Hartley Brody

The Mother of All "Share" Buttons Has Arrived

Google +1 Button If you have a website or blog, you probably already have social media share buttons all over the place. Blog articles, product pages, landing pages, and pretty much anywhere else you have content that you want your visitors to share.

The benefits is obvious – people can easily post your links for their networks to see, generating referral traffic to your website. Then, anyone who is connected to this person sees your content – along with a personal endorsement – and your content can then spread through social circles.

The problem is, this almost never “snowballs” like we might hope. I wrote a Quora answer that addresses the viral sharing myth. The gist of it is that even when people use the share buttons on your site, your content probably isn’t getting a huge lift from that action.

Until today.

Site sharing buttons

Today, Google launched the +1 button. It’s a button you can add to any of your site’s pages along with the rest of your social media sharing buttons. But unlike the social media sharing buttons, Google’s button affects search results.

From Google:

The +1 button is shorthand for “this is pretty cool” or “you should check this out.”

Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1’s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.

Sometimes it’s easier to find exactly what you’re looking for when someone you know already found it. Get recommendations for the things that interest you, right when you want them, in your search results.

The next time you’re trying to remember that bed and breakfast your buddy was raving about, or find a great charity to support, a +1 could help you out. Just make sure you’re signed in to your Google Account.

The fundamental problem with social share buttons is that they are very timely. They appear briefly in users’ timelines, draw some visitors to your website, and then eventually get pushed out of everyone’s feed as new items are shared.

The Google +1 button changes all of that. Now, people can see that content has been shared when they’re looking for that content.

As an example, let’s say I’m looking for camping equipment. If you went camping a few months ago and really liked the headlamp you had used, you might have shared it on social media. But I probably won’t remember that recommendation anymore.

So I go to Google and type in “great headlamp”. Now, I see in the search results that you and several people have given this product page a +1.

I see your recommendation when I’m most interested in it – during a search. That sharing action is now targeted, timely and relevant. Obviously, this is extremely powerful for site owners and web users.


If you’re a web user, make sure you enable +1 recommendations in your search results to leverage this great tool. One day, it should be enabled for all seaches by default, but right now it’s opt-in only.

And if you own a website, make sure you get the +1 button for your site today to take advantage of it’s benefits in results.

It might just change how you use the internet.