Google + is powering full speed ahead to compete with the largest social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. With now 100 million active users, as of September 2012, Google + is definitely worth keeping an eye on. Google + has just recently added Communities, a new feature similar to that of Facebook’s Groups. They have made it no secret that they are directly competing with Facebook as the ultimate social network with added features and benefits. That is why it makes sense for them to now move into the advertising arena, matching Facebook Ads with Google + ads.
Google + ads are now active and available to select US brands on Google +, according to this post by Google’s Christian Oestlien. Google + will presumably be using AdWords Express to roll out this feature for Google + page owners to advertise their pages. By offering these ads, this will be first time Google + page owners will be able to pay to promote their pages. Whereas, Facebook page owners have been able to pay for promotion for quite a while now. However, there is a major difference between Facebook ads and Google + ads. Facebook ads are only placed within the social network itself, and they do not expand beyond that reach. Google + won’t be promoting within Google+ itself, but instead they will be promoting ads on their existing external ad networks. The ads will exist in the same place where Google search ads already are: Google search, Google maps, and other Google properties. Instead of creating interruptive advertising like Facebook, these ads will only appear to those who are intentionally searching for related information. The benefit of this strategy is that your ads will reach customers at their moment of intent, when they actually want to buy what your business is selling.
As you can see from the screenshots above, you will soon be able to use Google AdWords Express to Connect with new customers and control how much and when you pay. You can currently create ads via Google AdWords for your Twitter or Facebook pages, but soon you will be able to promote your Google + page as well. What’s great about what is to come is that Google will actually find the best places to promote it. They’ll do the dirty work for you, so you don’t have to spend your time on keywords, bids, or placement. By using Google + ads, you will have more time to focus on selling rather than spending that time promoting.