Last week Google launched a new social feature called +1. For searchers with a Google account, they will have the option of clicking the "+1" button, which is similar to the Facebook "like." Then, other searchers who are signed into Google will see "+1" feedback from their connections.
ReadWriteWeb explains Google's reasoning for the new feature,
"But in the long run, Google says +1 will help users find relevant content, and that's good news if, indeed, your site delivers. Google also says that ‘as with any new ranking signal, we'll be starting carefully and learning how those signals affect search quality.'"
+1 Means More Personalization
Google has been working on breaking into the social space in a big way, but I'm not sure this is it. While social media has proven that people value the references and input of their real-life friends, that may not be true when a user is looking for a specific type of content rather than just browsing. Especially, when your friends might not have experience in the category you are searching for.
Ray Grieselhuber of GinzaMetrics says that search results will keep moving toward increased personalization.
"Despite its growing presence in our daily lives, one of the least talked-about, most important trends in online marketing and media today is the expansion of personalization. Within just a few years, internet users are going to expect highly personalized experiences with their brands, videos, games, websites, shopping, and yes, searches."
Personalization will certainly mean more relevant search results and more relevant marketing strategies overall, but the user-experience of rating search results might be difficult. By the time you realize that a site is helpful for you, you've probably already left the search results.