It’s not really video, in fact, I couldn’t even find a category for it here, but it’s interesting as even Google AdWords sees the value of both user recommendations (Like, retweet, thumbs up) and gamification (bringing game elements into non-gaming life, in this case assigning points to ads). They have just introduced what a gamer would call a 1-up button but what it really is, is a +1 thumbs up or like button for AdWords Ads. But to me, it just seems dumb.

It’s an interesting gambit. Will users be interested enough to actually click on AdWords Ads and more importantly how will Google combat Plus-one click fraud? What is to stop people getting their friends and employees together and having a ‘+1 party’ simply to raise the score of an ad?

Here’s some info from the AdWords Blog:

+1 is a simple idea. Let’s use a hypothetical Brian as an example. When Brian signs into his Google account and sees one of your ads or organic search results on Google, he can +1 it and recommend your page to the world.

The next time Brian’s friend Mary is signed in and searching on Google and your page appears, she might see a personalized annotation letting her know that Brian +1’d it. So Brian’s +1 helps Mary decide that your site is worth checking out.

I suppose by linking it to the social factor of contacts it limits the amount of abuse that could abound. Still, it seems sort of silly to me. I mean, who recommends ads to their friends? If someone were to ask me, I would give them some ideas, links and sites. But I am not in the habit of offering up my opinion to just any passerby… or am I? I mean, I don’t know most of you and you are reading this. Then again, this is my job and I don’t often give advice unless specifically asked. Basically Google is taking away the need to actually contact your contacts.

The poor thing about this is that the +1 will be included in organic search rankings. So if you’ve got a mostly lethargic audience, you are in turn being penalized for their lethargy. That just seems like poor business practice on Google’s part.

Then again, Facebook does give us the ability to get rid of ads. Of course, it never seems to work and that believe that because I have my relationship status set to “single” I must be in need of a mate and flood me with stupid, useless dating sites ads, no matter how many times I click uninteresting, misleading, and even report them for abuse. Still they come every…single…day.

What Google is hoping is that the +1 will mean that ads are then more relevant to you based on your relationships. That’s sort of a silly premise to me as well. After all, just because I like something doesn’t mean that my friends and family share the same interest. So all in all, this really does seem rather pointless to me and borderline stupid. I for one will absolutely refuse to use the +1 or I will bend it to my own political agenda…muahahaha! See, it’s already being perverted in my mind which is a very perverse place anyway.

For more information hit the +1 Ad Innovation page.