The following is an email I received from Google regarding the addition of the Plus 1 functionality to a Google Adwords account;
Here’s how the +1 button works:
Let’s say you own a hotel in Madrid. Brian had a lovely stay at your hotel last summer. When Brian starts researching accommodations for his next trip to Spain, he searches on Google while signed into his Google account, and sees your ad. He clicks the +1 button on the ad to recommend it to his contacts.
When Brian’s friend Ann plans her trip to Spain, she signs in to her Google account, searches, and also sees your ad – plus the personalized annotation that Brian +1’d it. Knowing that Brian recommends your hotel helps Ann decide where to stay during her travels.
Think of the +1 button as a way for fans of your business to recommend what you offer, for all their friends and contacts to see. By helping searchers see more personal, relevant ads, we believe you’ll see more qualified traffic. You can also add the +1 button to your site to give your customers the opportunity to +1 your site after visiting it.
Now, before I read this email I was sceptical about the value of Google Plus 1, and now after reading it – I am even more so. I am not sure if this is a particularly terrible example to use in a promotional email, or if Google Plus 1 is just terrible. Just naming a few of the problems with this example
- Brian isn’t going to recommend the hotel until he plans his next Spain trip. For most people, this could be no sooner than a year, and for many, it might be never!
- This relies on him seeing the ad for that same exact hotel – i.e. that he is searching for very similar results to the last time he searched, and they are still bidding
- It relies on both Brian and Anne to be logged in to Google while searching
- I don’t know if this is me being old fashioned – but for this particular example – a holiday to Spain – I would have thought to ask my friend in person where he stayed. Surely you know if a friend of yours has been to Spain before.
This promotional email did not endear me to Google +1.