Yesterday Google announced that the +1 button is now available for any website to use (just like a Facebook ‘Like’ button, or similar buttons). It raises two questions:

Google Plus 1

  1. Should you be using it?
  2. How do you use it?

Both questions are easily answered – though most articles on the topic have not really dealt with them as much as emphasizing the “buzz” (no pun intended) or the absence of a “need” for another “Like” button.

Should you use it?

The short answer is “YES!” Yes, it is yet another social media thing. Yes it is similar to others. But get real. As Lisa Barone has pointed out, the practical effect of the Plus One program is to put everyone in the position of using the button, or being left out. The consequence of being left out is not known yet, but it seems likely that it will have an impact on search placement in some way.

How do you use it?

To use it you will have to create a Google profile if you don’t already have one. If you have a login for GMail, iGoogle, or any other Google service, you probably already have a Google profile.

The instructions to use the button are simply cut-and-paste, if you have access to your website.

  1. Copy the first line of code (below) and paste it either inside the <head> tags of your page or near the bottom of your page, before the <body> tag closing. Here is the code:
    <script type="text/javascript" src="http://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script>
  2. Copy the second line of code (below) and paste it in the page where you would like the button to appear:
    <g:plusone></g:plusone>

There are various options for the size and layout of the button, the link it should “like”, and whether or not to display the count of “plusones”. Knock yourself out.

Comments

  • I did get it to work, but works better in Safari – shows the actual count. In Firefox 3.6.17 the +1 button is showing but no count. doesn’t show on my mobile site in the newest android system (whatever that is – new sidekick). Thanks Scott….I am experimenting with it. I clicked the one on your site but see no count in Safari or Firefox.
    S

  • The one on my site has a different option enabled – it is set to not display the count by going into the Advanced Options setting on the Google instructions and unchecking the “Include count” box. That changes the line of code which goes where you want the button displayed to be <g:plusone count="false"></g:plusone>. I’m using Firefox 3.6.17 too, and I do see the count on your site.

  • I see the count now too.
    I read further in the FAQ and it is not supported on mobile browsers yet.
    Do you see an advantage to not showing the count?

  • Not necessarily. It occurred to me that (a) if the number is small, some may feel peer pressure not to click – sort of a “if no one else likes it, why should I?” point of view, and (b) others may feel that showing the count is a way of showing off, and I would not want to offend. On the other hand, I’m not aware that there is any way to find your count in your Google profile, so if you don’t display it, you may not be able to find it (that seems like something they would make available, though).

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