Google.com has once again showed that 2013 is indeed a year of change and innovation. From the various Panda and Penguin updates to the launch of a completely new ranking algorithm and of course, the issue of encrypting search results, Google has shown that it is an entity on a mission! Right now, Google is taking that mission to another level by introducing a whole new twist to social media advertising.
Just some hours ago, Google announced the introduction of what it has chosen to call +Posts ads – an advertising opportunity for brands to turn their Google+ posts into ads which will be displayed across the Google Display Network (GDN). According to Google,
“+Post ads let you turn your Google+ posts into engagement ads on the Google Display Network. People can join a Hangout On Air, add a comment, follow your brand, or give a +1, right from the ad.”
For now, Google is testing this new innovation using a few chosen brands like Toyota USA, Cadbury UK and RITZ crackers.
This is really a new twist to social media advertising because unlike what we have seen on other social media sites, +Post ads will not be shown on the Google+ platform (Google’s social media site) but rather displayed across all its network which reaches to somewhere around 2 million sites!
Is This Taking the Rivalry between Google and Facebook to another Level?
Without trying to sound antagonistic, it is very clear that the launch of +Post ads is indeed another way of Google flexing its advertising muscles against other social media sites, especially Facebook.
In his post announcing +Posts ads, Eran Arkin, Google’s Social Ads Product Manager, said:
“+Post ads allow a brand to take a piece of their public Google+ content, like a photo, video or even a Hangout, and with a few clicks, turn it into a display ad that can run across the more than 2 million sites in the Google Display Network. This lets brands think of the entire web as their social stream.”
The statement, “…lets brands think of the entire web as their social stream” is definitely an indirect way of saying that as a brand you don’t have to limit yourself to just one social platform like others are doing but have the entire web as your platform. Of course, that is a way of luring more brands to jump in to the program!
For example in a video posted by Eran Arkin, he revealed how Toyota is using +Post ads to drive consideration for its newly launched Corolla. Arkin also claimed that the brands testing this new innovation are already seeing increased click-through and expansion rates of up to 50% higher than the industry average for rich media ads!
Did I Saw This Coming?
I must say that even when I did not see the whole picture of what Google had up its sleeves from the beginning, I can say I had an inkling that Google was going to do something in this direction at the time Google+ launched.
Back in 2011 when Google plus entered the market and many were comparing it to Facebook pitching Facebook’s big numbers against Google+, I did a post where I said,
“Facebook is not just competing with Google+ but with Google.com who has proved in its own merit that it is an online colossus.
So the question is not about Google+ displacing Facebook from the social networking game but Google.com putting all of its online resources into playing the game and coming out on the top!”
You can read that post here.
Since then we have seen a whole lot of new things from the stables of Google aimed at putting all of its online resources to play the game. +Post ads is just another such move!
+Post Ads Is Actually A Two-Edged Sword!
As expected, many are already whining on why Google should not show the +Post ads on their social media platform – Google plus – even when the ads are initiated there.
But it is clear that this is definitely a tactical move. We mustn’t forget that at a time when many users had issues with Facebook concerning what to share with friends, acquaintances and family members, Google came up with the idea of Google+ Circles.
Right now, reports indicate that many youngsters are abandoning Facebook while elderly ones are complaining about the volume of ads they have to contend with on the site. So Google taking the decision not to display +Post ads on the Google+ platform but on its advertising network is definitely a good decision, business-wise!
Beyond that +Post ads could really be a way of Google bringing more brands to using the Google+ social media platform while at the same time building its advertising business. And if that is the case, then this is really an innovative move on the part of Google!
How are Facebook and others going to react to this move? We only need to wait to see that in 2014!
But I’ll love to know what your reaction is. Give your views on these +Post ads in your comment below.