SiliconFilter

Report: Google’s +1 Buttons Gain Wider Distribution, Facebook Still Dominant

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In some corners of the Internet, the battle between Google’s +1 buttons and Facebook’s and Twitter’s equivalent sharing tools has already been decided. According to Enterprise SEO company Brightedge, however, all of these tools still have a lot of room to grow when it comes to distribution on the top 10,000 websites. Google’s buttons are currently only in use on 4.5% of these sites, while Facebook’s Like button and box are being used by 10.8% and 6.1% of these sites respectively. (more…)



4:00 pm


More Buttons Coming to a Site Near You: Twitter Follow and Google +1

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It’s a big day for buttons today. Twitter just introduced its new Follow button and thanks to an unfortunate leak, we also know that Google is planning to launch its +1 button for third-party sites tomorrow. Twitter’s Follow button has long been overdue. It allows site owners to give their visitors a chance to follow their accounts with just a few clicks. Google’s +1 button is part of the company’s efforts to add more social signals to its search results. Whenever somebody +1s a story on a third-party site, this information will appear in their friends’ search results if that page appears (and can also push sites up on their friends’ search results pages).

Twitter Follow Button

follow_buttonIn some ways, Twitter’s Follow button currently feels like the forgotten stepchild of the Facebook Like box. As Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan noted on Twitter earlier today, the fact that it doesn’t show the faces of followers like Facebook’s box feels like a missed opportunity. According to Twitter developer Ryan Sarver, though, this feature could be coming in a future release.

Will People Use Google’s +1 Buttons

We’ll write more about Google +1 buttons once they’re released tomorrow, but one of the reasons why I’ve been rather skeptical about Google’s +1 initiative is that there really isn’t a good reason why a user would press the +1 button instead of the Facebook ‘like’ button or a Twitter share button instead.

I’m not aware of any research about this, but my guess is that most users who do use these tools only pick one button when they decide to share a story with their friends and then move on. With Facebook and Twitter, it’s clear where those shares end up. With +1, they could one day end up on a friend’s search results page, but I’m not sure that provides enough motivation for somebody to actually use this feature.



9:37 pm


Social Search: Deeper Facebook Integration Pushes Microsoft Past Google

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Microsoft today announced a deeper integration of Facebook’s ‘like’ data with its Bing search engine. This data now powers a number of new features that don’t just make Bing’s social search competitive but actually better and more useful than Google’s current efforts in the social search arena.

While Google is able to pull in data from Twitter and a number of other services (including its own recently launched +1 and public Facebook fan pages), Microsoft is the only major search engine with access to Facebook’s firehose. Thanks to this, Bing now shows you whenever a friend has ‘liked’ a site that appears on your search results page and pushes these results to the top of the page, too.

bing facebook integration

Collective IQ

In addition to these highly personalized results, Bing now also takes aggregate ‘like’ data into account while ranking search results. Thanks to this, Bing will now surface recipes on cooking sites that were ‘liked’ by a certain number of other Facebook users or which books on Amazon are currently popular.

Besides these major additions, Bing also launched a number of other features, including the ability to build a “travel wish list” that also shows you which of your friends live or have lived in a given city and the ability to receive notifications of flight deals when you ‘like’ a Bing flight search result.

Like vs. +1 and the Twitter Firehose

With the millions of ‘like’ buttons on the Web today, there can be little doubt that having access to this data firehose allows Bing to present more relevant data to mainstream users than Google currently can with its Twitter integration (there are, after all, far more users on Facebook than on Twitter). Google simply doesn’t have access to this data, which is likely one of the reasons why it started its +1 initiative. With +1, though, Google is far behind Facebook. Indeed, +1 is still just a labs product and the company will only launch +1 buttons for third-party sites in the next few weeks.



2:44 pm


Why Google’s +1 Can’t Compete With Facebook’s Like

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Google just launched it’s +1 button this morning. This new feature allows Google’s users to like sites and ads right on the search results page and which will soon also come to a site near you in the form of a Facebook-like “-1” button. Quite a few pundits are already proclaiming this as a Facebook competitor, but I have my doubts. For now, the benefits of clicking the +1 button simply aren’t there for users to bother clicking on them.

The +1 button will be a great new signal for Google to improve its search results and add information to its Social Search feature, but for it to really take off, Google will have to syndicate these results to places where people really want to send them. In its introductory video, Google says that it wants users to use this for sites they want to recommend, but don’t want to “want to send an email or post an update about.”

For Now, Your +1’s Disappear Into a Void – So Why Bother?

The real problem right now, tough, is that there are only so many buttons users can click on on any given site and unless they know where their recommendations go, chances are they won’t bother using this feature much.

With +1, your friends will see your “likes” on search results pages and on your Google Profile. I doubt that there is a lot of traffic to anybody’s Google Profile today, so why would I feel inclined to add more content to it? Instead, when I send a recommendation to Facebook or Twitter, I know exactly where it goes and who sees it.

Chances are, too, that my friends aren’t always looking for the same thing I do, so the chance of them actually seeing my +1 recommendations are pretty slim – making me even less inclined to use the button.

Until Google actually allows users to syndicate these +1’s to other sites and services like Facebook and Twitter, I doubt that this will take off in a major way.

That said, though, chances are that this is only a small step in Google’s overall social strategy. Maybe +1 could become part of a larger Facebook competitor in the long run, but given Google’s general failure to make any dent in this market, I doubt it (Buzz, Google’s last major foray into competing with Facebook doesn’t even get the courtesy of being allowed to aggregate +1’s, which is quite telling, I think).



12:16 pm