It seems Google’s decided to dive into the arena of social bookmarking with their soft launch of Shared Stuff.
Simply add a bookmark button to your browser:
You can then use that to share your favorite web page. Or by clicking on any page that displays the share button:
From there you decide on a label for the page you are sharing, email to a friend, or push to other social bookmarking sites.
A pretty cool feature is that Google will auto-pick an image from the site, to use as a thumbnail. Users can scroll through the different images on the page and select an image that will best represent the site being shared.
The service reminds me a lot of Del.icio.us and even shows you the number of times a shared item has been viewed and shared.
Also like Del.icio.us, there’s a globally available “most popular” page which lets you take a look at the most-shared pages and subscribe to an RSS feed for updates. I’m curious as to how often the most popular page will start over–it will soon become pretty useless unless it starts over each day or lets you view the archive.
Other options include taking a peep at any Google user’s Shared Stuff and also using Gmail to check in on the Shared Stuff of your contacts.
Of course, it didn’t take long for bloggers to start suggesting Google might use all of this data as part of their search algorithm. As Tony Ruscoe suggests…
With Google tracking how often a link is shared and viewed, it will be interesting to see whether this data is used by their ranking algorithms, especially since users are asked to tag their shared items.
Who Google? Never! They just keep providing these great free tools without any ulterior motive.