Google recently announced the launch of its new +1 feature, a tool similar to Facebook’s “Like” button.

According to Ad Age,” Google will allow users to vote plus-one on search results they find useful, and to share that preference with their connections in Gchat, Gmail, Google Reader, Buzz and, soon, Twitter. Users will see both the total number of plus-one votes, as well as the names and photos of their contacts who have stated a preference.”

Unlike Facebook’s “Like”, +1 will have added advantages for data-driven marketers. Google is adding the option to vote +1 on ads.

How does it work?

Let’s say I’m doing a search for cheese and an ad for Tillamook Cheese comes up. I click +1 because I LOVE Tillamook cheese.

Now, when my friend Mildred (let’s call her), signs into her Google account and searches for a good cheddar to make sausage biscuits she’ll also see the Tillamook ad with my recommendation.

Why is this good?

Consumers trust people they know. According to Google, 90% of consumers online trust

recommendations from people they know. 71% say reviews from family members or friends

influence purchase decisions. Suggesting that social influences with the new +1 feature, could improve ad conversion.

How will I know what ads are getting +1?

Google has told Ad Age that – “We will provide reporting in AdWords for plus-ones,” said ads group product manager Christian Oestlien. “Our belief is that advertisers will see increased performance from ads with personalized annotations.”

However, reporting is not available yet. Google promises information via the Dimensions tab in AdWords soon.

Again, keep in mind only those signed into a Google account will see +1.


Google also says it will soon be adding the option to allow individuals to attach a +1 button to their site so people can share content (very similar to the Like button feature). Users can vote on content outside of search, and ultimately improve the ranking of that content in organic search results. Ad Age reports, “The first time users clicks on a plus-one button, they will be prompted to create a Google profile, as well as be given the opportunity to adjust privacy settings.”

With Bing integrating Facebook, this is another step for Google to up the social networking ante.