Skip the navigation

Google notes social failures, and touts its social advances

Company expands Google +1 after former CEO Schmidt admits to missing the boat on social Web, Facebook threat

June 1, 2011 04:47 PM ET

Computerworld - Just as Google releases its +1 button to the Web, many industry watchers are scratching their heads after hearing former CEO Eric Schmidt admit that he missed the boat on social networking.

Google Wednesday announced that the +1 button, which began rolling out on Google search in March, is now available throughout the Web. The Google +1 button lets people recommend content to friends while getting information on what others like.

"Sometimes you want to +1 a page while you're on it," wrote Evan Gilbert, a Google software engineer, in a blog post today. "

"After all, how do you know you want to suggest that recipe for chocolate flan if you haven't tried it out yet? Today, we're releasing +1 buttons to the whole Web. As a result, you might start seeing +1 appear on sites large and small across the Internet," Gilbert added.

Gilbert noted that Google has partnered with a few sites, including The Huffington Post, Best Buy and The Washington Post, whose users will soon see +1 buttons popping up.

"+1 is as simple on the rest of the Web as it is on Google search," said Gilbert. "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."

The +1 button was first introduced as a way for Google to make results on its own search site more social.

Getting a sturdier footing in the world of social networking is something Google has really focused on in recent months. In fact, Google co-founder Larry Page, who took over as CEO this spring, was quick to tell employees via a memo that their bonuses are now directly tied to the company's social media success.

It seems that Google is digging its way out of a social networking hole that Schmidt now admits putting the company into.

Speaking at the AllThingsD conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. yesterday, Schmidt acknowledged that he didn't recognize the power of social networking fast enough and didn't react effectively to the rise of Facebook and its popular social network.

In his opening address to the conference, Schmidt said he recognized as many as four years ago that Google had to deal with Facebook and even wrote memos to that effect. However, he admitted that's as far as he took it.

"I did nothing about the memos I wrote," said Schmidt, who now serves as Google's executive chairman. "The CEO should take responsibility. I screwed up."



Our Commenting Policies