Mountain View, California -- Relentlessly striving to boost more activity to its Google+ network, search engine titan Google this week released an experimental “Share” button that appears in place of the +1 button in English-language search results, allowing Google+ users to share and comment on website links directly with their Google+ friends. Sean Liu, product manager at Google, disclosed the launch of the new feature on his Google+ page.
Google's strategy with Google+ is no secret: Despite recent claims that Google+ now boasts more than 250 million users, activity on the site remains minimal, thus, the search titan wants to make its social network the 'social glue' for all of its properties, the largest of which, of course, is its search engine.
To that end, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company is experimenting with a Share link that appears next to results in its SERPs. Allowing users to share content directly from SERPs may help increase Google+ posts and overall content sharing on the network. However, Google has tried similar things since the launch of Google+, but it is still struggling to generate much traffic and popularity for its site.
“You can then select if you want to share [a website link] publicly or specifically to your Circles and it will post to your Google+ stream, making it easier for you to share directly from the search results page,” Google's Liu wrote in a Google+ post.
Further, the “test” directly ties together the company's search and social networking platforms more than ever before.
Google Search G+Share Button: (Image Credit: PCMag)
Admittedly, similar to the +1 button before it, the Share link lights up in a muted gray on the URL line of a search result when you move your cursor over the title line. When you move the cursor over the button, it turns red and clicking on it produces a pop-up box that invites you to share the relevant website's link on your Google+ stream and add a comment if you choose.
It was not evident how rapidly or comprehensively the new Share button was being rolled out to users in different locales, but following the discovery of this experiment by an astute UK Google user, Google has confirmed that it is indeed experimenting with social sharing in the SERPS. According to Google product manager Liu, the purpose of the feature is to “[make] it easier for you to share a great website with your friends.”
In short, the feature represents a major intersection between SEO and social media marketing, potentially, as users may see pages move up rankings when a Google+ contact has shared the link. Other implementations of Google+ on Google SERPs have come, including the use of the +1 button on paid search content.