Just as Twitter has launched its "follow" button, another social button is on the way tomorrow. That would be the Google +1 button, which was announced two months ago, and could have a significant impact on search rankings for websites.
Apparently the PR company of one of Google's launch partners, Clearspring, wrote TechCrunch an email, saying, “I understand that Google planned to reach out to you about the new Google +1 button for websites that they’ll be unveiling shortly. I thought you might be interested in speaking with Hooman Radfar, CEO of Clearspring, about the company’s role as a launch partner for Google +1.”
Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land says he's confirmed with Google that it is indeed launching the +1 button for websites tomorrow. If you're unfamiliar with the button, this video will basically get you up to speed:
Google has said flat out that the button will be used as a ranking signal.
What remains to be seen is how well the button will be adopted by users. It will be adopted by publishers, no question. Anything that might help draw an increase in search rankings and traffic will be used heavily. Will readers and searchers care enough to use it to any great extent? Who knows? Users click the Facebook "like" button because they actually like content or because they want to show their friends, who are on Facebook. When the goal is to suggest that the content may show up in someone's search query, I have to wonder how much the average user will care. I guess we'll see. And soon.
Here are some questions that remain. Either way, you may be making some slight design adjustments for new buttons this week.