Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Google +1 Button

If you’ve been searching on Google recently, you may have noticed the Google +1 button accompanying Paid Search advertisements. As you know, Google’s focus is to constantly provide users with results that best match what they are searching for (organic and paid) and in order to achieve this are now looking to leverage social referrals (think Google Buzz and now Google+).

So, what exactly is the +button and how does it work?

In short, the +1 button is a link that offers a Google account holder with the ability to recommend content (websites, images, articles, ads etc…) to their social circles (think the facebook “LIKE” button). In turn, this assists Google in best matching its search results to a user query by factoring in the recommendations of an individual’s social network.

To quote Google’s rational behind the +button; “we believe that incorporating personal recommendations into display ads has the potential to change the way people view advertising. A display ad becomes much more powerful when people can see which of their friends and contacts have chosen to endorse it.”

At the end of the day, the more accurate and relevant Google’s search results are, the more likely an individual is to click on an ad and the greater the potential ad revenue for Google (be it from Paid Search or adisplay advertising).

What does this mean for AdWords advertisers?

Firstly, it is important to note that advertisers will not be charged for clicks on the +1 button.

Secondly, if a particular ad receives more +1’s than another then it is possible (but not guaranteed) that this ad will receive a higher number of impressions and improves its chance of success.

Also, for Paid Search, Google have stipulated that +1’s will have no impact on Quality Score, so you do not have to be too concerned with competitors attempting to manipulate their ad positioning within the search results deceitfully.

Furthermore, because +1’s are trackable, advertisers will be able to see how many people have +1’d their ads. This means that an ad’s +1’s can be used to evaluate that ad’s performance and because an ad which has received more +1’s is likely to have resulted in a greater percentage of clicks should be used to optimise Paid Search ads.

Finally, you may be able to improve your campaigns performance by educating your existing brand loyalists about the benefits of the +button as they will then be sharing their affiliation with your brand amongst their social circle. So consider ways to encourage your customers to +1 your ads and organic listings.