Bing is apparently using FB likes. Maybe people aren't noticing but I have don't have FB like on my site and my traffic with Bing went up.
+1 can very easily be gamed and IMO this is Google's way to get site owners to promote Google's social network hoping to get high in rankings. Watch for google to start saying that this will help rank higher. Fine, that will get the site owners to add them, but what benefit is for the users to sign up?
IMHO Quality signals from social have been gaining in importance for search engine algorithms. It makes sense. Search engines will seek out any quality signal to help them determine the most relevant and useful serps.
Historically search engines have looked at backlinks, keyword density, heading tags and many other data points in the algo. Webmasters are very good at figuring out what signals will lead to a boost in the serps. This has lead to these signals being abused and manipulated (ie paid links). Social has not been abused as much. IMHO it is a cleaner signal and possibly more accurate in figuring relevancy.
I will be putting the +1 button on my site; I signed up for notification of it, and as soon as it is released it will go live for any visitor to my site who cares to click it ...
Now here is the thing, whether or not it stays on my site is entirely down to my visitors. I put both the facebook and twitter buttons on my site: but with a two month test it became clear that 90 to 1 people clicked on a facebook 'recommend' button rather than the 'tweet' button.
This is obviously what webmasterworld found out in reverse when they left the twitter button and removed the facebook 'like' button. And this makes perfect sense, tech savvy blogs do better with twitter, pure informational blogs with 'regular' visitors do well with facebook.
The google +1 button will have a two month trial period on my site, if it is more successful than the twitter button it will stay for a longer run, if it fails, then I will remove it and reduce page load times ... in all honesty I can not see it being as successful on my site as the facebook button, will it bring greater recognition in the SERPs?, 'dunno', but I am willing to trial it - ultimately though it is down to my visitors ... will they know what to do with it? and what it actually does when pressed?
Because right now I am unsure of its benefits, and I have researched as much as I can on it.
WHEN will all this stuff stop being so darn segmented that we need 16 freakin accounts, and all this BS slowing our websites down?
"Hey Visitor, do you like this page?" "How about linking to it, Bookmarking it, +1 it, Buzzing it, or emailing it to a friend? No, well how about a Stumble or a Digg, maybe a Tweet then? Suggest it to your friends on Facebook, Like it, Share it?"
Lets see... My guess is that +1 will only work if a user is logged into "The Services" (Google Services) anyhow... why is it even needed? Smoke and mirrors to get more signups for "The Services"... not to help us. If you recall, we ARE NOT the customer! Why in the world any webmaster would think we need to help them in return is beyond me?!
Funny - we get a 3 month lead time on something that's going to help Google do its job better, like measure site quality and popularity... but we get bent over when the algo changes?! It will be a mighty cold day before +1 goes onto any of my own or my client websites.