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It‘s official. Today, Google launches the +1 button for websites. This is potentially a big game changer for SEO firms as it may change the way Google ranks websites. According to Google, the button will allow website visitors to give a “+1” rating to content they find useful. This rating system will allow website visitors to influence what content appears in the search results.

With a single click you can recommend that raincoat, news article or favorite sci-fi movie to friends, contacts and the rest of the world. The next time your connections search, they could see your +1’s directly in their search results, helping them find your recommendations when they’re most useful.

Webmasters may use the tool illustrated in the image below to create a customized +1 button for their websites. The tool provides code based on your customizations. After that just copy and paste the code onto the pages of your website. You can see what the +1 button looks like now on our blog.

With the launch of the +1 button for websites, Google appears to be telling us that they like the results they have seen from other versions of the button. But how will this button impact the way Google ranks websites? In an earlier post, David Scoville examined the +1 button and asked the question “How could it change SEO?” If Google is moving away from strictly algorithm-based search results, to results that are influenced more by social media, will that provide higher quality results?