Google+ has been around for a few months now and appears to be growing in popularity. The notion is that by clicking a +1 button in the search results and on websites that have installed this badge, you can share your recommendations with those in your social circles. For example, by +1’ing a particular search result your friends will see that you have given that result your recommendation when they themselves see the listing. Your friends, in theory, will be more likely to click that listing because you have given it your stamp of approval. The +1 button is available for both organic and paid listings. Specifically for paid listings, the +1 button has only shown next to Search Network ads, not Display Network ads. Starting in October this will no longer be the case.
The image above is taken from Inside AdWords, Google’s official AdWords blog. This is an example of an ad on the Display Network that several people have +1’d. If I were to see this ad while viewing a Google Display Network site I would see how many in my social circle have recommended this ad. With the nature of display advertising, persuading a website visitor to click away from the content he or she is reading is difficult enough. A friend’s recommendation further helps to entice the visitor to click the ad by adding this sign of trust.
The added benefit of a friend +1’ing an ad is that the +1 recommendation will now be visible on search results, both organic and paid, and on the actual website. If I were to do a search for this site or visit the site I would see that a friend has recommended it.
By default, all Display Network campaigns are opted into the +1 on Display Network feature. You can opt out of this feature if you wish by going into the “settings” tab and then scrolling down to “Advanced settings.” Once here click the “Social settings” link and then click “edit.” Finally, just click the “Do not include…” radio button.
I’m excited that the +1 feature is coming to Display Network ads. Though Google does not yet provide +1 reporting metrics within the AdWords interface I strongly believe the extra trust signal helps to improve your click-thru-rate, similarly to the positive effect that ad extensions can have. Additionally, Google+ seems to be gaining popularity on the whole.
Just another sign that social advertising is here to stay!