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This article was published on March 30, 2011

Interview with Google: What +1 means for advertisers

Interview with Google: What +1 means for advertisers
Courtney Boyd Myers
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Courtney Boyd Myers

Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups gr Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups grow internationally. Previously, she was the Features Editor and East Coast Editor of TNW covering New York City startups and digital innovation. She loves magnets + reading on a Kindle. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter @CBM and .

Google launched +1 today, the next evolution of its Social Search. +1 is akin to Facebook’s “Like” button or Twitter’s “Tweet this,” allowing Google users to share search results and adverts on with their Google Chat contacts, people in their “My Contacts” group, and people they’re following in Google Buzz and Reader. Here’s a quick How-To guide for enabling Google +1 within your search results, but what does the new feature mean for advertisers?

Essentially, you’ll see plus one personal annotations on ads made by your contacts just as you will next to links in your search results. I chatted with Jim Prosser, Google’s Manager of Global Communications & Public Affairs about the new +1 integration with Google’s advertising system. First, here’s what they will look like:

CBM: Will +1s effect advertisers monetarily?

Jim Prosser: Plus ones on ads to not count as a page click. It’s a free action.

CBM: What kind of data and statistics will advertisers receive from these plus ones?

JP: The plus ones will be presented in AdWords in an aggregated, anonymous way. There are plus ones undos as well, which will be included in the data.

CBM: Are they opt in for advertisers?

JP: Eventually, all ads will be getting these buttons. First, we’re starting with a small +1 push right now that will include the ads as well.

CBM: Will highly recommended links change rank in personalised results?

JP: We are not currently changing the ranking system but we’re excited to see what the data looks like going forward.

CBM: Will there be an API?

JP: If we’re talking about an API for webmasters to put a plus one button on their sites, then yes that’s coming in the next few months, but in terms of an API for our advertising system, we’re still evaluating.


Google’s +1 seems very similar to Facebook’s Likes. It’s likely we will soon see businesses advertising their +1 score, similar to how we hear brands saying “5k people like us on Facebook.” But with the added power of Google Search, will the +1 be more powerful for advertisers than a Like? Let the data aggregation begin!