How Does Google "Search plus Your World" Affect Adwords Management?

On January 10, 2012, Google began to roll out its new “Search plus Your World,* which subdivides your search results into personalized results and non-personalized results.

The personalized results side now shows a ramped-up “social search,” pulling in more material relevant to you as based on your social relationships (as defined by your Google+ profile). The non-personalized results are more like “Google pure,” although some social material, such as public Google+ posts, will still be pulled in.

Two Sets of Search Results: What About the AdWords Ads?

So now for any given search query, there are not only two sets of search results (with a toggle button to switch between them), but two different sets of ads.

Look at this actual search. I searched for “wood stingray violin” (a really cool electric violin, by the way!). Here’s what I got on the “personal” side of the new search results:

Ad rankings with "personal" turned on

Notice that the ad for is in the #1 position.

Now I immediately toggled over to the “non-personalized” results for the same query.

Ad ranking with personalization turned off

The ad for is in the #2 position. It’s important to emphasize again what’s happening here: for the same search query, executed only once, ads for the same advertiser display in two different rank positions. I can’t think of any other way to look at this besides from now on, there are two ranking “auctions” executed for every one search query.

Here are the questions we’ll want answered:

  1. How does this affect stats? What about things like impressions? If the searcher toggles between the two views, does each generate an impression? And what about average ad position? How is that calculated now if ads can show in different positions for the same query action?
  2. How will we manage for this change? Is the AdWords management interface going to change to reflect the new search? Will there be segments available to see stats for personalized vs. non-personalized? Will we be able to bid separately on them?

I’ve put these questions to AdWords Product Manager +Jon Diorio on Google+. I’ll let you know if he gets back to me with anything.

How Does Google "Search plus Your World" Affect Adwords Management? by

Mark is Director of Digital Outreach for Virante Inc. Mark helps businesses build strategies to increase brand influence and attract natural links and social signals. He has a special reputation as an expert on Google+ and Google Authorship. A former teacher, Mark has worked directly in Internet marketing since 2005, but has been involved in social media and online community formation since the mid 1990s. When not helping Virante clients improve their online presence, Mark participates in competitive storytelling, plays with a Dixieland street band, and (surprise) spends more time on the web.


  1. Even if you take any given page and just refresh it (being logged or not in your Google account) the paid ads might vary because of the Adwords system. There might be rotating ads in your adgroup, or someone might just click an ad in the other side of the world and that guy’s budget is up so Google won’t serve his ads for the rest of the day…

    So I do not think your example reflects the reality.

    And do not forget that #1 rule of the Adwords System is to make money for Google. If my ad has a better CTR and I’m willing to pay more and your ad has a lower CTR, plus a lower bid – even if you have more +1s, Google won’t make more money. So I think this is debatable.

  2. There are many interesting possibilities when AdWords+ hits. anyway,what are the Examples of How SPYW Could Impact SEM?

    thanks in advance for the reply.

  3. Franze,

    Well, that’s another whole blog post, no? ;-)

    We did make one very interesting observation: that the effect can go beyond just results for those logged in to Google:

  4. lol:) thanks for the site i’m gonna check it out:)

  5. I really liked your use of images to explain your article.

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