The SkyNet of today and tomorrow, also known as Google, added a fresh feature on Wednesday called the “+1” button, which allows users to “like” a search result (or advertisement!) much in the same way you would a Facebook or Tumblr post. For the nerdiest among us, on Reddit it’s called “voting up.” (All of these things are exactly the same, except Google’s is more invasive, as far as we can tell.) If you Google search in the +1 era, you may see votes from someone in your Google contacts or maybe just someone in your area. In other words, your every move is being watched.
Google announced the feature in an official blog post, which sounds cute at first but is actually terrifying:
When you do a search, you may now see a +1 from your slalom-skiing aunt next to the result for a lodge in the area. Or if you’re looking for a new pasta recipe, we’ll show you +1’s from your culinary genius college roommate. And even if none of your friends are baristas or caffeine addicts, we may still show you how many people across the web have +1’d your local coffee shop.
So how do we know which +1’s to show you? Like social search, we use many signals to identify the most useful recommendations, including things like the people you are already connected to through Google (your chat buddies and contacts, for example). Soon we may also incorporate other signals, such as your connections on sites like Twitter, to ensure your recommendations are as relevant as possible. If you want to know who you’re connected to, and how, visit the “Social Circle and Content” section of the Google Dashboard.
And don’t forget to like +1 your favorite ads so you can see them every day!