Visitors to Google Display Network sites will begin seeing +1s and annotations on display ads for the first time today, according to Google. The initiative, announced nearly a month ago, is aimed at adding social cues — recommendations — to display advertising.
The addition of social cues at least partly takes its cues from Facebook ads, which can be targeted to “friends of fans.” If a friend +1s an ad, or the landing page URL associated with an ad, the ad will get a boost in the auction, giving it a higher chance of displaying on the page. It’s thought the ads with +1s and annotations will be more successful in getting users’ attention than those without. Though Google hasn’t released specifics, the company says search ads with +1s associated with them have a significantly higher click-through rate.
Advertisers or publishers who don’t wish to participate in this program may opt out in AdWords or AdSense, respectively.