Google+ Recommendations Bake Discovery Into The Mobile Web

Ahead of the slew of announcements to come out of its annual I/O conference later this week, on Monday Google released Google+ mobile recommendations, which allow publishers to include a discovery feature in any mobile news site. While discovery features are prevalent in native apps and in many news readers, the new mobile recommendations tool is aimed at closing the gap mobile sites face in keeping users around to read more than a single article. 

Google+ Recommendations: Just One Snippet Of Code

Placing a snippet of code in a website's main template enables Google+ recommendations on all pages of that site's mobile version. Users click on the mobile recommendations bar that provides articles from the same author, other popular articles on the site, and — if a user is signed into his or her Google+ profile — articles that people in their Circles have read and recommended.

All that's required beyond the free-to-use code is a Google+ profile to let publishers or individuals manage the recommendation tool. 

"We chose to launch this on mobile Web first because this problem for users and for publishers is most acute in mobile Web. It's the place where the user is least able to find interesting content in a property," Seth Sternberg, director of product management at Google, told ReadWrite. 

The feature will also be automatic from the publisher's standpoint, meaning a user will see the recommendations regardless of whether the user has a Google+ profile.  

Google+ Sign-In

Google+ mobile recommendations comes on the heels of the Google+ sign-in, which debuted two months ago. Like the more prevalent Facebook sign-in option, Google+ sign-in allows publishers to leverage the social network as a way of commenting and creating a profile on a publication website. The company says it has seen strong growth from its initial batch of 12 launch partners, and will showcase some 50 Google+ sign-in partners at I/O.