Have you noticed Google’s recent Terms of Service update about how they display your information in content & ads? If you head over to Google, you should see a notification like this:
The primary reason for this is so that Google can sell their users’ endorsements. In other words, when someone reviews a business on Google+ or YouTube, advertisers will be able to display those endorsements in their ads on Google.
Depending on your state, this could present a variety of legal ethics issues. I encourage you to research those issues as they apply in your state.
From an advertising performance perspective, this change is likely to have some significant ramifications for firms that advertise on Google.
Ads that contain these endorsements from people with whom the user is connected with on Google+ are likely to garner an increase in click traffic. This creates a pretty big incentive for lawyers to nudge happy clients to firm Google+ pages.
If you advertise on Google, but have been dragging your feet on creating a Google Plus page for your firm, it’s time to build your page(s).
You should also consider your firm’s process for encouraging reviews.
The new ad policy doesn’t start until Nov. 11, so you have some time to prepare for the change.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. There’s likely to be some backlash from this decision. However, it hasn’t really garnered as much attention as I would have expected.
What do you think? Will you choose to display testimonials in your firm’s AdWords ads? What potential legal ethics issues to you foresee?