Blogs and content sites are only willing to give up valuable real estate and clutter themselves with social sharing buttons if they get ample referral traffic in return. That’s the big problem with the Google+ Share button that launched today with no launch partners or live examples of it in use. The embeddable button for posting webpages to the Google+ news feed with an optional comment is going to struggle for installs unless Google can prove it drives page views.
After flops like the Google Buzz and +1 buttons, and plenty of competition, it’s going to be a tough sell. In the end, it could backfire, sidestepping the registered user counts Google cites as awesome growth and exposing the social network as a place few people spend time. And it’s all kind of sad because the G+ Share button could be the answer to the Google+ content drought.
The G+ Share button and +1 button are almost identical so let’s clear up how they work. One-click the +1 button and a public recommendation for the page shows up in search results for it, and it appears in the +1s section of your G+ profile. Add a comment or click Share and select an audience when you +1 something and a full story will appear in the G+ news feeds of those you shared to who’ve circled you as well.
Meanwhile, the Share button isn’t public by default. It requires an initial click to bring up the share prompt and comment box, and a second click to share that Page to the G+ feed. So really, the +1 button is more versatile and powerful, but also public and I bet lots of people one-clicked it thinking they were sharing to their feed as if they clicked a Like button.