Reports: Google to launch +1 for sites tomorrow

Playing catch up with Facebook, the search giant will give Web developers tools to add its "like" button to their pages.

Google has dialed up the love you can show Web sites, reportedly adding its nascent +1 button to the arsenal Web developers can deploy.

The +1 button (pronounced "plus one") is Google's answer to Facebook's prolific "Like" feature, where users can click on an icon to show appreciation for a site.

In March, Google launched +1 as a way to let Web surfers like search results. That feature lets users who are logged in to their Google accounts keep tabs on their favorite search discoveries on Google, as well as giving the company tools to customize what sorts of ads it delivers. And the company uses the data from +1 to gauge the quality of its search results.

Google's +1 feature for Web searches Google

The new +1 feature, first reported by TechCrunch and confirmed by Search Engine Land, will give sites the ability to add the +1 icon to their pages. What's unclear is how those clicks will show up for others. When a Facebook user "likes" a Web page, it can be seen by all their friends on Facebook, and now on some search queries in Microsoft's Bing. But Google has no similar social network, so it remains to be seen how a person's clicking +1 will show up to other users.

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"Tomorrow we'll be talking about how the +1 button will further help people find and recommend great content across the Web," Google spokesman Jim Prosser wrote in an e-mail. "We'll have more details with our announcement."

Updated with Google comment at 3:20 pm PT.

About the author

Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).

 

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