Google’s long awaited adventure into the world of social sharing buttons is finally here (let’s ignore the previous Google Buzz and Google Notebook attempts).
Google +1 Button Sizes
After a first look, the Google +1 button sizes seem quite small and restrictive and not as ‘in your face’ and the Tweet button. Google gives four different button sizes, available in most languages across the globe. The default sizes are a tiny 15px,a medium 20px, 24px as Standard and a Tall 60px version. Google also provides advanced options on parsing, JS Callback function, and a option to ‘+1′ a specific URL.
There’s also some advanced options where you’ll see that Google recommends using the +1 button in conjunction with the “rel=canonical” tag, which Michael Thomson predicted in an earlier post.
Adding the Code
Unlike one bit of code which you add for other social sharing buttons, Google asks you to copy and paste two bits of code into your site, once you’ve chosen the button size and shape that you want. You can get the code from the Google Webmasters site.
The first bit of code sits in the <head> or just before the </body>, much like any other tracking code.
What does it look like in place?
Just like your average Google +1 button to be honest. It slots in quite nicely next to other sharing buttons. I’ve added it onto my personal Blogger platform blog, and it looks right at home.
When you want to use the button and share a piece of content, a little pop up window appears asking you to confirm how you want to appear “publicly in search results, on ads and across the web”.
Google also provides a check box for users to accept or deny Google’s use of your information to personalise content and ads across the internet. Once you click ‘+1′, the call out balloon begins totting up the number of +1′s, and the URL information is then processed.
In addition, your +1 activity may also show up on websites that use the Google +1 button, in a similar way that Facebook presents information that says “Simon Heyes liked this link on Facebook.” This personalisation can be controlled from your Google Account page .
Unfortunately the shared information is only currently visible on Google.com, but should roll out to other local Google domains in the coming weeks.
+1 & Search Impact?
I mentioned in an earlier post on the ‘Future of Search’ that it wouldn’t surprise me if Google began including Facebook ‘Like’ buttons in it’s SERPs, and that Google has a big roll to play in the social space. When the +1 button was initially announced, Google said it would look at the +1 data “as a potential signal to improve search quality.” At bigmouthmedia we talk about Google looking to identify the ‘authority’ page or site for a particular keyword or phrase. As such, perhaps the Google +1 data is simply another line in the Google ‘SEO & Social’ algorithm that allows them to identify the true authority for a particular topic.
The Huffington Post and Mashable are two of the first sites to integrate the new Google +1 Button, and I’m sure we (and everyone else) won’t be far behind. In the meantime, I’m off to make sure people ‘Like’ this post.