Back in March, Google started rolling out "+1", their competitor for the Facebook "Like" button. At the time, it was only available within Google search. Yesterday, they launched a +1 Button that you can put on your website (you can see...and at the top and bottom of this article).

At the time of the original roll out, I predicted that +1 will become more powerful than Facebook's Like button. To recap, +1's advantages include:

  • +1 scores are visible in more places. Both buttons can appear on your webpage. +1s also appears in Google search results. Likes also appear on the walls of people who Like your page, but essentially disappear once newer content pushes them down a little way.
  • +1 scores are presented just when you need them them most -- when someone who's searching is deciding between clicking through to your website or a competitor's.
  • +1 scores are shown in search results even for pages where you haven't placed a +1 button (though the odds of someone clicking +1 in the search results is much lower than the odds of them clicking a button on your page).
  • People who use Facebook for personal connections only may be hesitant to "Like" things that they don't think would interest their friends and family (I speak for myself here).

Facebook has some advantages too: new Like's will initially be more visible to your Facebook connections (until they scroll out of view); Facebook connections are likely to be stronger and perhaps more numerous than Google connections; etc.

How to Add a +1 Button To Your Website

Google has a page with falling-off-a-log-easy instructions for adding the +1 button to your webpages. If you want to do something a little more complex with it (like using it on a page that can be loaded using different URLs -- for example, a sales page that sometimes has an affiliate ID in the URL), see these instructions.

Reader Comment:
Antone Roundy said:
Hmm, I can see them in Firefox 4.0.1. Not sure what the problem could be.
(join the conversation below)

To add the +1 button to a WordPress blog, you can either use the instructions above to edit your theme files, or use plugin code like this.

I recommend taking a few minutes to add +1 buttons to your blogs and other important pages. And if you like this article, there's a new button below that you can use to show it.