Last month, Google finally unveiled its long-awaited +1 effort, wherein Google users recommend search results by clicking a “+1” button next to the result. Then, when their Google “friends” search, those results are shown as recommended. The addition of +1 followed the previous month’s addition of social recommendation into search results using Twitter and other social sharing.
Facebook – the center of many users’ online social sharing experience – has been notably absent from all of this. A browser extension called “Google +Like” has come along, however, to bring the best parts of the two rival companies together into a social search experience.
To those of you who keep a close eye on tech news, the absence of Facebook from all of this is no surprise. The two companies are famously unfriendly with each other. Facebook and Bing are closely aligned, offering the sort of social search integration that users may desire from Google as well.
“Google +Like” brings a similar sort of Facebook integration to Google search results, allowing users to like results directly from their search results page and more. While “Google +Like” won’t change the order of your search results or alter them in any way that a close integration would offer, it shows the general popularity of a link on Facebook and who, out of your Facebook friends, has liked the link. The extension is available for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer and allows users to not only see these “Likes” in their basic search results, but also in news and video results.
There has been one question that has been absent from much of the discussion surrounding Google and its +1 button – do we really want social recommendations in our search results? What do you think – do you want your Twitter and Facebook friends, your Google contacts, to influence your search results? Or would you rather keep social out of search entirely?