Do Google+ Social Annotations Improve My PPC Performance?

We all know that Google’s been pushing their social platform (if you can call it that), Google+, in recent years. Every marketing and branding agency will have their own opinion on the importance of having a presence on Google+, but I’m here to show you some stats on how it actually affects your AdWords performance.

What are Google+ Annotations?

Google+ Annotations originally started as social extensions in AdWords. Now, they’ll automatically display within your ad text if you’re eligible based on criteria I’ll get to below. With these annotations, AdWords will display how many users have followed, or +1’d, your Google+ page in the same space as other extensions.


What did we see with our clients?

Looking at data at the MCC-level, we segmented our performance by +1 annotations and top vs. other. We added the extra layer of top vs. other knowing that these are more likely to display with high-quality ads that are positioned above the organic results. From there, we were able to analyze performance of ads that were shown in the top segment, giving us a more apples-to-apples comparison. The results were astonishing.

Across all of our accounts between 5/13/14 - 6/11/14, we saw a 168% lift in CTR and a 65% cheaper CPC. These ads also were in positions 12% greater than when they did not show.


In addition to this lift in CTR, we also see it help our conversion rate with some clients.


For those not familiar with annotations reporting, Basic means that Google displayed a generic extension like the one shown in my ad example above (“Company has X followers on Google+”). There is another display option called Personal where Google actually uses someone’s name, similar to Facebook, when the search and the company have a common person within their Google+ Circles.

How do I get them to display?

Google lays out three basic criteria for eligibility.

  1.       Your Google+ must be verified
  2.       Your Display URL must match the website URL associated with your Google+ page
  3.       You must have enough followers and recent, quality activity on your page
  4.       Google does give a specific threshold for “enough” followers, but says that 100 is a good benchmark for most

You can find more information about +1 annotations in the AdWords Help Centerhere.

So while the debate goes on about the value of a Google+ presence, one thing is for sure – it helps boost your AdWords performance.

Have you seen similar results with these or any extensions? Let us know below!

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Francis Shovlin
Francis Shovlin
Sr. Manager, Account Director