Why the Google Plus Paid Page Promotion Plan Will Be Better than Facebook’s

UPDATE 20 December 2012: The advertising option previewed in this post is now active and available to selected US Google+ brand pages in the US, according to this post by Google staffer Christen Oestlien.

Google+ user Michelle Marie noticed the following tiny “ad” in the right column of her Google+ Page’s profile:

advertise-google-plus

Which led to the following page on the Google AdWords site:

google plus ads

The feature is not yet active; clicking the “Start now” button takes her to a 404 page. But it looks like Google is intending to offer the opportunity This feature is now rolling out for Google+ Page owners to advertise their pages via AdWords Express (and one might assume eventually through regular AdWords as well, for those who have managed AdWords accounts).

If this becomes active, it will be This is the first time Google+ Page owners have been able to pay to promote their Pages. Facebook Page owners have had several options to pay for Page promotion for some time now.

Google+ Has the Better Page Promotion Model

I think this is a brilliant model for page promotion, and I believe that it will ultimately succeed better than Facebook‘s model. Here’s why.

In all of Facebook’s “pay to promote” schemes, the promos are placed inside the social network itself. So they are interruptive advertising. They interrupt the flow of what the user is reading their News Feed for. Social network users are not on those networks looking for new opportunities or brands. They are there to share with friends and family and be entertained. The least innocuous of Facebook’s paid promotions is the Promoted Post, which allows Page owners to pay to have a post seen by more of their followers. But the fail there is you’re paying not to find new fans, but to simply get your message to people who already opted in to saying they wanted to get your messages.

The plan that Google seems poised to launch  has now launched is very different from Facebook’s.

Google won’t be placing the promotions within Google+ itself, but in its already existing ad networks. These ads will appear with other AdWords ads in Google search, maps, and other Google properties. Best of all, they will only appear to people who are already intentionally searching for what the page has to offer.

That’s the way AdWords ads work. Advertisers bid on keywords that describe the types of searches that people would make who might be looking for their product or service. So Google ads reach people at their moment of intent, when they want to buy what you’re selling.

So Google’s ads for Google+ pages will be both less intrusive and at the same time more effective.

I’ve said from the beginning that one of the things people will slowly wake up to that will make Google+ stand out from other social networks is the absence of ads. And I could say that with confidence, and believe it will continue for the foreseeable future, because of the way Google+ has been built. Because of its tight integration into all things Google, Google doesn’t need to show ads on Google+.

And now they’ll be giving Page owners a way to expand the reach of their Pages without annoying their existing fans. I call that a real Plus.

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Why the Google Plus Paid Page Promotion Plan Will Be Better than Facebook's 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.

Comments

  1. It seems like Google is missing a huge opportunity. Google AdWords are great, but wouldn’t it be great if we could target individuals in Google Plus. They already have a profile with a lot of data. I might want to reach doctors, lawyers, dentist, etc.

    • Al, for right now anyway, Google seems more concerned with keeping Google+ itself uncluttered with ads. It’s a nice comparison point against Facebook. But since Google+ is integrated with all Google services, including search, it might be interesting if at some point you could target ads based on Google+ profile data that users would see across the Google network, if not right on their profiles.

    • I see Google+ as being valuable to Google mainly because of the data it produces. Social signals are valuable for targeting advertising on their other properties. Hopefully the view Google+ as way to improve their ad-targeting, and their search accuracy with factors like AuthorRank etc, rather than a place to actually display ads.

    • The ability to reach out to certain professions or demographics would not require that you advertise ON Google+. If you are logged in, they know that info. So you could advertise to specific demographics (lawyers, dentists,etc) anywhere on Google’s ads if they are logged in (and have that info on their Google profile.)

  2. Ok, but I think you may be making the wrong comparison. One could already target Adwords or Adwords Express to their Google Places page. Unfortunately this may NOT be the best use of your ad dollars. Why? Lack of control. You are limited by the nature of your Google Places and now Google+ Local page which are designed for a more general overview. And if one uses Adwords Express, the limitations are such that the odds of your cpc being high are greatly increased. Adwords will almost certainly do better but why target your Google+ page when you could target a highly optimized landing page on YOUR website where the odds of a much lower cpc are much greater? Better than Facebook, maybe but better than your own optimized and targeted landing page, highly doubtful.

    • Some good points there Brian, but one might ask why Facebook page owners are willing to pay to promote their pages? Why don’t they invest that money into ads leading to their own landing pages? I suspect its because they see their pages as an important early step in the sales funnel, where new people are introduced to and made comfortable with the brand before any sales pitch happens.

