We reported on Google’s new +1 button in March (Bulletin, 31-Mar-11), which let people recommend specific search results to friends by clicking on the button. It only worked within Google’s own search engine, but at the time Google said it was working on a +1 button for external websites. Well, it’s just launched. “+1 is as simple on the rest of the web as it is on Google search. 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,” explains Google in a blog post. “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.” Launch partners include big news sites and retailers, but it could be useful for artist sites too. That said, +1 will have to compete with other social search buttons – Facebook Like, Twitter’s Tweet Button, and also Twitter’s new Follow Button (Bulletin, 1-Jun-11). A cheeky thought: will any torrent sites start using the +1 button in an attempt to boost their search results?