Is it Really Possible to Improve Your AdWords Quality Score with Google +1?

This week I have listened to some exciting presentations and had a few conversations with Google AdWords product evangelists regarding Google +1. The prospect for social integration with both SEO listings and paid search ads is intriguing and holds a tremendous amount of potential for search marketers.

The +1 button was deployed earlier this year across organic and PPC listings in the Google SERPs. Since then, the questions haven’t stopped. The main question that has bubbled to the top regards how +1 will affect AdWords quality score.


+1: A Quality Score Factor?

The tinfoil-hat theories say that Google is secretly including the number of +1’s in the quality score formula. In other words, the more +1 votes a website or page has, the more weight it carries in increasing quality score.

This is not the case today.

After speaking with an AdWords product evangelist yesterday, this may or may not be on the road map for the future. But for now, +1 is not a quality score factor.

Why else am I writing about this +1 button if it isn’t a factor today? Well, what is the top factor for influencing quality score? Click-through rate (CTR).

Ad extensions and other Google-additions to the ad space directly influence your CTR which directly influences your quality score. Make sense now?

When a website visitors clicks the +1 button on your site (or actually in the SERPs), that visitor’s friends will see that they +1’d your website. They have voted for you and your website and this will entice their friends to also click through your ad to visit your website. The social interaction aids in increasing your ads’ CTR.


Add the +1 Button to Your Website

How can you increase your chances of visitors voting for your product or service with +1? Add the +1 button to your website! You can grab the code here.

Add the +1 button to every page on your site – including your PPC landing pages. There are a few pitfalls in the current +1 system. Right now the +1 votes are page-specific.

PPC advertisers often use a wide range of landing pages that are tightly focused – so this means that accumulating any meaningful number of +1 votes would be a challenge. The good news is that Google is working on a method to make +1 votes a cumulate effort, which will mitigate this concern.


The +1 integration with Google’s paid and organic SERPs doesn’t directly affect quality score. While it may at some time in the future, for now +1 is only an indirect influencer on your quality score. With that in mind, take advantage this opportunity. Add the +1 button to your websites and landing pages and enjoy the lift in CTR!

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