With the release of Google’s new +1 feature, it is clear that Google is working hard to oust Facebook from their social throne. As a search marketer, I think the new feature is pretty great. Eventually AdWords advertisers will be able to get statistics on what ads have the most +1’s and Google Webmaster Central will report +1 stats for organic listings.
In addition, I’m sure the number of +1’s a piece of content receives will somehow factor into how well it performs organically. This move from Google perfectly reinforces Rand Fishkin’s recent SearchFest presentation on The Future of Great Links (aka social signals are the new wave ranking elements).
But as a user however, I’m just not sure I’m into it.
For starters, I hate the name. It’s hard to integrate into daily lingo and I think it will be some time before it is adapted as universal. In addition, I don’t like the look of the button. It’s ugly and clunky and makes Google look lame compared to how slick the Facebook Like button integrates.
It’s also difficult to wrap my brain around the idea that I’m sharing this information with my network of friends. What friends? My Google friends? I hardly consider my gmail contact list my friend list. Sorry, but my friends are on Facebook.
So is this the next big thing for Google or is it just the next Google Buzz?