Google's new '+1' feature has the potential to have significant impact on both the search and social landscape as noted on our recent blog, but it also has the potential to improve targeting and performance of display ads.
Currently it's possible to target ads based on user ‘Interests’ (you can find your own here: www.google.co.uk/ads/preferences). These interests are based on previous sites visited within the Google Display Network (Google Adsense ads) – a user who visits a number of technology sites would be assigned a technology interest and become targetable on the network. This data has previously been limited to sites that use Google Ads – only 77 of the UK's top 250 sites do, showing a clear opportunity for data expansion.
By enabling the '+1' feature Google are able to build their data to sites outside of their Ad Network, building deeper, more niche and richer interest detail on users based not only on the domains they visit and but also the articles and brands they '+1' . This in turn allows marketers to target their ads more effectively, and consumers to be delivered content in line with their interests.