We're going to be hearing a lot about social networks in the coming days with Google+ finally opening up to the public and Facebook making several big changes, and this post is no exception.
Coinciding with the public opening of Google+ is a new feature on all display ads that will be served through the Google Display Network, which currently holds about 15 percent of the online ad network marketing share. Starting in early October, all of these advertisements will come with a +1 button attached to them, allowing users to recommend the ads to their friends on Google+. Google has already been using this button so that Plussers can recommend content, search results and websites.
Google will start taking these recommendations into account when they are serving ads, so if a user takes the time to endorse a particular advertisement, that ad will have a much better chance of showing up on Web pages (served by the Google Display Network) that their friends visit, as well.
According to Google, "The Google Display Network gives ads that have been recommended an extra boost by including them in the auction for any page a friend visits."
All in all, this should be very useful for advertisers, as users are probably going to be less likely to ignore ads that have been recommended by their friends, which puts more of an actual social spin on the social media side of advertising.
This is all part of an attempt by Google to "extend the +1 buttons as broadly as possible," which is something that only Google can really do, since no other advertising networks have any kind of social networking outlet near what Google has accomplished with Google+. There is even talk that they are looking to make the button available to ads outside of the Google Display Network.
Of course, it's beneficial for Google, too, as it can now collect data about the effectiveness of these ads, even if it doesn't get money from the advertisers. Eventually, this will probably lead to improved relevance and clickthrough rates for the ads that are sold.