Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) June 1 made its +1 content recommendation button available to several of its own properties as well as to media outlets such as TechCrunch and Reuters.
+1 is Google's answer to Facebook's Like button, allowing users to click a button to recommend content to friends and contacts.
Google Profiles owners click the +1 next to each search result or ad on Google.com and +1s start appearing next to each selected search result. Users signed into their Google accounts will see these +1 selections in future searches.
When it rolled out March 30, +1 was limited to Google search results and ads.
This next step in the phased launch will make +1 buttons available to Websites that users visit in their online travels. So instead of simply plus-oneing a Google search result or ad, users may click to recommend products and services they like.
The tool should be useful for Website publishers who want to see their brands, products and services sprinkled liberally around the Web. Moreover, when a user clicks the +1 button, it's a validation of that brand, which should make it more enticing for +1 users' contacts to check out.
At least in the early going, news stories will be the easiest items to recommend, as +1 will appear on media Websites such as TechCrunch, Reuters, Mashable, Bloomberg, O'Reilly, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post and other forward-looking publications.
Users will also see +1 buttons on Google's Android Market, YouTube, Blogger and Google Product Search. On YouTube, users can find +1 under the Share feature.
The +1 button is supported in 44 languages, though +1 activity is currently available only on English-language search results on Google.com. That's the word according to Search Engine Land, which explains how the +1 button works.
Social recommendation buttons are becoming a big hit in the wake of Facebook's lucrative Like button, which Facebook launched a year ago.
Twitter added its Follow Button May 31 to let users click buttons to follow high-profile Twitter users, such as musicians, athletes and media outlets.