Guide to Google Plus and Google +1
Social media networks – like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter – have seen astronomical growth rates in the last couple of years. In 2006, Google purchased YouTube.com. YouTube.com allowed users to mark “like” or “dislike” on a video, as well as share videos with friends. Now, Google is incorporating its own social media feature, called “+1″ (Plus One), into websites.
“How does +1 act as a social media feature?”
As a powerful search engine, Google has a unique “insider” position. It recognizes how the Internet is used for social media network tips, suggestions and recommendations. Facebook has its “Like” thumbs-up button and Twitter has its “Retweet” function for sharing content. Google is joining the competition with its plus one votes +1 feature.
Social media networks keep people in the loop, which increases their value for marketing and advertising. People in these groups or circles share comments, contacts and sites. Google enables people to share interesting content with their friends.
“Why would I use Google +1?”
People are creatures of habit. Sixty percent of people use Google as their search engine of choice. Gradually, Google has expanded its presence from search engine, mail … the pseudo-social media network of Plus One is a natural progression.
One of the advantages of +1 is that it permits users to differentiate its “friends” into smaller, more descriptive units. While Facebook lists a number of different people on posting boards all as “friends” – even though they may not be “true friends” – Google Plus One allows users to customize their “circles” into more descriptive divisions: i.e. family, true friends, co-workers and acquaintances. This makes it easier to smooth egos and share “relevant” material with the “right” group.
“My Plus One Stamp of Approval”
Google says that plus one votes +1 sends the message: “this is pretty cool” to members in your circle. This gives a website your “stamp of approval” for friends and contacts. Google recognizes that “birds of a feather flock together” and enjoy similar content.
The job of the search engine is to retrieve the most “relevant” results. Plus One assists Google in finding the best websites to satisfy customer interest based on the recommendations of their friends.
“Recommendations, suggestions and tips”
Many people use the Internet as a reference guide for recommendations, suggestions and tips products and services. With +1 activated, this icon will appear to anyone who is a member of your social network that includes Google Mail, Talk, Contacts, Reader and Buzz. Clicking on the +1 icon endorses a post, website or search.
“How do I set up Google +1?”
In March 2001, Google Plus One +1 was in the experimental process. It has since advanced to the next stage. Web developers need to create a Google profile to use the Plus One feature. They should sign into their Google account and conduct a Google search with words similar to “How to activate google plus one.”
Google will give you a link – “Google +1″ to its webmasters index. Here Google lists the code snippet and customized features to add the button to a site. Just “copy-and-paste” the relevant code onto your website and you are ready to go.
Another way to activate Plus One is to follow Google’s link:
Google is always updating its content so this website link might change. Either way, Google +1 should be listed as a resource for webmasters.
Once activated, when searches are conducted, a translucent +1 box will appear at the right-hand side of the title for search engine results. If you mouse over it, the box becomes opaque.
Web developers have many different options for customizing their +1 button. This +1 icon is available in 40 languages.
There are four heights for the “+1″ button:
+ 15 px
+ 20 px
+ 24 px
+ 60 px
The +1 icon should be placed on the website in a prominent position that can be crawled by Google’s Web bots.
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