Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is extending its “+1” button to Web publishers, giving them a new way to highlight their content in search results by putting the buttons on their own pages. The +1 button has been around for a few months, but only in Google’s search results: now there’s another sharing button to consider alongside buttons from Twitter, Facebook, and a host of others.
Several prominent media companies are joining Google as launch partners for the Web-based +1 button, including Bloomberg, The Huffington Post, and Reuters (NYSE: TRI). Readers on those sites will be given the option to hit the button on content that they like, which will highlight that content in search results when friends or social-media connections search for similar topics. Google has been testing the feature within search results since March, but the broader launch might increase usage similar to the way buttons from Twitter and Facebook encourage sharing of Web content among connections in those networks.
Any Web publisher can add the buttons to their site, with detailed instructions available here. This is all part of Google’s quest to replicate the information-sharing that takes place on social networks without having to build a unique social network of its own, hopefully encouraging people to consider Google a source of both algorithmically determined information as well as information curated by friends or colleagues.