Google’s introduction yesterday of Google+ Pages for businesses will likely have a dramatic impact on +1s in AdWords.
When businesses create a Page on Google+, they can link the page to their web site URLs and also to their AdWords account. When that’s done, +1s for any of the linked URLs — on web sites or landing pages for AdWords ads — will all accrue to the brand, making the numbers much larger.
Previously, +1s were specific to individual URLs and only accumulated when people +1ed the URL in organic results or an AdWords ad that used that URL as a landing page. Google is now displaying +1s with ads both on Google.com and on the display network and has said ads with +1s perform better than ads without, presumably because they’ve been socially recommended.
Google says the new +1 aggregation will not affect the auction on the display network. Google uses +1 data to better target ads on its display network, serving advertisers’ ads more often to friends of those who +1ed the ad or the landing page URL. This new way of aggregating +1s for the brand as a whole will not affect the auction or ad targeting any more than previously, however. [Note: Before I heard back from Google, in a previous version of this story, I had speculated that the additional +1s might have a stronger affect on the auction. It won't.]
To enable these social extensions, advertisers need to enable Social Extensions in the Ad Extensions section and enter their Google+ Page URL. AdWords Express users can choose their Google+ Page as a landing page for their ads by selecting that option and entering in their Page URL. The option may not be available to all advertisers immediately.