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What it is
When we're making decisions, we usually turn to the people we trust for recommendations. With the +1 button, we bring the the benefits of personal recommendations to Google. The +1 button helps customers engage with your brand across Google services and on your site. The +1 button connects Google+ to the rest of the web by making it easy for users to start a conversation with their circles while also providing timely recommendations to their friends and contacts.
Let’s say you own a hotel in Madrid. Brian is having a lovely stay at your hotel, and visits your site. There he sees an amazing picture of the pool he was lounging at that afternoon -- he also notices the +1 button. When he clicks it, Brian can add a comment and easily share the picture with his friends and connections on Google+, spreading the word about your hotel and potentially starting a conversation with his friends and contacts.
Brian’s recommendation is also shown across Google products, with the potential to provide more personalized and relevant services to his friends and contacts. A few months later, when Brian’s friend Ashley plans her trip to Madrid, she signs in with her Google account, searches on Google, and also sees your hotel's ad – plus the personalized annotation that Brian +1’d it. Knowing that Brian recommends your hotel helps Ashley decide where to stay during her travels.
Why you'd use it
By allowing others to share your content on Google+, you can expand your reach and let your customers easily discuss your content. Recommendations from friends are a trusted source of advice and +1 annotations help people see these recommendations as they use Google services, potentially bringing you more informed traffic.
As results become more personal and relevant, we believe that users are not only more likely to click, but they're more likely to act as well. Google+ and +1 annotations help people see recommendations from their friends as they engage with your content across our products. This may result in more conversion and deeper engagement with your site overall.
To make it easier for visitors to +1 your content, you can add +1 buttons to your pages. Get the code at http://www.google.com/webmasters/+1/button/