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BizReport : Search Marketing : March 31, 2011

Google's +1 feature could increase AdWords CTRs

Google has taken its search engine results to a new social level with the launch of a new feature that will allow signed-up users to recommend content and even ads.

by Helen Leggatt

plus one google logo.pngThe new "+1" feature, launched today, works much the same way as Facebook's Like button.

The feature works by allowing a signed-in Google user to click on a "+1" button, placed next to search results and AdWords ads, to recommend the content.

Anyone in that user's network of Google friends who then searches on a similar topic will be shown those recommended results, among the usual search results, flagged with a note advising that a friend has "+1'd" it.

As per Facebook's Like button, Google plans to allow the placement of "+1" buttons on third party websites.

So what does this all mean for advertisers? Christian Oestlien, Google's Group Product Manager for Ads told SearchEngineLand that "early tests showed there was a lift for ads that featured +1 annotations" and believes advertisers will be pleased with the resulting uplift in response rates and CTRs.

Another interesting element to the feature is that recommendations on organic searches, or on third party websites once the button is made available, may also show up in ads, even if the ad "+1+ button wasn't activated.

There's also the potential for Google to show ads based on a user's previous "+1" activity.

Some in the blogosphere are expressing concern at the potential to "game" the new feature.

What are your thoughts on "+1"?

Tags: search advertising, search marketing, social network

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