their friends. When you see an interesting article or a nice restaurant that you’d like to recommend, tap the +1 button and people in your social circle may see that you have vouched for its awesomeness.
Among those many places now seeing the +1 button is the Android Market. App listings on the Market website already included a button to share on Twitter, and anyone who has already enabled +1 should notice that icon in the same area (in the right corner above the “About This App” section). In addition to seeing how many users have publicly tapped the button, there will be references to that app in Google Search results. For instance, since I gave +1 to Robotek on the Google Market page, I see that in a Google search. My friends would see “Andrew +1′d this” if they search.
Google has a poor reputation of releasing social products, but +1 could be something incredibly valuable to the company. Not only could it get more people paying attention to Google services (a Google Profile is required), +1 is likely to improve search quality. All of the people on the web recommending webpages means there will be millions more signals that Google can tap into and analyze to make more relevant information pop-up to the top of search results pages.