Google has just introduced a “Shared Endorsements” feature so that “when you search for a restaurant, you may see an ad including a 5-star review by another friend.”
This allows marketers to have ads targeted at the individual user’s level. It is one thing to show a user testimonial, and quite another when the user sees a recommendation from one of their own friends.
Even without shared endorsements, users today see what other people in their circles say and share on their profiles. This new feature provides the benefit of repeat exposure, which is key for effective advertising.
What does this mean for local businesses?
Local businesses have one more reason to care to about user reviews. Any review you get on Google+ now has the potential to get amplified multiple times over across the reviewer’s network — whether it’s on Google search, Google Ads, or any other Google service.
Facebook also announced an update to its graph search last week which lets users search for posts and comments made about a topic.
In that post last week, I mentioned that social networks and search engines are getting increasingly sophisticated in providing meaningful data to their members. Shared Endorsements is just another development in that area, and this trend is likely to continue.
User privacy being a major topic of discussion these days, Google has preemptively included an ‘opt out’ option. If you’re signed into Google and visit this link, you can switch this feature on or off.
Google’s updated terms of service that reflect this change will come into effect in November this year.