What Does Google +1 Equal?

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tipsThis week, Google rolled out a new social recommendation element to its search engine. Google announced the new feature on Wednesday. They call it +1.

When checking out Google +1, you may experience a sense of déjà vu. It’s almost exactly the same concept as the Facebook like button. Google +1 is a way to personalize search results according to the preferences of the people that matter most to you. Google users who participate in the program can “+1” a page on Google. The people connected to that user would see that page in Google noted as such.

It’s easy to see why Google is trying out the service. They realize that human-sorted, personal categorization of pages is the next most likely evolution of the web. Theoretically, human reviewed and moderated search results should be much more relevant and accurate.

The confusing background for the service is the social data from which they pull your recommended sources. For example, you know who you are connected to on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter – but you may not even realize who you are connected to on Google. Google’s “social network” (if it can be called that) is an amalgam of different services. Google describes your connections as “including things like the people you are already connected to through Google (your chat buddies and contacts, for example)… Soon we may also incorporate other signals, such as your connections on sites like Twitter.”

In the context of candidate sourcing and recruiting, Google +1 equals… well, that’s a tricky one. It could mean that you have more reason to connect with people on Google services or through social networks that Google might eventually factor in (like Twitter.) Theoretically, the connectivity of an organization’s employees could influence the ranking of the organization’s content (articles, job posts, employment sites.) A candidate looking for a new software development job may for example be more likely to see a job post from a local recruiter they know highlighted in actual Google search results. It’s an interesting (although most likely an entirely academic) idea to ponder.

Users have to sign up to the new Google +1 service as an experimental feature. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can do so here.

By Marie Larsen