free html hit counter Google+ Spreads to AdSense, Will It Spread to the Whole Web? - John Battelle's Search Blog

Google+ Spreads to AdSense, Will It Spread to the Whole Web?

By - January 25, 2012

Seen in the wild (well, OK, on this very site):

The “Recommend this on Google” hover box at the bottom is new, I’ve never seen it before (then again, my ads are usually from FM). It’s what we in the biz call a “social overlay” or a “social ad” – and as far as I can tell, it’s only available to those advertisers who use Google AdSense.

Why am I on about this? Because some weeks ago, Facebook told a bunch of advertisers and third parties (FM was one of them) that it was no longer OK to integrate Facebook actions into third party advertisements. This was always in their policies, but everyone was pretty much ignoring it – including most of the largest advertisers on the planet. After all, it’d be pretty hard to tell major television advertisers to stop asking viewers to “Like us on Facebook”. But for some reason, Facebook recently decided enough was enough online, and won’t let folks do exactly the same thing – with interactive functionality – online. You won’t be seeing ads on any site that integrate Facebook Likes, Shares, or other verbs, unless the advertisers paying for those ads have cut special deals with Facebook. (Or, of course, unless Facebook launches its own ad network…)

And yes, my sense of why Facebook might all-of-a-sudden-restrict advertisers or their partners from using Facebook actions in their ads stems from my prediction that Facebook is going to launch a competitor to AdSense, and that Facebook will want to differentiate its competitor by making “FaceSense” the only place across the web where you can run ads that drive Facebook social actions – Likes, Subscriptions, Shares, Recommendations, etc.

Because of this, I recently asked Google whether it would impose the same kind of restrictions on how advertisers might integrate Google+. I got a nuanced and careful response – Google doesn’t support it now, but is open to the idea in the future.

I’m thinking Google can differentiate itself by not acting like Facebook, but instead allow any advertiser to integrate “+1″ into their ads, regardless of where that ad runs – be it a direct buy on ESPN, an independent web player like FM, or, as seen above, a buy on Google’s own AdSense service.*

Anyway, it’s worth thinking about as we plot the strategies of the Big Five – what will their policies be relating to corporate speech and social services? So far, the answer is “not sure.” Worth asking Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon, come to think of it….I can’t imagine, for example, that Apple welcomes Facebook icons integrated into its iAds product – but then again, Facebook now doesn’t allow it anyway. Which seems to me a violation of some corporate right to free speech – but I digress. For now.

* If you’re wondering why is AdSense on my blog these days, well, I’m getting more traffic than we thought I would in January, and AdSense is picking up some of the extra impressions. Thanks for reading – I’m honored. 

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16 thoughts on “Google+ Spreads to AdSense, Will It Spread to the Whole Web?

  1. Ed says:

    “I’m thinking Google can differentiate itself by not acting like Facebook, but instead allow any advertiser to integrate “+1″ into their ads, regardless of where that ad runs – be it a direct buy on ESPN, an independent web player like FM, or, as seen above, a buy on Google’s own AdSense service.*”

    Hopefully not to a shady 3rd party site, and magnified by social sharing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure what you mean? Shady how? I mean….AdSense itself runs on some, er….tree lined streets, so to speak.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Google does indeeed seem to know what they are doing that is for sure.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Google does indeeed seem to know what they are doing that is for sure.
    vpn-privacy.tk

  4. Collaterally Damaged says:

    Yet another distraction.

    Google has killed the AdSense cash cow for many small publishers by insisting on shoving behaviorally targeted advertisements into the stream. Contextual AdSense worked extremely well for highly targeted sites in the most healthy (high-value) verticals. BT ads have polluted the stream, with low-value ads following the visitor, displacing the high CPC value contextual ads.

  5. Google+ will soon have ads and I agree with the prediction of a Facebook AdSense-ish product. This is going to get interesting.

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  8. AndyBeard says:

    All the Adsense I am seeing seems to be retargetting which based on a recent SEOmoz article suggests the actual source is Adroll.
    Surely you should cut out the middleman and show Adroll through FM

  9. AndyBeard says:

    All the Adsense I am seeing seems to be retargetting which based on a recent SEOmoz article suggests the actual source is Adroll.
    Surely you should cut out the middleman and show Adroll through FM

  10. [...] advertising offerings in a number of ways ahead of its huge IPO. And on that note, John Battelle points out an interesting social ad strategy from Google, where AdSense ads are allowing people to share them back to Google+. Battelle [...]

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