Yesterday Google started it’s rollout of “+1”, their latest attempt at creating a social product. When the talk of Google +1 first came out in December, the thoughts were that they were going to use it as a service similar to “Liking” or “Retweeting”. The version that is rolling out is somewhat different. A Google +1 symbol will be found next to the search results and you can click it, and it will get shared with your social group and the public. The way it gets shared is by showing the number of your friends and also the general public that have “+1’d” that listing. I guess you can view it as a vote of confidence in that search listing. Not only will that number show in the organic listings, the organic +1’s number will also be displayed in the Google AdWords listings as well.
So what will this mean to the future of search and how will it impact search engine optimization efforts? Google has made it no secret that they have been working on integrating social signals into their algorithm for some time now. I believe that this is a way to further that initiative for them. So if social signals like +1 are going to be used more and more in the future, what can you do now to prepare? The answer is sticking to the fundamentals. You want to build your website as a destination and resource that people want to use. You will want a professional looking web design and high quality content that is updated frequently. Both of those items are real important for people to be enticed to “Like”, “Tweet”, or even “+1” your website. Customer service will even play a role. People will talk or have opinions about the quality of service that they receive. If they have a great experience, they are more likely to talk about it and recommend you socially. Not only will those things help you in the search results, they will help your business convert more visitors into paying customers.