We’ve known since June that the +1 button on websites will have a direct effect on searches performed by Google contacts. We have also speculated that plusses will also have an influence over general, unauthenticated search results. Lastly, we’ve had a feeling that the similarities between the +1 buttons on websites and the Google+ social network meant a future convergence between search and social on Google.
Google’s release of sharing on Google+ through a website’s +1 button is further confirmation that Google is wanting their social component to be tied in with search. It’s not stated, but there are definite implications now and from past experience that Google has always loved the human component of search. Releasing +snippets is a step in that direction.
Onsite content and inbound links have been two of the primary algorithmic influences on search results for nearly a decade. Since late 2006, Google has toyed with applying social signals into the equation and announced in December that social signals were officially being used. This recent twist to the +1 buttons is the next step.
If you want to have an influence over your future search results, make sure that IF you’re a content site or have content on your website, be sure that the +1 buttons are in place. This is not a license to spam – pages that are not “share-worthy” should not plug in the buttons as there is speculation they can do more harm than good (if a page is simply not getting plussed, is it worth ranking?).