Google +1: A Plus for Paid Search

Is Google ready to dive into the world of social search?  Well, it looks like they’ve taken a giant step.  Last week, Google announced their new +1 experiment.   In essence, it’s the Google equivalent of the Facebook “Like” button. Logged in users who are opted into the beta can click a “+1” button next to search results. This allows you to find and share relevant  content with others in your Google network.   Oh and for all you PPCers out there, never fear, + 1 is not just for organic listings, paid ads can be +1’ed as well!

What changes in traffic will I see?

Google’s aim here is to draw people to ads that friends and family have essentially recommended.  It should be no surprise that users are increasingly paying more and more attention to reviews and opinions of peers (hence Facebook’s tremendous growth), so the concept seems sound. If you have useful ads pointed to incredibly relevant content the +1 experiment can only help!

What will happen to my click-through rate?

Hopefully it will go up! One really cool thing that stuck out to me is that organic +1’s will also show up in ads.  So if someone visits your store and “+1’s” it organically, their +1 will show up in in paid ads.  This could definitely bring a better sense of synergy to organic and paid listings. Advertiser’s who are doing everything run should only see increases!

Will this affect my quality score?

Google claims that no, this will not directly affect your quality score.  Although, while they say that quality score is still determined by overall ad performance, +1 could possibly have an effect on your performance or that of your competitors.  Therefore, it might be best to keep an eye out for any changes.

How can I tell if my ad is receiving +1s?

As of now, reporting is not available but once +1 is in full force, you will be able to monitor them through the dimensions tab in AdWords.

Can advertisers opt out of +1 feature?

In short, probably not.  If +1 makes it past its trial phase this will be a default setting so ready or not, users will have access to +1 any advertiser they choose.  However, in order to see +1s, you will need to be signed-in and searching in English.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t see +1s popping up on your ads right away.  As of now, the experiment is a limited release.  That said, if +1 ever makes it off the launch pad, it will be very interesting to see the impact of social input on the top search engine.

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