Google’s integration of social recommendations into its search results, rolled out Wednesday, could have a significant impact on the way publishers work to attract Web visitors.
Google’s new +1 initiative places what amounts to a “like” button next to each of its search results. Voting up a result (by hitting the +1 button) will help Google further refine its search results to favor popular pages.
Those +1 votes will be directly visible to any friends signed in with a Google Profile, and in aggregate the ratings will be used to help improve overall search results by including user preferences.
For publishers, the result is that pages given a +1 by readers will appear more prominently in Google searches, and will be highlighted as recommendations by friends within the reader’s social network. That network only extends to Google products currently, but it is expected to include Twitter and other services in the future. Read more