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What +1 Means For You (And Me)

Back in April 2011, Google unveiled what would be its version of “Like” or “Retweet”, in respect to Facebook and Twitter. Recently, I’ve found myself unabashed, stating “I’d plus one that“. Too easily, I fall into these social media/real life crossover effects. In an article from webseoanayltics.com, I discovered what exactly the +1 feature does.

It has effects on click through rates for ads and websites, weighs in on search engine optimization and works as a bookmarking feature (which is much more evident if you are a Google+ user). On Google+, your profile has a +1 tab where you can view everything you have +1’d. Articles you post or posts in general have a +1 for their popularity or a number totalling the number of people who have added a +1 to the post. 

In regards to SEO, “Google already uses data from 3rd party Social Media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr etc) as signals to determine the Search Engine Results. As a result we should expect that the number of +1s of a page will be used as asignal on the future. Nevertheless by definition the +1 button gives more weight to what your friends think as important and as a result we should expect that it will carry more weight when one of your contacts voted for a particular page,” states Vasilis Vryniotis, who wrote the article The New Google +1 Button and the Effects on SEO. He went on to state ‘As we said above the +1 button will allow users recommend and share content with their friends and it will be visible next to the search results. Along with them the logged in users will be able to see if the people that belong to their Social Circle have +1’d any of the pages that appear in SERPs. Currently the Social Circle is calculated based on the data that come from GmailGoogle TalkGoogle ContactsGoogle Reader and Google Buzz. Nevertheless Google says that on the near future they will incorporate information from other 3rd party networks such as Twitter, Flickr etc.”

On Google’s website describing +1, they state, “Sometimes it’s easier to find exactly what you’re looking for when someone you know already found it. Get recommendations for the things that interest you, right when you want them, in your search results”. The main point of this article, published soon after the release of +1, is that the more people that +1 this blog post on Social Ed Culture, the more likely it is to pop up higher on the list of results for a google search related to this article or with words within my “tags”. So please, +1 this article!


Nanotargeting in Online Advertising and Political Campaigns

In 2009, Josh Kotler realized the power of the internet and online advertising for political campaigns when most others were still skeptical. He points out that it did indeed work for big name candidates like President Barack Obama and Howard Dean, but for lesser names like senate campaigns, it may be less powerful in the eyes of the less “online media educated”. In his series of articles on nanotargeting, Kotler dives into online marketing/advertising by identifying specific niche demographics by interest and virtual location. In his first article Long-Tail Nanotargeting, he states, “So, instead of identifying the most universally persuasive messages and broadcasting them to a wide audience, in the long-tail model you take the most persuasive messages and nanotarget each one to the right niche”. By identifying enouch niches and altering the message to tailor it specifically to that group, you have a much more responsive campaign, with lower costs due to the lack of wasted impressions, he discovers.

In his second article Nanotargeted Pressure, written exactly one year later, Kotler discusses how nanotargeting can be used to pressure news groups to act a certain way, he uses online advertising to direct messages at individuals by utilizing information they have made available through social networks, their place of employment. He shows how effective the power of nanotargeting is with his example involving CNN and Lou Dobbs with his position on immigration, which spurred this movement. Inexpensively and in an extremely effective manner, he targeted advertisments to CNN employees to deliver messages to Lou Dobbs through his colleagues. This was a genius plan and he shows how he came to this conclusion and the positive end result.

Peter Greenfield, wrote an article titled, The Digital Playbook: Can online ads move poll numbers?, discussing the powerful use of targeted online advertising, which is exactly what Kotler has described fourteen months prior to Greenfield’s article. The Digital Playbook shows how effective nanotargeted advertising can be through popular media outlets to reach out to families with infertility obstacles through “A recent study conducted by Russell Research on behalf of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, measured the effectiveness of an online campaign in the Washington, D.C. area to raise awareness of an important issue for them. RESOLVE is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the millions of Americans suffering from infertility find solutions to starting a family, and they focused their campaign on embryo donation. A baseline poll was taken before the digital campaign began and a follow up survey was conducted upon its conclusion. No traditional media was used – the only messaging was delivered via online advertising.” The end result was astonishing in its support of both Greenfield and Kotler’s predictions of targeting online advertising. Stastically, people are becoming more responsive to online advertising than tradition televised statements where single messages are picked out from a 60 second commercial.

Both authors are clearly on the same page with online advertising, this seems to be a trend now, more so than it was one and two years ago, in 2009 and 2010. As we approach a new election and the year 2012, nanotargeting seems to be much more of a normative action within online advertising with Facebook and Google. With Google+, we might almost expect an even greater targeted advertisement initiative.