+1 – Why Google’s Social Efforts Matter to Paid Search Marketers

Happy Friday! I’m thrilled to be contributing to the Acquisio blog. Every other week, I’ll be talking about a variety of digital marketing topics, ranging from SEO, SEM, analytics, and importantly, how to tie them all together.

I’m going to start this week by talking about one of the most controversial, hotly-debated topics in the sector right now – The role of Google +. We’ve all heard the reports that Google + is a virtual ghost town, followed by reports that the users who ARE using Google + are incredibly satisfied. Regardless of your opinion on Google’s social layer, as paid search marketers, you owe it to yourself to be paying attention. Here’s why:

  • Google Social Ad Extensions – With Social Ad Extensions, a +1 on your ad will also apply to your Google Plus page. This creates a larger social sphere for your ads as well as your Google Plus page, which in turn increases the ads that someone who seems them will see an annotation. In general, ads that have a large number of +1s are enhanced with a “recommended” notation.  To the extent that these annotations improve visibility and thus CTR, this could have a very positive impact on your Quality Score and overall ROI.
  • Plus Pages in organic search – Most of us have seen how Google’s Search plus Your World initiative has altered the state of the SERPs. With Google Plus pages (both brands and influencers) ranking well on even generic keywords, you may be able to bid down on expensive head terms without losing brand engagement, as folks click on your Plus page instead of your ad.  You will, of course, need to make sure that you have relevant content on your Google+ page to compel your audience to take action, and that you have an attribution model that can tie the interactions together.
  • Monetizing Google Plus may be coming – While Google is not currently monetizing Google+ with AdWords, it’s not hard to imagine that this is going to happen in the near future, especially with the addition of a considerable amount of whitespace to the + layout. When and if this happens, don’t be surprised if you’ll be able to target Google users similarly to how you’re able to target Facebook users. Getting the jump on building your Google+ page and audience now could pay dividends down the road if you’re able to target Google+ users on Google+

Finally, there’s no reason NOT to be paying attention to Google +. Irrespective of its impact on PPC, Google+  pages are an important part of the SERPs these days, and as online marketers we owe it to ourselves and our clients to get them as much qualified traffic as possible.




Lee Goldberg is the Co-Founder and President of Vector Media Group, a NYC-based digital agency focused on Search Engine Marketing and Website Development. Having worked with firms ranging from local startups to Fortune 100 companies, Lee specializes in Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Analytics consulting, Conversion Rate Optimization, and Paid Search Management, with a particular focus on campaign attribution.

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