google +1

we’ve seen a number of similar attempts by google, including: answers, bookmarks, searchwiki, sidewiki, jaiku, wave and buzz. at the close of march this year google announced the launch of +1 which was rolled out via google experiment

the concept, revolutionary enough, is that instead of trusting a search engine’s algorithm to deliver the most relevant search results, one should trust their friends’ preferences, along with the preferences of all other searchers. but... why?

my opinion since launch has been that they are continuing to fail at understanding the true functionality of communication and have a misconception of their role for these conversations. people talk. a social networking service makes these conversations easier. in doing so recommendations, opinions and feelings are shared. this service is valuable to society...

on the other hand, google helps people find things more easily: on their own. this is their service. as facebook allows us to communicate more easily, google helps us find things (that are highly relevant) faster.

is there a cross over between the two? they think so. +1 is based on the belief that what I search for should be influenced by my friends. I don't accept this, yet, simply as a result of my own search behaviours. it's a big theory to sell easily and screams of desperation. shouldn't google stick to what they do best and have faith in their product and 100% focused on making it better?

google for once is ambiguous, suggesting that there are two right answers. in reality, the difference between the two answers must be small, as for the vast majority of queries, there are only 10 natural results displayed out of potentially millions or billions of pages, so google’s algorithm remains the true arbiter. yet it still feels like there’s a chance for google to be wrong, and that goes against more than a decade of users’ faith in the doctrine of google infallibility.

what +1 lacks most is facebook. soon after +1 launched, a browser plug-in was released that shows the number of facebook “likes” for any search listing in google. have a play.

it's all very interesting, especially when you learn that Page “sent out a company-wide memo … alerting employees that 25% of their annual bonus will be tied to the success or failure of google’s social strategy in 2011.”

+1 for websites
yesterday at the I/O developer conference in san fran, the search giant gave developers a sneak peek at the +1 button — it provides a way for website visitors to endorse and share an article or web page. it's expected to be up very soon...

according to search engine land, the buttons will be available in seven different shapes and sizes with and without counters. publishers can create one of these +1 buttons from a simple form where they can generate the embed code.

the +1 button comes with a suite of analytics that look similar to the google analytics dashboard. once enough people have used a website’s +1 button, the data will be graphed. demographic information such as age, gender and location are recorded. the analytics even include +1 data from Google search pages, which could prove useful for publishers that want to improve their presence on the world’s largest search engine.

google played coy with the exact launch date of the +1 button, but you can expect it to make its debut near the end of may. there's a signup form if you want to get notified about the button’s launch.