Is Nothing Sacred? Now Even Ads Are Social

October 27, 2017

SEOmoz this week reported on a new AdWords extension – and surprise, surprise! It’s a social extension!

Seems like almost everything Google does these days is a subtle or not-so-subtle push for Google+, and this update is no exception.

As you’d know if you read our Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords Ad Extensions, extensions are ways to make your ads bigger and give searchers more opportunities and incentives to click or reach you by including extra site links, product images, phone numbers and more. When enabled, the new social extension shows searchers “how many people across the web have +1'd the landing page or the Google+ Business Page.” As Mozzer JustinV explains, there are two flavors of social extension, personal and basic:

  • The personal extension shows how many people in the searcher’s circles have +1’ed the page
  • The basic extension shows how many people in general have +1’ed the page

To set up social extensions, you need to have a Google+ business page set up and verified. And why would you do it? Because, like the other ad extensions, it can significantly boost your CTR.

This is an interesting development in Google’s evolution, marking the convergence of two trends:

  • Search results getting more personalized and more influenced by social signals
  • Search results being increasingly dominated by ads versus organic results

You’ve been able to +1 an AdWords ad since March. Where else could Google go with this? How much more social can ads (and the rest of the SERPs) get?

In Other News: Step Up to the New Google Bar

Google also announced a new Google bar this week, which is currently rolling out to users (I don’t have it yet).

Basically, Google has mashed together the search bar and the top navigation bar you see when using Google search, Gmail, Google docs and other Google services. Those navigation links now appear in a drop-down menu instead of along the top of your browser window. Part of what this does is make your Google+ notifications more in line with the search bar, which is probably some kind of subliminal cue that search and social are becoming increasingly inseparable.

More Web Marketing Highlights

Marketing Pilgrim reports on Bing’s top searches of the year so far. Interestingly, 9 of the top 10 searches were for famous women, including Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, and Lindsay Lohan. The only male on the list is the #1 query, Mr. Justin Bieber.

SEOBooks has an interesting infographic on how Google killed the long tail with spell correction, auto complete and other updates.

At Search Engine People, Anthony Mangia shows five ways to automate SEO with Google Docs.

Geordie at the PPC Blog has a suggestion for Google: “Instead of spamming the known universe with AdWords coupons for ‘new accounts only,’ why don’t you let new advertisers actually run some ads for once?” He says new businesses try out AdWords only to find they can’t rank for their own brand keywords.

ViperChill has released another ginormous in-depth guide, this time on data mining for niche analysis.

A Canadian oil company has renamed itself Pixar. Interesting marketing strategy! The Disney Blog writes:

Unfortunately, I doubt Pixar has a trademark claim here. The industries are diverse enough there shouldn’t be any real confusion among the public that they’re the same company. That is why we can have Dove soap and Dove ice cream bars.

Have a good weekend, folks.

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert is WordStream's Director of Content and SEO. Likes include wine, karaoke, poker, ping-pong, perfume, and poetry.

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