Google Plus and Social SEO Facts and Evidence

Google Plus and Social SEO Facts and Evidence

Introduction:

Two and a half years ago I began building my personal blog in relation to Google+ marketing; then from September 2013, I focused all of my attention on building Plus Your Business. For both sites I’ve created content, had great guest bloggers, and shared content via my profile and the PYB page. Everything achieved has been due to the support and engagement of the Google+ community; the social visits have largely come from this source within the first month, and then the engagement with that content has signaled to search that “hey maybe other people who like to see this too!” and it then shows up for a) personalized results (inc. G+ posts), and b) incognito too.

This post is shows you the facts, the results, the evidence that the way we work with clients and train people in the Academy really does work. We are building a number of client case studies which will also be released by early 2015 as well.

How Social SEO using Google+ ‘works’

There is a load more information available on the PYB website, but here are a few keys to the process:

  • Create content that deserves to re-surface
  • Do your best to make that content ‘ever green’
  • Build relationships on Google+ with people who are already authorities on the subjects for which you want to rank
  • Build a community of people around you who regularly share your content ‘around this subject’
  • Look to have a considerable number of pieces of content produced and distributed prior to the more challenging terms/phrases for which you wish to rank
  • Look to use opt-in ‘niche circles’, and be prepared to run community driven campaigns which will amplify your content
  • Re-amplify when the content becomes ‘stuck’ in Search and doesn’t seem to move

This is the approach we have consistently taken, and as you will see, the results can be outstanding.

Here is a full blog post on this for y’all: Google+ and Social SEO

A few things:

The ‘pretty’ graphs are sketches, i.e. not to scale – but the numbers reflect the posts to which they relate.

We have called the first month ‘Social’ and named the entire life of a post ‘Social and Search’: the reality is that, often, we have achieved a first page, incognito result within a few days, meaning that the first month’s stats may well include ‘Search’ too. Also, when content is re-shared on Google+ after this initial month, the stats are blurred as there is a Social element there too.In addition, the ‘spikes’ you see in the screenshots are reamplification of orginal posts.
All of that being said, however, you will have a good idea of what we have achieved by putting the Google+ community first, and how Search and Social can work hand in hand.

What to see how quickly this post made it into Search?

Yep, personalized and incognito results – Number 1 after 2 days.
(Which is why I say I am generalizing that Social is the first month – it can be very quick indeed for some terms, and personalized search even more so.)

MartinShervington.com

To begin, this graph is for my blog, and here is an overview of total visitors for the past 12 months:

MS overview

MS Overview

Next, let’s take a look at the total number of Page Views for the site:

MS.com

Total Number of pageview: 504,707

Average time on page: 00:05:23 mins

MS

Plusyourbusiness.com

Ok, so now let’s move onto the Plus Your Business website, which launched early September 2013.

And here is an overview of activity for the past 12 months, starting with total number of visitors:

PYB overview

PYB Overview

And next you can see total Page Views:

PYB

Total Number of visits: 306,826

Average time on page: 00:02:54 mins

PYB

Ok, so that is the website overview. Let’s next move into taking a look at individual posts on the sites…

What is Google Plus

Update! Now this is over 300,000 unique vistors:

2015-03-25_09-19-20

Here is the first month of activity on the most popular post to date:

What is googleplus_Month one

Total visits in first month: 25,142

Average time on page: 00:05:20 mins

What is Google Plus_Month_OneNEW

Social activity was great, but as it secured the desired position in search to answer the query ‘What is Google Plus?’ (and variants of it), what happened next was very cool..

Here is an overview of the last 15 months:

What is googleplus_Whole duration

Total Number of visits: 258,789

Average time on page: 00:05:10 mins

What is Google Plus_WholeDuration NEW

Yes, that is 250,000 who have been introduced to Google+ through our training materials, just from this one post.

Social = 9.7%
Search = 90.3%

Ok, so what next? Well, Google+ is great for marketing, so here is a blog post just on that…

A complete guide to Google+ Marketing

Here is the first month of activity:

A complete guide to Google+ Marketing_Month One

Total visits in first month: 6,338

Average time on page: 00:04:43 mins

A complete guide to Google+ Marketing_Month One NEW

Here is an overview:

A complete guide to Google+ Marketing_Whole Duration

Total Number of visits: 11,369

Average time on page: 00:04:48 mins

A complete guide to Google+ Marketing_Whole duration NEW

I know what you are thinking…that is not quite so impressive! But hold on, look at the dates…this only launched in July 2014, and we are able to targeting a value nice phrase that is converting attention into leads. Search for ‘Google Plus Marketing’ in an incognito window and you’ll see it is rockin’ Search results.

