Google just rolled-out the +1 button to be placed on any web page. Although the activity from that button will only be visible on Google.com you can place it on your site. For now, you can start customizing it on your Canadian website, without the benefits. Webmasters can use Google’s self-serve code generator to customize the size, language of the button and other settings. You can also start using the Google +1 API to customize the buttons for your Website.
Impact on Search Engine Optimization
Google will certainly look at +1 click data “as a potential signal to improve search quality.” It’s Google attempt to get more user input in their own data set to hopefully deliver more relevant search results. Google has been using social data for a while to validate their algorithm but only until recently they use it as a signal.
Also Google is pretty vocal about this initiative and how it impact SE ranking:
Content recommended by friends and acquaintances is often more relevant than content from strangers. For example, a movie review from an expert is useful, but a movie review from a friend who shares your tastes can be even better. Because of this, +1’s from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a user’s query. More in the Google +1 FAQ.
Quite interesting how much upfront they are with it, Google have been known to be much more secretive to protect their algorithm from Hackers (and Black Hat).
Only time will tell if that will work out for Google, we can’t forget their latest social application that failed. But don’t overlook it as a social platform, it’s nothing more than Google’s attempt to get the social data they do not already have access to (Facebook’s wall-garden). It means a lot for them and their next major search algorithm changes. Likely all the other Google ranking factors, +1 will be gamed pretty soon and it future might depend on how fast they will adjust their ranking signals.
Edit June 28: Google is expanding it to our Google.ca, you can read more on the official Google Webmaster Central blog.