Better search with Google’s +1?
Google has unveiled a new way for searchers to share websites they recommend to people they know.
The search engine's newest function is dubbed +1 – which it describes as "the digital shorthand for 'this is pretty cool'".
It is the latest development in an effort to make searches more social – Google has also recently began to include information from Flickr, Twitter and other networking sites in its search results to make them more relevant for individual users.
Searchers will soon see a new +1 button to the right of each search result. When you click it, you send a signal to other Google users you know that you find the page or ad useful.
Eventually, +1s from people you know will start appearing in your search results. For example, if you do a search for holiday accommodation in the mountains, you might see a +1 from a ski-loving buddy next to a hotel he recommends.
You may also see +1s from people in your area who recommend certain pages – including local businesses, coffee shops and restaurants.
"We’re confident that +1, combined with all of the social content we’re now including in search, will mean even better, more relevant results than you get today," wrote product manager Rob Spiro on the Official Google Blog.
Of course, in order to use the new +1 function, you'll need to create a Google profile – and you must be signed in to see recommendations from people you know.