Google +1: How to Make it Work for You

You may have noticed the recent inclusion of a Google +1 button on many websites and blogs. This is a new development from Google as it tries to compete in the social network space with the likes of Facebook. +1 is Google’s first attempt to make inroads into Facebook, but can it work for you?

The +1 button is a way to endorse a post, website or search result, and works in a very similar manner to the Facebook like button.

You will find the Google +1 button at the side of the search results in Google. If you have people in your Google network, then your contacts will be able to see the sites and blogs you recommend, as they will be visible to your list of contacts. This is not limited to just those in your Gmail account contact list. Other contacts that will see your recommendations come from Google Talk, Blogger, Reader and YouTube.

In the future, there may be plans to integrate your list of contacts from Twitter also, although this not in place yet. As the new technology is so young, there are many different rumors but nothing has been confirmed. For example, there are other rumors that suggest the Google +1 will have an impact on the Google PageRank in the future.

If you want to use the +1 button, you need to have a Google profile. However, this is not just limited to a Google account, as blogger accounts, Reader accounts, Gmail accounts, and the other Google services will also let you use the +1 feature.

For those people who don’t have a Google account, they will still be able to see the +1 but be unable to add them. For those people not logged into Google, they will see aggregated +1 data only.

If you have your own WordPress blog, then you can easily add +1 to it. You simply need to search for Google +1 in the plugins section of the dashboard. There are also many instructions listings on the web if you are unsure about the process. Using this feature on your website is a great idea to tell the world how cool your blog is. As such, you also want your readers to cast a vote for your blog.

Google +1 may not be the Facebook Killer that many people predict it may be.  But it is a very useful social media platform that could very well change social media as we know it.

Patrick Lindle is the social media manager at DMAC Industries, a metal deck / steel decking fabrication business located in Alpharetta, Georgia. 

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