Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is moving to match Facebook with its own version of the social network’s ‘Like’ button, which has become ubiquitous across the web since its launch last April. Google users will now be able to click a “+1″ button on Google search results to recommend an entry or ad to their friends. The button will soon be coming to third-party sites as well, so that visitors will be able to recommend that content too.
The key difference between the Facebook ‘Like’ button and Google’s ‘+1′: While Facebook users who ‘Like’ a piece of content automatically share it with their friends on the social network, Google users who ‘+1′ are recommending it to friends who are conducting searches on the search engine. (Adjacent to a result, users will see the name of a contact who recommends it).
That makes it the latest in a series of updates the company has made to make its search results more “social.” Just last month, for instance, Google said it would play up content written by friends and friends of friends when users make a query on its search engine. Like with that feature, ‘+1′ only works if users have set up a Google profile, which lets Google establish who a user’s “friends” are. Users can opt-in here.
How ‘+1′ works:
See where Google ranks on our latest list, The paidContent 50: The Most Successful Digital Media Companies In The U.S.