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Google to use celebrity endorsements in paid-for search results

Kardashian sister among handful of celebs that have signed up to initiative

Google is planning on displaying celebrity endorsements under it's paid for search results.

The initiative, which was detailed by Google's head of social advertising, Christian Oestlien at the SMX Conference in New York conference in New York this week, will see celebrities using the +1 feature on Google's social network Google+ to show they like a brand's website. Currently anyone can use the +1 feature, which is similar to Facebook's 'Like' function, to recommend a web page. However, it does not show up in search results.

Oestlien showed a screenshot of a Google search result page that featured a listing for an item that can be purchased in US department store Sears. Alongside it was an image and endorsement from popular American celebrities, the Kardashian sisters.

"Some advertisers use celebrity endorsement in their ads. This test extends the option of celebrity endorsement to online campaigns," Google said.

"We're always testing new ways to make advertising more compelling to our users and advertisers."

Some experts believe the function will ensure celebrities have greater control over their brands and stop firms making money from a celebrity by using unofficial images or endorsements.

The service is being tested in the US initially, and if it proves to be successful it will be rolled-out worldwide. So far only a handful of celebrities have signed up.


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