Google AdWords Social Extensions

By Lauren Kade | Dec 19, 2011
More Articles by Lauren


Don’t you just love new AdWords features?  They just give off that new feature smell.  Well, you’re in luck!  There is a new Ad Extension out on the market – social extensions!

What Are They?

Similar to location extensions and Ad Sitelinks, social extensions add additional links underneath current AdWords ads that show above the organic search results, this time to the company Google+ page.  In addition to a link, social extensions also show the total number of people who have +1′ed the company Google+ page.  Companies do not pay if the user clicks to go to the Google+ business page or if the user +1′s the page, but obviously you will continue to pay if the user clicks on the actual headline of your ad.  Here’s an example of a Search Mojo ad with both Ad Sitelinks and social extensions:


How Can They Help You?

Since this feature is still new, it remains to be seen how extensively social extensions will affect click-through-rate.  However, as it has been proven in other industries that people are at least moderately influenced by how many people have purchased or positively reviewed an item, I imagine the same will prove true for social extensions.  If a user sees that 10 other people have +1′ed this page and more notably that their friend Susie Q recommends it, they will probably be more likely to either visit your Google+ page, or click your ad.

How Do You Add Them?

Well, first you need a Google+ business page.  Don’t have one?  Learn more by reading my fellow blogger Sarah Lokitis’ post “Just Released: Google+ Pages” then set one up on the Google+ Business Pages home.  Then you need to set up Direct Connect, which will not only make you eligible for social extensions, but also link your Google+ page with search.  Once set up, if a user googles “+Company,” such as “+Pepsi,” Direct Connect will take the user directly to your Google+ page.  To set up Direct Connect, go to your Google+ business page, and click “connect your website” under the “Get Started” section.  You’ll choose a badge and they’ll give you two codes to put on your page, and then you’re all set!  Having trouble?  Learn more about Direct Connect in the Google Help Center.

To set up social extensions, go into AdWords under the ad extensions tab (they have not yet added this feature into AdWords Editor), and choose Social Extensions under the View: dropdown menu.  Then under +New Extension, choose a campaign, and enter the URL for your Google+ business page.  And….wait for it…(to be reviewed, which could take up to a week)….and voila!  You should start seeing social extensions under your ads.

As both Direct Connect and social extensions are still in beta, not all companies may see social extensions as an option in AdWords, or have a search on +Company take them directly to the Google+ business page.  Also, personally here at Search Mojo we’ve noticed that when we see social extensions on ads, the number of +1′s aren’t matching the number on the Google+ page.  I’m sure Google is working to fix these small errors as the extensions are more widely released.   Have a question?  Write a comment below!

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