On March 30th, Google started looking a little more like a social media tool by revealing their new +1 feature. This new product will allow searchers who are logged into Google to share recommendations on products and services from both organic and paid results. It also changes the way search engine ranking and results are seen by each user. When you combine this change with their recent algorithm change that penalizes link-heavy, content-light sites, you see the importance of valuable content and interactivity with your customers.

First of all, the +1 feature is being rolled out as an experiment initially. Those who want to use the tool need to create a Google profile or upgrade their current one. Once a user is logged in and clicks on the +1 button next to a search engine result, Google we keep track of that +1 and highlight that search result if it appears for any of that user’s friends for that or a similar search.

In the future, Google could allow companies to add the +1 button to their websites, just like many have the “like” button for Facebook on their sites now. Adding the +1 button on Web sites could draw more site visitors because friends will see personalized recommendations on search results and ads.  AdWords advertisers will automatically see the symbol appear in search ads on google.com. No changes to campaigns are required to add the button. Advertisers will see the button appear in the coming weeks.

So how does all of this impact your business?

Obviously, Google continues to make changes to personalize the search experience for each user. In addition, Google is rewarding social businesses. The more your business connects with prospects and customers online, the more you increase your odds of getting found in Google’s evolving search results.

Search engine ranking and position are becoming a non-issue in light of these changes.  Conversely, blogging and sharing content on social media has never been more important. In a world that is being built on personal recommendations, it is critical that your business becomes social through valuable content.