Google Promoting AdWords Express In Google+ As Way “To Get More Followers”

Google AdWords ExpressThis weekend, DejanSEO noted Google may have stepped up its promotion of its simplified SEM offering for small businesses, AdWords Express, in Google+ as a way to “get more followers.” AdWords Express has now been around officially since July 2011. However, it has seen a number of changes and refinements.

Google initially rolled out this particular pitch in December, as we covered on our sister site Marketing Land:Is Google Using AdWords Express Budgets To Promote Google+?

But now, small ads or promotions are appearing in Google+ pages: AdWords Express Get More Followers

Google is apparently trying to cross-promote AdWords Express and Google+. The company is suggesting Local Google+ pages as AdWords Express landing-page substitutes for SMB websites.

AdWords Express funnel

Mike Blumenthal captures some of the improvements in a blog post this morning. He said they include a new targeting radius (up to 40 miles), better self-service UI, better explanation around where ads will appear and the ability to preview those ads in context.

In poking around to see if any of the changes were documented, I found this interesting chart comparing the differences and features of AdWords Express, AdWords and Google+ Local Pages:

Google AdWords Express comparison chart

Google hasn’t released any official numbers on how widely adopted AdWords Express is among SMBs. The company has been struggling for years to get more SMBs directly involved in paid-search through a self-service platform. Many local agencies and small-scale search marketers, however, have complained about the product’s cost and keyword targeting capabilities as more expensive and cruder than traditional AdWords.

AdWords Express isn’t available to businesses without a physical location.

Arguably, the best value in AdWords Express offered is mobile click-to-call/pay-per-call. However, the product doesn’t allow for the separation of PC and mobile campaigns.

Related Stories

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Mobile | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Jack N Fran Farrell

    Google Plus integrates all an advertiser’s sensory inputs to match it with a potential customer. If it could include street smells and pimps, to steer a customer to an seller Google Search would. Google Holograms with smell await a Pantone Scale for smell and the real 3D TV.

  • Jack N Fran Farrell

    Sellers can’t still be clueless that g+ is about sales, not social?

    Really? They still believe that ‘social wasteland’ nonsense that originates from the Gossip.Girl node of the Google Knowledge Graph.

  • Vikas Shukla

    They could simply use minifreelance to get more google+ followers. That would cost like $0.25 for each genuine follower.

  • Ted Ives

    Yes, pay Google to drive your customers to….Google. So sensible!

  • David Veldt

    Seems like if you have a budget to spend to drive customers to your g+ page, that money would be better spent on, you know, getting an actual website.

  • Matt Roney

    But how likely would they be to actually engage the business once they’ve gotten their $.15?

  • Matt Roney

    AWX really does make sense for a lot of SMBs who don’t have the resources, knowhow, or inclination to build and maintain a website. A SMB owner can get all the information they need onto a G+ page without having to pay for a premium site or resort to the sort of sketchy-looking, barebones sites we’ve all seen.

    That said, I worry that a lot of SMB owners are misled by the AWX promise of easy, cheap leads. I suppose the question is, does accepting the higher, broader AWX CPCs outweigh the costs of having a site built and hiring a PPC expert? Or of taking the time to learn the AdWords system)?

  • Michal Smetana

    It kind of seems like Google is desperate for their users, especially with their Google+ social network.

  • Jerry Nordstrom

    I understand what you’re saying Matt and that it would seem like a great first step for some businesses, but I don’t believe it is ever appropriate to put your entire brand in another company’s hands in this manner. It is very low cost and easy to have a website developed that represents your business. G+ FB branded pages, Twitter and YouTube Channels should all be secondary destinations not your primary business address.

  • Matt Roney

    Oh, I agree, and I certainly don’t think it’s a best practice not to have a site. I also don’t think that a G+ page with this new AWX iteration should ever represent a business’s entire internet marketing effort. All I’m saying is that this system would be useful for certain businesses. I didn’t add this before, but particularly whe just starting out.

  • Manny Gasal™ ♥

    Actually, this is something expected to be added in most internet marketing
    strategy agencies’ service offerings once Adword express is systematically polished.
    However, alas, AdWords Express is at this time only offered in selected
    countries. I anticipate it will be available in the Philippines soon.

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