Back in September I wrote about Google’s integration of social and search with the +1 button. In the time since, there has been plenty to discuss as advertisers learned more about this feature and began incorporating +1 buttons on landing pages.
More importantly, Google has expanded the available +1 features. Now you can show +1 buttons on Display Network ads, you can connect Google+ brand pages to AdWords for shared +1 accumulation and Google is providing +1 annotation reporting.
+1 on Display Network Ads
For a few months now, searchers have seen the +1 button on Search ads when they are logged into their Google account. Now they can see +1 buttons across the AdSense / Display Network when they are browsing the web. Just like with search ads, when you +1 a Display Network ad, your “friends” (based on your Google account) will see an annotation that you have recommended that advertiser/brand.
What really makes the +1 button unique for Display Network ads is that it can influence how your ads rank. Google sees the +1 recommendation as a strong relevance signal and uses that information accordingly. Once you have +1’d a Display Network ad, Google will then include that ad “in the auction for any page a friend visits.”
Link Google+ Brand Page to AdWords
Earlier this week Google announced the release of brand pages for the Google+. As businesses the world over scrambled to secure their brand page, Google released information on how to link your new brand page with AdWords.
The benefit? Shared +1 activity. Any +1’s that occur on organic, search, or display ads will be reflected in Google+ and vice versa. Google has added a new ad extension called “Social Extensions” that allow the link to take place at the campaign level. Word of warning – the social extension option isn’t yet available in all accounts (including mine).
+1 Reporting Segmentation
Advertisers now have some reporting transparency into +1 activity. Using the “Segments” drop down menu, you can view +1 annotation activity at the campaign, ad group, or keyword level.
How is this helpful? You can see your impressions broken down as follows:
- Impressions with personal annotations (these are where the annotations stated that a friend or contact +1’d your ad).
- Impressions with basic annotations (these simply state an anonymous number of people +1’d your ad).
- Impressions without social annotations.
You can actually see if +1 activity is improving your campaign performance!
What Comes Next?
Now that we have all these great features, what comes next? Here are my thoughts on what’s coming:
- Advertisers will become more engaged and make changes to boost +1s from their landing pages to bolster a performance lift from +1 annotations.
- Engagement with +1 will increase as searchers and Google products users continue to become more comfortable with this new activity.
- Google will fix the domain vs. landing page +1 allocation (I’ve heard this on good authority), thus increasing the overall +1 numbers on your ads.
- Google will try to push the search and social integration harder and make this stick permanently. What does +1 look like in 6 months? One year? I don’t know, but it will be there and advertisers will need to be on top of their game to make it work!
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!