According to Google, the Google +1 product is a “button to give something your public stamp of approval.”
I noticed this button in the individual stock pages of Google Finance. In addition to seeing this button, the user also sees the number of people who have clicked on this button – effectively seeing the strength of the public’s endorsement of a page – and specifically for Google Finance, we see the popularity of a stock.
Intrigued by this concept, I queried several different stocks and then I noticed something interesting – the stock with the largest +1 number that I could find was…wait for it…none other than GOOG themselves! For me this was humorous as, in this case, the fact that GOOG had the largest number wasn’t a testament to the +1 feature working as designed – i.e. finding the most popular stock – but rather a function of the employees of the company who implemented that specific feature being more likely to (a) visit Google Finance and (b) click on the +1 product.
I know Google Finance and Google +1 are two separate Google products and companies often times like to use one produce to market the other, but this use case had a funny result.
Some screenshots for reference: