Google +1 The Phoenix of Buzz?
Google +1 was officially announced yesterday via the Google Blog. What is +1? According to Google, +1 gives you the right recommendations right when you want them - in your search results.
With Google +1 you'll see that your searches will have a +1 icon next to each link and ad on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). The idea is that you can recommend links to your friends and family directly from Google. Don't worry if you don't see the +1 icon yet, Google has made this functionality available to anyone who wants to try. First you'll have to create a Google Profile if you don't already have one, and then head over to Google Experimental and sign up.
Google +1 will pull the contacts from your profile and show what your friends have "+1'd". Your search will also grab your Social Circle contacts and see who has shared links via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc. giving you a specific idea of the social popularity of your search.
Soon you'll begin to see +1 buttons made available to webmasters similarly to the Tweet and Like buttons. The importance of this is that a +1 will directly affect a URL on Google's SERP.
Thankfully, Google has made it easy to opt out of showing your information publicly when you +1 something. To do this simply go to your Google account settings, and under personal settings edit the option titled "+1 on non-Google sites".
Overall I think this is a very clever way to incorporate social sharing in to search results. +1 seems to be Google's Phoenix from Buzz and could change the way SEO regards Social Media. Only time will tell if +1 is a legitimate competitor to the Tweet and Like button.
As Scott said in our morning meeting, "I want Google, not Digg".Resources on +1 and Social Searching: