They also need to figure out more ways in which a +1 can be useful to the user. It just makes their search a bit better? I don't think that's enough.
EDIT: The reason I'm saying that is because, I don't think "making search better" should be the main "feature" of +1. Think of it this way. Say I were a regular user of Bing. And last I heard they are using Facebook likes to improve the search results, make them more social and so on.
Now the question is - would I start liking stuff just because I want my search results to be improved or because I want my friends to see what web pages I like on Bing? Probably not.
If anything I'll like a page because:
1) I want to let the publisher know that I like the article/page
2) I want my friends on Facebook to see I liked it
I think people are using +1 now just for the first reason, and it doesn't seem that compelling to me. Pressing the +1 button feels like you're upvoting a comment on Engadget, and it probably mostly gets impulse clicks. But if this is all it does, then I doubt the +1 button will be more used than a Retweet or Like.
Also, I'm not sure what Google's grand social strategy is, but there seems to be one strong correlation between successful social networks (Twitter, Facebook) and revolutions. So Google would need to ask themselves: Can +1/our social strategy be used in a country that wants to do a revolution, and help them achieve that revolution with its help?
Maybe if they integrate it in Youtube, and 10,000 Iranian people +1 one video on it, it would appear at the top of many Iran related Google searches? That might work. Either way, I feel that passing this revolution test will be the difference between a successful social strategy and a bad one, because I think that if a social network can pass this test, it also means it can be useful for a lot of other social things, too.
I also hope they're going to redesign the Profiles page if that's where they intend to let you see all the +1's, and that they streamline the Profiles URL.
EDIT: Think of a dashboard, a homepage to the internet. Not in the Reddit sense, nor in the Netvibes sense. Something between Tumblr and Pinboard, maybe.
Maybe some sort of web portal?
At Facebook they have the correct view that their entire end-user facing experience is their single product with individual features simply being parts of a whole. Google should take this same view because users don't care how much Google engineers enjoy their autonomy or how cool it is to work there. Unlike Google itself, users see every Google branded product as using a single site or app. Users most likely use more than one component of Google and it's how those components work together that make up the total overall user experience of Google.
The excuse of "well that's another division" simply doesn't matter and is a poor excuse. Apple and Facebook don't seem to have this same problem. Apple has been around longer, and Facebook has grown faster.
So what's the fix? Create a UX design team with true authority? Is it well past time for Google to grow up and start acting like the billion dollar money machine they are? Or maybe I'm way off base. Google is still printing money even with their sub par user experience and total lack of social clout. Maybe they should just stick to what they're good at like Facebook and Apple seem to do.
Autonomous teams are great in that allow the team to control their own destiny. However, they don't make for a great cross-product experience.
The alternative is the Microsoft way - where all products are supposed to work together and support each other. The problem there is that Microsoft is very, very slow to ship stuff as everything needs to be synchronized.
Facebook has it easy - they only have one product. Apple has this problem occasionally, but doesn't have the breadth of product Google has.
(I'd note that many people think Google should become more startup like. In effect, that is asking for more chaotic product development - no startup co-ordinates feature releases across as many products as Google has to)
It's not as simple as that. In every case, if you look carefully there are good reasons why each version operates like it does. Each team is trying to make the best possible product. The lack of oversight doesn't necessarily indicate empire building.
surely google's real "plus one" is it's page rank. a mechanism which is far more sophisticated and less prone to fickle bias.
why do we need an additional method to say "i like this website". the backlinks and google's original algorithm back in 1996 was supposed to be this innovation.
Sometimes the costs still outweigh the benefits, sure, but it's often a more subtle analysis than it first appears. Imposing excessive synchronization requirements is a seductively easy path to some bad problems.
I have no inside knowledge of Google, but the mere fact of their size and general success puts a bound on how much synchronization between teams is even theoretically possible.
Wait I found the answer: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2048181/Google-Adds-Spa...
It just seems like a great way to create a more unified social experience for users to leverage the thing that's working - +1.