  3. Mark, I agree with the brand introduction but there is the tested belief that keeping the entire sales funnel, from first touch to transaction completion, all inside the platform, maximizes conversions. So Adwords to your own landing page is more congruous than Adwords to a platform (i.e. Facebook, Google+, ..) or platform to external, where entry and exit introduces friction. Add to that the optimization issues and this is also why, for better or worse, I believe eventually ads will be shown inside Google+.

    • I’ve got to agree with Brian on this one. I can’t help but wonder when it would be advantageous to advertise on Google’s network and send visitors directly to a Google+ page as opposed to a landing page. Google owns that page. Shouldn’t they pay for that advertising?!? Ha!

      Of course, there are plenty of advertisers out there that do not have their own site or landing page. (Remember the yellow pages? Many of those advertisers did not own websites at all.) Perhaps that is why this has first been found on AdWords Express as opposed to AdWords.

      • Good points here Brian and Corey. The only thing I can say is that there are people on Facebook who, for whatever reasons, are willing to pay to try to bring more fans to their Pages. Obviously Google wants a piece of that also. If there are people who want to pay for it, then you should give them the opportunity to open their wallets ;-)

        Whether or not that is the wisest thing to do is another (and worthwhile) discussion.

        • Actually, I don’t know of anyone that advertises OUTSIDE of Facebook to send people INTO their Facebook page. Any advertising to a Facebook page is within Facebook to their Facebook Page. So I disagree, sort of.

          • Yeah, I think you are just disagreeing “sort of.” ;-) I wasn’t saying that anyone did that (advertise outside FB with a FB page as the target). And that’s what makes this a unique experiment by Google. As I’ve thought about it more today, I’m beginning to wonder if it will actually ever be expanded from AdWords Express to regular AdWords. It may be that Google only intends to target this promotion opportunity at small, local businesses desparate to get a following any way they can.

  4. I couldn’t agree more! I just researched and published a blog post on why Google+ is poised to change the Internet and as you’ve outlined, their advertising model is the first key ingredient.

    Google is creating an advertising network that will blend basic demographics, brand affinity and professional status with the element of timing that Google Search offers; something no one else has the ability to do today (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

    If interested in reading some of the other reasons I think G+ will succeed and we’ll all move there, check out my post! http://aubreystork.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/why-google-will-change-the-internet-facebook-twitter-and-linkedin-wont-part-1-of-3/

    • I agree with what you are saying about Google’s dominant opportunity. However, if Microsoft and Facebook continue to work together and ultimately somehow join forces, they would be just as dominant. A MicroFaceSoftBook would give them Facebook’s demographics and Microsoft AdCenter’s advertising on and for Facebook, Websites, and Search. Now that would be quite a competitor to Google!

  5. I’ve thought about it more today, I’m beginning to wonder if it will actually ever be expanded from AdWord

  6. Just post just wake me up, from today onwards i am gonna use google+ page advertising instead of normal Adwords. Thanks mark traphagen

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  8. [...] Why the Google+ Paid Page Promotion Plan Will Be Better Than Facebook’s Mark Traphagen Follow @marktraphagen It seems like Google are looking into offering Google+ users to advertise their pages via AdWords. It all stems from when an option appeared on a user’s (Michelle Marie) Google+ profile, claiming “Want more followers? Advertise your Google+ page”. This user was eventually led to a 404 page, but it shows that this seems to be in the pipeline. Mark Traphagen’s latest post indicates how he feels that it will be far more fruitful and successful that Facebook’s paid page promotion scheme. He goes on to claim how these Google+ page ads will be far less intrusive and obstructive than their Facebook counterpart’s version. Why not Tweet Mark’s Blog here: Tweet Using Reddit for Traffic, Social Signals and SERP Improvements Edmond Major Follow @BRsocialmedia Reddit is an interesting website to say the least; a gander a front page mainly provides memes and kittens. Though, it pulls a shed-load of traffic (46 millions unique visitors in October), and if you get something on the front page, you’ve hit a goldmine.  This in mind, Edmond Major of Bluereach has experimented with this, to see how much traffic his website can get, and how Reddit traffic works. Edmond posted links on Reddit regarding products on one of his websites, and as his post details, he reaped the rewards. He goes on to review the traffic which his site received, what precautions he took for this experiment, etc. Why not Tweet Edmond’s Blog here: Tweet [...]

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    Google Plus Ads to Promote Pages Better Than Facebook Promotions

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