Last week at Howard Design Group, we made this a priority, and here’s why.

In June of this year, Google launched the Google+ Project, a field trial for a new social network. Within weeks, millions of people signed on to be part of the trial, which was by invitation only. Google+ is now open to the public and has reached 40 million users according to Wikipedia this month. That’s a lot of Google circles (in-joke for all you Google+ users).

So, what’s this got to do with putting a Google+ Button on your website, and why is this so important?

Two powerful influences working as one—search and word of mouth
Google+ users can recommend a product, service, or something they’ve read, to people within their circles by clicking on the +1 button on the web page that they are looking at. Clicking on the +1 button is similar to liking something or giving it the thumbs up as you would with Facebook.  This recommendation will show up in the search results of people within their Google+ circles when those people use the Google search engine to find a product or service, or information on something they’re looking for—exactly when they need it. The number of people who +1’d the web page will also show up on the web page, next to the +1 button—building social proof and trust. This month, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association released an infographic showing that 49% of Americans believe online word of mouth is highly credible ( Now imagine if that online word of mouth recommendation came from a friend or a colleague.

Search visibility
Google has put together a FAQ page in response to questions about the +1 button and its impact on search ranking and results. It’s well-worth reading. Here’s the link: In short, when you add a +1 button to a web page, you are making the page visible to the Google search engine.  Google also says in the FAQs that they are watching carefully to see how the recommendation information, which they refer to as a new ranking signal amongst the many signals that they already use for page relevance and ranking, can be used to improve overall search quality. Stay tuned…

For instructions on how to add a +1 button to your website, go to:  We put the +1 button on our blog and contact us page, above the fold.