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Google AdWords and the New +1

Google AdWords and the New +1

There has been a burst of posts about the new Google +1 button and SEO, even an awesome discussion on Sphinn. It does seem to have the biggest impact with SEO and algorithms over there, but I see the bigger impact on the paid side.

I’m not sure how popular this feature will become, or if will be retired in 3 months like some other Google efforts, but if it does stick around, there are some ramifications to consider. Please keep in mind that only signed in, Google Profile users can use the +1 system right now. Google account holders can see +1s but you can’t give a +1 without a Google Profile.

Quality Score

Right now, AdWords states that the +1’s will have no impact on Quality Score, and that makes sense. Quality Score is all about relevance of your keyword to ad to landing page. The +1 is about recommending things, not about saying “this is more relevant than the other ads.”

Breathe a little easier now, but I don’t expect that to always be the case. I’m not saying that it will be a negative if your ad doesn’t get +1s, but I can see it being a bonus later on. It’ll take some time before that happens though — something to keep in the back of your mind.

Until then, a +1 will help convert some users and this will increase clicks and maybe conversions. The increase in clicks can help with your account performance indicators.


The issue with all of this is spamming of the system, one reason to keep them out of the quality score. But spamming in the AdWords system happens already. We have click fraud and a number of other things happening within and outside the AdWords system. Good is good at seeing and disregarding spam already, I can see them being on top of it here too.

In this case, Google tracks your +1s and know what account the votes are from. So I am sure there will be a filter, or accounting for those +1s from new accounts. The +1s from good accounts will weigh more in the future. Remember in social that there is a weighting for authority accounts. I expect the same here.


What I’ll be interested to see is the metrics that come from this new indicator. Will advertisers be able to see how many likes they have gotten? Google has said that we will be able to see which ads get more, but total numbers?

Will we get metrics that show us fraudulent likes? Will our accounts be in trouble for fraudulent likes? Doubtful as we don’t have control of it, but this space is going to be the most interesting, I think. We don’t have much control over who likes us and who else is in those people’s social circle, but it would be nice to know how many are being received and compare to performance.

Ad Writing

A friend of mine recently sent over this screenshot:

Google AdWords and the New +1

Figure 1: SEO Calls to Action, Not Allowed in PPC via Dr. Peter Meyers

Please be aware that this is not going to work on the paid side. Like “Click Here,” ad text that influences the +1 button will not be approved or allowed. [Hat tip to @JoannaLord for that one]

Category SEO
Kate Morris Distilled Consulting

Kate Morris is an SEO Consultant for Distilled Consulting in Seattle, WA. You can find her on twitter @katemorris.

Google AdWords and the New +1

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