Google has announced the arrival of its Facebook Like button rival – Google +1.

In Google's own words, the button is shorthand for "this is pretty cool". This essentially means that you can recommend a web page or an advert to your friends, so they don't have to go searching for it themselves.

The feature is on a slow rollout at the moment and you have to have a Google Profile for it to work, but the idea is that any of your Google contacts will start to see things you have recommended when they search.

Social searching

"Like social search, we use many signals to identify the most useful recommendations, including things like the people you are already connected to through Google (your chat buddies and contacts, for example)," said Rob Spiro, Product Manager, at Google in a blog post.

"Soon we may also incorporate other signals, such as your connections on sites like Twitter, to ensure your recommendations are as relevant as possible. If you want to know who you're connected to, and how, visit the 'Social Circle and Content' section of the Google Dashboard."

At the moment you can +1 sites through the Google search but Google is hoping to eventually add a +1 button to websites.

Which is just like what Facebook has done with Like.

As always Google has made a twee video to explain to the Everyman what Google +1 is about.

Warning: may be too cute and cuddly for most hardened tech cynics to handle.