In February, Google launched enhanced campaigns to help advertisers reach people with ads based on context as well as intent. Today, the search giant rolled out new functionality that adds social annotations to Google+.

Social annotations display the number of Google+ followers an advertiser has under the ad text. Google will only include these when they can improve ad performance. The company didn’t provide examples of when it might be an improvement, but you can see an example of how social annotations will look in the screenshot below.

Although social extensions have been available for more than a year, social annotations can show automatically and don’t have to be set up at the campaign level. All you have to do is link your Google+ Page to your website and make sure your display URLs match your website URL.

Google reported that search ads with social annotations have a five to 10 percent higher clickthrough rate. Here’s what the company had to say about the rollout on its blog:

“People are looking for relevant information, and sometimes the most helpful signals are recommendations from people who know a brand or business well. Social annotations show endorsements from people following your Google+ page on your search ads.”

If you’re a current AdWords customer with an active Google+ page or profile, it could be worth taking social annotations for a test run. They might serve as a good reminder to follow your company on Google+.

[Via: Search Engine Land, Image credit: Michael Coghlan]