Google is hoping to improve its search engine and take on Facebook and Twitter with a new offering, simply called +1.
The new service, which presumably means Google Buzz is now dead and buried, was detailed on Wednesday by the search engine. Although the service has yet to go live, it basically allows you to “like” search results and eventually pages on your favourite sites (Pocket-lint cough cough) to allow you to share stories and content you like as well as ultimately improve the company's search results.
“Our goal at Google is to get you the most relevant results as quickly as possible,” claims Google in a blog post. “But relevance is about relationships as well as words on webpages. That’s why we recently started to include more information from people you know—stuff they’ve shared on Twitter, Flickr and other sites—in Google search results.”
Called +1 Google says that the new offering is “digital shorthand for this is pretty cool,” and not "let's just copy Facebook and Twitter."
To recommend something, Googles says that all you have to do is click +1 on a webpage or ad you find useful via an icon that will be appearing over the next couple of weeks. These +1’s will then start appearing in Google’s search results.
Of course multiple people liking pages all at once isn’t very helpful, and Google acknowledge this. It’s answer is to look at what your chat buddies and contacts are liking as well as “other signals, such as your connections on sites like Twitter,” to ensure your recommendations are as relevant as possible.
Basically when your friend plus ones something you'll see it, just in the same way one of your friends may "like" something on Facebook, or retweet something on Twitter.
To get started +1’ing the stuff you like, you’ll need to create a Google profile, or if you already have one, upgrade it. You can use your profile to see all of your +1’s in one place, and delete those you no longer want to recommend. To see +1’s in your Google search results you’ll need to be logged into your Google Account.
Google says that the new service will slowly roll out to all English users with those who are impatient having the ability to opt-in to the new tech by visiting the company’s experimental search site.
“Initially, +1’s will appear alongside search results and ads, but in the weeks ahead they’ll appear in many more places (including other Google products and sites across the web).”
What do you think of the new idea? Good or awful? Let us know in the comments below