On June 1st, Google announced their first 2011 social feature: the Google +1 button. Previously, it had been rumored that +1 was the Google social network, so the SEO community was largely disappointed with the announcement. That didn’t stop webmasters from implementing the +1 button on their sites, however; over the three months that the button has been out, it’s been added to over a million sites. Additionally, according to the Official Google Blog, views for the +1 button doubled from 2 billion in July to 4 billion in August.
Google is doing everything they can to help this implementation, already having made the button more “lightweight” to ensure fast load times. Now, Google has unleashed a pair of extra incentives to use the +1 button. Those incentives are the easy sharing of sites on Google+ via the +1 button and the option to create a custom snippet for times when your site is shared. Here’s how those features work.
When users visit your site and click on the +1 button, the button will provide an additional option to “share” the content. It looks like this:
As you can see, users are automatically provided with a snippet, but can add commentary of their own, choose which circles to share the item with, and even send emails to users who haven’t yet joined Google+. That’s a lot of user control, which means they’re more likely to spread information about your website to their various circles on Google’s social network.
Luckily, you also get some control. The snippet that’s displayed, including the text, title, and thumbnail image can be manipulated either through the Google +1 button tool or through adding rich markup to your website. The markup is detailed on the Google Webmaster blog, and the option to create modified snippet code can be found on the +1 button page. The sharing and snippet features are being implemented this week, so users and webmasters should see them shortly.