Yesterday, Google started rolling out a new social search feature called +1. The new feature allows users to share recommendations from directly within the company’s search result pages by clicking a “+1” button appearing next to each page’s title in the search results. After you +1 a page, it will appear on the search results pages of your friends with a note that you +1’d it. As the Google Blog states:
The beauty of +1’s is their relevance—you get the right recommendations (because they come from people who matter to you), at the right time (when you are actually looking for information about that topic) and in the right format (your search results).
How does this impact businesses and non-profits? As Kipp Bodnar states in his HubSpot Blog post about +1, this new feature demonstrates that Google is rewarding social businesses (and non-profit organizations). The more you harness blogging and social media to connect to your customers and prospects, the better a chance you have of getting found on Google. As Kipp puts it:
The days of obsessing over keyword rank are over. Instead, make your business social and create relevant information that will help to attract +1s and influence who decides to visit your site from search engine results pages. Blogging and sharing content on social media has never been more important. In a world that is being built on personal recommendations, it is critical that your business becomes social through remarkable content.
It is important to note that the +1 feature is just now beginning to roll out. Google has promised that Web publishers will in the future be able to add +1 buttons to their Web sites to enable visitors to recommend content after leaving the search results page.
For more information about Google +1, watch the video below and/or visit Google’s +1 Button page.
Update, 6/6/2011: Google has released code to insert their +1 button in your site. Learn more here.