Google Social Search +1: The “Uncola” of Social Media

[tweetmeme]I know I’m dating myself, but do you remember the old 7Up ads that touted the soft drink as the “uncola” so it could compete with Coke & Pepsi? I think Google is the social media version of 7Up.

The search engine giant last week unveiled its new +1 recommendation service – a move that truly makes search social. Much like the ubiquitous Facebook “like” button, Google users can now recommend a search result they like by clicking on a “+1” icon.

Google claims the beauty of +1s 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).”

Watch the video for more details:

It’s clear to me that Google is tired of everyone clicking the Facebook “like” button and wants to be known as the +1 brand!

But +1? Really? Is that the best name they could come up with? I know Facebook also uses a “thumbs up” icon and “Digg” has been taken by the social news website of the same name. Twitter uses a “star” to indicate favorite tweets, so maybe a simple heart icon would have worked.

Regardless, +1 is the next phase of Google’s Social Search strategy that it began several months ago, where search results would feature photo icons of people who shared a link. I’ve just started seeing these recommendations pop up in my own online searches (when I’m logged into my Google account):

So what does all this mean for businesses? From an SEO standpoint, it’s clear that social media’s impact is here to stay! Whether you’re a product or service provider, you should monitor what your customers are saying about you, because those results are going to be displayed on Google – for better or worse.

What do you think of Google’s +1? Will it make an impact on your buying decisions? Or will it just be a passing phase? Please share your comments below.


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4 thoughts on “Google Social Search +1: The “Uncola” of Social Media”

  1. I don’t think +1 is going to influence on my buying decisions, or what links I click on for that matter. I am worried about the effect it is going to have on search rankings as a whole. Is Google going to put more weight into the +1 feature as opposed to tweets and Facebook “likes” to promote the use of their own service? If that is the case, then everyone trying to rank well in the SERP’s better get involved in Google + now, or your competition is going to pass you by.

  2. Google is really turning into a “me too”. It’s unfortunate. Still waiting for something original from them in the social media space.

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