It has long been speculated by veterans of the Internet Marketing industry that Google would place less importance on rankings, and move towards a more personalized ranking model. Recently, Google released a slew of new products, one of which, +1, is potentially going to have a large impact on ranking results.

Aside from +1, other new releases include:

So, just what is +1 and how could it benefit your business?

Before the emergence of the Internet, think about the thought process you went through before buying a product. If you’re anything like myself, you asked friends or other family members. It was the ultimate vote of confidence in a product – that word of mouth affirmation from someone in your social circle could make up your mind one way or the other.

Now, think about using a search engine. You enter a keyword which may or may not include a product item and you find a friend or family member has +1’d a certain result in the rankings. You notice that this certain result in the SERPs has more +1’s than other results too. Naturally we are more inclined to believe that if your family and friends liked it, why wouldn’t you?

We can only speculate how Google intends to use +1 moving forward, but some tests have shown that not only can we be influenced by seeing our social circle +1 something, but that it can impact the actual ranking of a result. Search Engine Watch published a great post on this last month.

To implement +1 on your website visit Google’s +1 instruction page.