Recently, Google has announced changes to their ‘Plus’ (+1) button that could mean huge things for sites and businesses in terms of driving traffic. Google has turned the +1 button into what it should have been when Google+ was launched: a means of sharing content to your Google+ Circles.
Before, the +1 button was basically just a way of telling Google that content was good enough to be considered a good search result. It presumably still serves this function as well. +1s simply showed up in the +1s tab on a user’s profile. You know, where none of your friends see them.
Now, you can share content with your circles more easily like you’re using a social network – which you now are.
For publishers, this should be tremendously helpful in boosting traffic from Google+. It means more visibility and more reason for people to share your content on Google+.
“Clicking the +1 button is a great way to highlight content for others when they search on Google.,” says Google’s Vic Gundotra. “But sometimes you want to start a conversation right away—at least with certain groups of friends. So beginning today, we’re making it easy for Google+ users to share webpages with their circles, directly from the +1 button. Just +1 a page as usual and look for the new ‘Share on Google+’ option. From there you can comment, choose a circle and share.”
“When you share content from the +1 button, you’ll notice that we automatically include a link, an image and a description in the sharebox,” he adds. “We call these ‘+snippets,’ and they’re a great way to jumpstart conversations with the people you care about.”
Publishers can customize +snippets. You can alter the markup to fit the kind of content you provide. A New inline annotations feature may remind you a bit of some Facebook social plugins. You can add inline annotations by updating your +1 button code from the configuration tool.
Google says that in July the button crossed 2 billion daily views. Now it gets over 4 billion daily views, and that only stands to increase. You have to consider that Google+ itself is still in its infancy and that Google is going to continue to integrate it more and more into its huge spectrum of products.
The +1 button is on every post in Google+ and people will only get more used to clicking it, which will likely have them clicking it more on web content. Google+ posts are also showing up in Google’s social search results now.
An Activity report shows how many times your pages have been +1′d, from buttons on your site, as well as on other pages like Google Search.
An Audience report will show you aggregate geographic and demographic data about who is using the +1 button with your content. Google only shows this info, however, when a “significant” number of users have +1′d pages. They don’t say what number they consider “significant” to be.
Users will find a +1 Metrics menu on the side of the page, where each of these reports will be able to be found.
Some site owners have already been getting some significant traffic from Google+. These new sharing features for the +1 should drive that traffic much more, with the added bonus of having a direct positive impact on the search rankings of that content.
On 24th August, 2011 Google announce a statement: “The +1 button now lets visitors share your pages with their circles on Google+. By letting visitors choose the Circles they share with, we’re making it easy to start conversations with people who are interested in your content. Also, you can use +Snippets to customize the name, image and description that appear when your content is shared.”
For more information, please see Google’s Webmaster blog post Here