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Google +1 button is coming to AdWords – but how useful is it?

Google is to introduce its +1 button to AdWords, the internet giant’s main advertising product, so users can recommend adverts to their friends and contacts.

The button was made available to news sites earlier this month and has been adopted some web publishers.

Google’s button was added to AdWords on Google.com at the end of March and is now coming to Google.co.uk, according to an announcement on the AdWords blog.

Users who are logged into their Google account can click the button and their friends and contacts will see that news story or page promoted in their search.

In its US announcement, Google explains how the button works for Google AdWords.

Let’s use a hypothetical Brian as an example. When Brian signs into his Google account and sees one of your ads or organic search results on Google, he can +1 it and recommend your page to the world.

The next time Brian’s friend Mary is signed in and searching on Google and your page appears, she might see a personalized annotation letting her know that Brian +1’d it. So Brian’s +1 helps Mary decide that your site is worth checking out.

But almost a month on from news outlets adding the +1 button next to Twitter’s tweet button and Facebook’s like button (including on news stories on Journalism.co.uk), the button is very much third in line in terms of generating clicks.

So why are readers not using Google’s +1 button?

Unlike Twitter or Facebook where users post a link, those who click the button get little out of it in the same way they do by tweeting or liking a story – although that could change with the launch of Google +, a new social network dubbed Google’s answer to Facebook.

Making a recommendation is not immediate and there are several hurdles to overcome. For a contact to see a recommendation it relies on them searching for a keyword that the +1 user has shown interest in and the contact must also be logged into their Google account.

The button’s less than lukewarm take up also suggests people do not want their searches sorted by the choices made by their friends and contacts, but organised by relevance to what the wider online community is reading.

News sites get little out of +1 and although they may get a few more hits as a result, few would claim it has made any impact.

After a month on the article pages of news sites who opted to adopt +1, it is unlikely those who have not added the button will follow suit unless Google+ takes off in a big way. Those which have the button may decide to replace it with the LinkedIn share button, which has been gathering pace and is now coming in ahead of Facebook as a sharing mechanism on many sites, such as in this example from Mashable.

What do you think about Google’s +1 button? Let us know in the comments section below.

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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – identifying search keywords

July 14th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Search, Top tips for journalists

SEO: Want to know the best keywords/adwords for your site – and want to know what your competitors are using? Search for the terms using SpyFu for a list of organic and paid-for search terms. Tipster: Laura Oliver.

To submit a tip to Journalism.co.uk, use this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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