Every once and a while a new product or innovation comes out, and no matter what your business you always have to ask when is the right time to move forward with it. Google just formally rolled out their new +1 feature and as far as this product goes the answer for you is RIGHT NOW!
To quote Google from their own video on this product:
“When you have lots of options in front of you it’s easy to find yourself wishing for a bit of advice”
So I will say it again, my advice to you in this particular scenario is to install the +1 on your site immediately.
Before I go further in explaining why, maybe a little bit on what might be in order. Here is the video Google has put together on the +1 product:
As the +1 team describes it:
The +1 button is shorthand for “this is pretty cool” or “you should check this out.”
Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1’s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.
The +1 button is Google’s latest shot in the social/sharing space and the button allows your visitors to give your pages an explicit endorsement that will show up in Google search results. If you are logged into Google and your friends also have registered Google account you will also be able to see their +1 selections appear in your search results. If you don’t have any friends connected to Google you’ll still see +1 results (or if your Google friends have not made any relevant +1’s for a search result), but the +1 search results will not be associated with specific people. If you are dying for a more complete explanation of the service I’d suggest starting with this article on Search Engine Land.
So, Why is this so important?
Right now there is a big battle over mindshare and companies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google (I know, Google already owns YouTube) are competing for your time and space. Your time as in where you spend time clicking and your space as in the space you as a business owner elect to provide to feature their products.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, when new products roll out every business has to make an “if and when” decision. In the case of +1 this product geared toward everything that has an online presence – that covers pretty much every business that has a website. The “if’ in this case is very valid – Google has launched (or purchased) a number of social products, none of which have taken off including items like “Buzz”, “Orkut” and “Wave”, but I think this one is different for the following reasons:
- +1 is tightly woven into their core product, search
- Google is losing tremendous mind-share to most notably Facebook
- Google does not like to lose – they’ve already had a few failures in this space
- Eric Scmidt is no longer CEO, and the new guy, Larry Page, is not going to allow this to fail as it’s his first new product coming out under his new term as CEO
- I believe Google’s disdain for Facebook will push them even further
- There is possibly some Facebook fatigue and I think consumers want to see Google offer up a hardy alternative – if +1 shows early promise the adoption rates will skyrocket
Okay, so that is all fine and dandy, but the next question is why not take a wait and see approach? After all, every pixel is valuable so why would you out of the gate give Google a coveted slot, likely above the fold on your posts? After all, there was the debacle with Buzz…
Aside from the fact that the +1 is likely going to be great for your business, adding it early will almost definitely bring in some additional benefits mainly because you will be ahead of your competitors. Think it through and remember how you were late to the party with services like Twitter and Facebook and remember how hard you had to work just to “catch up” while all the early adapters got to ride the wave. Well, this is your chance to get in on a game early.
Adding the +1 button to your site is super easy, and with all these benefit you’d be crazy not to include it. Worst case scenario, +1 flames out and in a few months you adjust your site back to where it was. Not so bad. Best case scenario, all kinds of new, and highly relevant visitors start to discover your site.
Meanwhile, if you like this post go ahead and +1 it!