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Google to add celebrity endorsements to results

Soon celebrity-promoted products will be flagged up in your search results, thanks to a new Google feature. Let's hope there's no Jedward.

You know you can trust CNET UK to guide you through what's hot and what's not, but if you're curious which celebrity endorses which product, Google is about to help you out.

A new feature in your search results will flag up any product a celebrity has signed up to promote. So search for a Nike football boot, say, and a line will come up saying, "Wayne Rooney has endorsed this product." It could well show you which products to steer clear of, too.

The new feature will work with AdWords, and show up in the sponsored ads section of the results. Its aim is to give celebrities power over which products they're associated with, and help us steer clear of knockoffs.

How it works is simple. It's part of Google Plus, the Big G's latest effort at social networking that its own boss isn't all that keen on, and all celebrities have to do is hit '+1' to a page featuring a product they endorse. The feature is in early testing at the moment, but will roll out in the US very soon, and the UK shortly after.

Google's head of advertising, Christian Oestlien, told a conference in New York that it will help people find official products and avoid cheap imitations.

Only a handful of slebs have signed up so far, including the Kardashian sisters -- them of the clothing Kollection -- but expect more to follow if they're keen to protect their extremely lucrative contracts. We don't know if Jedward will get involved, we're just painting a worst-case scenario.

Google Plus hasn't been a massive success so far, with 25 million people signing up initially, but many quickly losing interest. It follows Google's previous doomed attempts to wrest some social networking dollars from Facebook's fists, with its Wave and Buzz products.

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