So, what next…

Social = 55.7%
Search = 45.3%

Google Plus For Business and Individuals

This post is one that is aiming to capture the eye of everyone looking at Google+ for business application.

Here is the first month of activity:

Google Plus For Business and Individuals_Month One

Total visits in first month: 7,890

Average time on page: 00:05:18 mins

Google Plus For Business and Individuals_Month One

Here is an overview:

Google Plus For Business and Individuals_Whole Duration

Total Number of visits: 15,525

Average time on page: 00:04:38 mins

Google Plus For Business and Individuals_Whole Duration

So, Search is delivering double the initial social activity.

Social = 50.8%
Search = 49.2%

Beginners Guide to Google Plus

Here is the first month of activity:

Beginners Guide to Google Plus_Month one

Total visits in first month: 2,482

Average time on page: 00:03:52 mins

Beginners Guide to Google Plus_Month One

Here is an overview:

Beginners Guide to Google Plus_Whole Duration

Total Number of visits: 8,868

Average time on page: 00:03:29 mins

Beginners Guide to Google Plus_Whole Duration

Where social drops off, Search picks up the slack! Next…

Social = 28%
Search = 72%

Complete User Guide: Google Plus Pages for business and brands

Here is the first month of activity:

Google Plus Pages for business and brands_Month One

Total visits in first month: 3,140

Average time on page: 00:12:33 mins

Google Plus Pages for business and brands_Month One NEW

And here is an overview of the entire duration:

Google Plus Pages for business and brands_Whole Duration

Total Number of visits: 38,826

Average time on page: 00:09:22 mins

Google Plus Pages for business and brands_Whole Duration NEW

Yes, we went from 3,000 people in social to 38,000 including Search over the duration of the post.
And we could refresh the content, re-amplify and give it a lift too.

Social = 8%
Search = 92%

The Ultimate Guide to Google Plus Posts

Here is the first month of activity:

The Ultimate Guide to Google Plus Posts_Month One

Total visits in first month: 4,797

Average time on page: 00:10:10 mins

The Ultimate Guide to Google Plus Posts_Month one NEW

Here is an overview:

The Ultimate Guide to Google Plus Posts_Whole Duration

Total Number of visits: 44,244

Average time on page: 00:07:37 mins

The Ultimate Guide to Google Plus Posts_Whole Duration NEW

So, 4,000 lead to 44,000 on this one. Building communities around your content really can get you Search results!

Note: the spike was due to re-amplification of the content, which often gives it a lift in Search.

Social = 10.8%
Search = 89.2%

Ultimate Guide to Google Hangouts

Here is the first month of activity:

Ultimate Guide to Google Hangouts_Month One

Total visits in first month: 9,089

Average time on page: 00:10:19 mins

Ultimate Guide to Google Hangouts_Month One  NEW

Here is an overview:

Ultimate Guide to Google Hangouts_Whole Duration

Total Number of visits: 110,337

Average time on page: 00:09:35 mins

Ultimate Guide to Google Hangouts_Whole Duration NEW

And yes, on this one too – 9,000 Social turns into 110,000 Social and Search combined!

Social = 8.2%
Search =
91.8%

To conclude:

Google really has changed over the past few years, especially as the default setting is now personalized/private results. Social really matters. And by Social I am really talking about Google+
You may like to think about it this way, after the ‘news’ i.e. the first wave of activity in Social, it will often be down to Google Search to sustain the visitor volumes to your website.
The key though is this: think about building community around your content. This will enable them to amplify it, and signal to Search your content should be seen by more people.

When it is new, people say “read all about it!” (i.e. engage with it) which turns into a piece of content becoming ‘authoritative’ in Search. Then people pop to the library, i.e. Search, and access the content, even if they did not see/engage with it themselves in Social.
Google+ enables publishers, bloggers and content creators to level the playing field in terms of ‘size’ of business – now it is about being unique, and producing high quality which enables people to feel we are answering the questions, solving their problems, in the best way for them. So, does Google+ tilt the ‘Search’ field toward you? Yes it does.