Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Google’s new approach to ads, unveiled on October 11th. In short, Google will start putting actual user photos, profiles, and comments alongside ads. That sounds crazy considering all of the privacy concerns that recent events with the NSA have brought to light. The internet is also on fire regarding the privacy Google will be taking away. Is it really that crazy though?
In this age of transparency, we should all be aware that any online activity will most likely be tracked back to the original user. Google’s new approach to ads may actually benefit Inbound Marketers because it gives us more opportunity to engage users and connect with prospects on a more personal level.
Gotta Get Those +1s
It’s common knowledge that Google+ +1s help your site’s Google SEO by leaps and bounds. Beyond helping SEO though, there wasn’t any other huge reason to get +1s unless your audience is active on Google+. This changes with the implementation of Google’s new ad scheme. Even Google hasn’t said exactly how the new ads will look, but it seems logical that +1s will have a more visible place on the new ads. Comments left after giving a +1 are predicted to show up alongside an ad. The take-away from this is that +1s are more valuable than before since they serve a dual role, enhancing your SEO and providing input (via user comments) to prospects seeing your advertisement.
Here’s a peek at what the ads may look like.
More Personal Than Ever
Paid advertisements have often been seen as untrustworthy and too “sales-y” by users – brands were able to describe themselves and the quality of their products without any verification from users. Word-of-mouth reviews are often considered the most valuable type and clearly Google is taking advantage of that. A user will now see a review and rating from a real person instead of having to trust what the company has in its description. This should help separate the good from the bad and help “better” brands stand out.
What To Watch Out For
As with any review system there are some things you’ll need to look out for. Just as Alex Sobal pointed out in a previous post, online reviews have a dark side. Fake reviews will be the biggest thing to look out for. A few fake reviews for your brand can destroy any respect a user had for you, and unjustly poor reviews can make your brand look worse than it really is. Shady competitors may see Google’s new ad system as a way to wage war against your brand’s paid ads. Keep an eye on this, especially if you’ve had any encounters with similar tactics in the past.
All Of This Is For Paid Ads?
Yes, Google’s new-look ads are only for their paid ads. It’s okay though, because paid advertisements can be used in conjunction with Inbound Marketing. Paid ads are definitely more practical for some brands than others but they shouldn’t be ignored, even though Inbound Marketing takes a more organic approach. Paid ads should be used to bolster your Inbound Marketing efforts but shouldn’t be the focus of your campaign or your budget.
This is all fairly good news to Inbound Marketers. The ads are more personal and provide users with more believable information as they decide whether or not they decide to click on an ad. Keep delighting customers because the more positive reviews you get the better, even if you’re not going to implement paid ads right now.