Google+ Pushes Ads for Pages

Google+ Ad

While managing our Google+ page today I noticed an ad for Adwords Express in the promo bar. It was suggesting that I can pay for more followers through advertising in search, maps and mobile (display is also available).

Right click revealed the following URL for the promo image: (AWX = AdWords Express). This was interesting enough to investigate further.

There seems to be a bunch of blocks allocated for various sidebar promotions, in my case only few were activated, the AWX ad was in the slot “65”:

Source Code

Click on the ad takes you to a signup funnel with the following information/educational message:

Get customers to your Google+ page

AdWords Express is the easiest way to start marketing your small business

Connect with new customers

We’ll show your Google+ page to potential customers the instant they are looking for you – on Google Search, Maps, Mobile and more.

You only pay for success

Control how much to spend at all times, and pay only when customers visit your page.

We’ll do the work for you

Tell us a bit about your business and we’ll find the best places to promote it. No need to worry about keywords, bids or placements.

I thought the message screen was rather pretty and fairly convincing, here’s the screenshot:

Promo Funnel

Once you click “Start Now” you’re officially in the setup wizard which takes you through the following steps:

  1. Select your audience
  2. Create your ad
  3. Set your budget
  4. Review your promotion
  5. Checkout

adwords express

I selected my radius and entered the keyword/industry and was taken to the next screen where I was able to design my ad for:

  1. Search
  2. Mobile
  3. Maps
  4. Display

A handy 1/4 slider allowed me to swap between different platforms and see how my ad will display on each:

create ad

Google Tip: Write an ad that tells your customer about your Google+ Page. Include a “call to action” that encourages people to click on your ad.

One neat feature is that you can click on “View this in a page” link and get an idea how the ad may appear in the context of a page/search/mobile interface:

ad mobile preview

The interesting part, and the reason I’m writing this article is that Google encourages webmasters to advertise their Google+ page in addition to their website. During the ad setup process a choice is given between the two:

 ad target

I’m not sure what to think about that (pay Google to advertise Google) but I proceeded for the sake of the article and screenshots.

Google offers three budget options but also allows for a custom amount, which is nice:


After that you’re given an option to review and edit any bits prior to signing up:

Ad Review

I set my budget to $100 per month which estimated 9-13 clicks per month. At that point I wasn’t really sold on the ROI of AWX.

The final step is basically just your billing profile and credit card details, nothing special. Once you submit that you’re taken to your dashboard:

express screen

I have to say their sales funnel, user interface and the signup process were flawless, but my favourite part is this:

Check Ads

The “slot 65” in Google+ sidebar was changed from “Want more followers?” to “Check on your promotion” which takes me back to AWX dashboard.

Nice one Google.

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

0 Points

10 thoughts on “Google+ Pushes Ads for Pages”

  1. Awesome find! Google is taking a page out of the Facebook monetization book. Let people pay for increasing their following… I’m wondering how this can be used to increase your authorrank, and start “influencing” Google search results, where rankings are based on what people’s circles have shared.
    Kind of a second degree pay-for-placement!

  2. Dejan SEO says:

    It would be an expensive excercise to acquire followers like that. Very expensive.

  3. Brent Nau says:

    That $10 CPA is quite high and like you said what business would pay Google to advertise Google? Nice find!

  4. Frederic Chanut says:

    Perhaps not in the case of an organic amplification. Say you produce great content like you do Dan but need to scale your outreach. this can be a costly exercise that could pay off.
    I recently played around with Outbrain, Reddit and StumbleUpon to expose my non-viral content to more channel. End results is a large number of social signals with a limited cost.
    I think this is a great tool to get good but specific content to be discovered quickly.

  5. Ahoyit says:

    Great piece … Absolutely new to me … Guessing it is a part of Google’s effort to push G+ and only a first step in their effort to push the local advertisement.

  6. jemin says:

    Thanks Dejan for sharing Amazing information

  7. I heard rumors in the European market Google was actually giving free advertising on Google+ for big brands who signed up with accounts/ brand pages to kick off engagement. This was actually late last year but I guess they have stopped such deals.

  8. george phillip says:

    Awesome tips. thanks for sharing and being ahead of the curve.

  9. Interesting Find. That would indeed be an expensive follower acquisition. Paying Google to promote your Google plus? oh well, nothing surprises me anymore

  10. Julien Perreard says:

    As Dennis said, the most interesting part to monitor here is the possible manipulation of ‘authorrank’ for higher serps position – in this case, a $10 CPA might not be that high in very competitive industry.