Google has launched their +1 campaign to help people optimize their results. It is also the root of their launch to become a new social media player.
Because Google is still the king of the search hill, we don't really have a choice. When they dangle the chance at besting your competitors in the rankings, you jump at it.
Some interesting thoughts from a google blogger here on whether this will actually become a success. GoogleBlog
Here's their explanation video.