Google+ is Google’s version of a social network. Anyone with a Gmail account can create a Google+ page. The concept is similar to others: you can follow friends, post personal updates, photos, links, etc., and you can +1 the posts of those you follow. All of these posts show up on the dashboards of those who also have you in their circles which helps to spread your content beyond your initial reach.
One of the convenient features of Google products is that they are all accessed through one email and password. So, Google+ can be connected to YouTube if you have a YouTube channel. It can also be connected to your business’s Google Reviews. It can even be implemented with your AdWords account!
Some of the possible Google+ metrics that can display within your ad are social annotations (how many followers you have), seller rating annotations (how many reviews and average star rating), and review extensions (blurb of a good review from your Google Reviews). You don’t have to sign up for these extensions to show and they come at no extra cost. When they actually show is unpredictable and depends on a few things [see below].
Why Should I Care?
Social signals (Google+ followers, +1’s, Facebook shares and likes, Tweets and Retweets) can improve organic ranking. Organic ranking is comparable to Quality Score in AdWords as it is a rating of relevancy for the keyword search to the landing page content. Improving Quality Score can reduce costs and improve position. The more active you are on Google+ the more likely social annotations (or seller ratings, review extensions) will display on your ad and the more likely a potential customer will click your ad over a competitor’s.
- Not charged when +1 is clicked or link to Google+ page is clicked
- Also appear on some search partners
- Performance report for testing
- No added cost & no need to set up as long as google+ page is connected to website
- Google+ page must be linked to website
- Minimum 100 followers on Google+ and recent, high-quality posts
- May not show depending on size of browser
- May not show depending on other extensions in ad
*You can opt out of showing social annotations by contacting Google – not sure why anyone would do this though.
Ok, What Do I Do Now?
- Get a Google+ page if you don’t already have one
- Connect it to your website
- Build your following on Google+ and generate interesting content