There are a number of different ways for Internet users to proclaim what specific pieces of information found online were useful. Google has now joined the ranks of the content usefulness raters with its +1 concept.
When it comes to “approving” something on the internet, quite possibly the most popular method is Facebook’s Like button. The button which originated on its own social networking site can now also be found on an uncountable number of pages across the web. Perhaps you are a stranger to Facebook and were wondering what all the Like hype and those button that keep popping up everywhere mean. Simply put, your approval counts; see something you find interesting – just Like it.

While there isn’t any formal method of collecting all of the Likes that have been clicked around the world for easy popularity cataloging, creating a Like for something does raise its bragging rights.

Following in the footsteps of Facebook, Google has now started to try out its +1 approval technology, or as the Google blog calls it “…the digital shorthand for – this is pretty cool.” Currently the +1’s can be found on Google sites, with the prospect of future expansion similar to the Like button’s widespread deployment.

Currently there is no ranking system for all the +1’s out there, however, users who have a newly upgraded Google profile can see a collection of their own personal +1 clicks, manage them, and delete any recommendations they no longer wish to see. Google users will also be able to see any connection’s (including chat friends, Google contacts) recommendations. For example, while searching for recipes, any connection recommended recipes would become marked as recommended, and at the moment, +1’s development is focused on providing results that are truly “relevant.” To view any current Google connections, users can visit the “Social Circle and Content” section of their Google Dashboard. Google states that eventually the service may incorporate itself into other popular social channels such as Twitter.

What if you aren’t seeing any +1s? At the moment the technology is still considered to be an “experiment.” Anyone can opt-in by visiting the Google Experiment Labs website to try out the feature. Once at the site, simply click the “Join this Experiment” button. It is important to note that after doing so, it may take a little while for the +1s to appear.

More information and updates may be found by visiting the official +1 webpage.

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