Google today has taken the wraps off its much-anticipated "+1" social search service, the search giant announced via its blog. 

The service, which was first spoken of back in December, will let Google users recommend certain websites in their search results to their friends. Google says the "+1" is shorthand for "this is pretty cool." 

To use the service, you need a Google account and profile. From there all you have to do is click the +1 button next to any link in your search results. Once you do, that result will get favorable placement in relevant searches performed by any of your Google friends or contacts that you choose. A little line with your name will be placed beneath the link saying that you "+1'd" this. 

The +1 service is the latest in a line of social media initiatives Google has attempted to get off the ground to compete directly with Facebook. If you think the +1 service sounds an awful lot like Facebook's "Like" feature, well, that's why. 

To learn more, check out the above video posted by Google that explains how the service works. 

[Google Blog via Business Insider