Have you ever dreamt of being a product tester? Well, Google is giving you a chance to do just that. In its efforts to make its "Search" function even better, Google has several ongoing experiments happening, and you are invited to participate. Click HERE to see your options.
One of those options that has gotten a lot of attention lately is the Google +1 feature (video above), which allows you to mark searches that you like on Google. You'll need a Google account and the willingness to let the world see what you're searching on Google. Well, not what you're searching exactly, but what you like...sort of the way you do on Facebook...which some have speculated is Google's intention.
I must admit that I've come to really enjoy the "like" button on Facebook, because it gives me a way to acknowledge a post without having to actually comment on it. Mostly, though, I use the feature on Facebook to let me know I've read their post, and don't disagree with them. Clicking on "+1" on Google, however, is basically the same as recommending a search, and I'm not sure I will want to do this in the same way. I like to be very careful what I recommend to people, and I doubt I will take the time to thoroughly research very many of my search results before recommending them to my online friends.
Eventually, when the +1 button is everywhere (as Google is hoping it will be), perhaps I will be more likely to use it to recommend blog posts from my and my friends' blogs. Right now, even though the Facebook "like" button is pretty much everywhere, I don't use that feature very often, even on posts that I like, because I don't want most of what I read necessarily being added to my Facebook wall and my friends' news feeds. Perhaps I will be more likely to use a Google "+1" button for those particular posts.
Only time will tell whether this latest Google feature will actually enhance our search experience, or whether it will be the next "Wave" or "Buzz."
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.