The Weird & Magical Powers of Google+

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Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com The Weird & Magical Powers of Google+

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This Presentation Is Online Here: bit.ly/gplusmagic

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Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all opportunities, too. What makes G+ special? Why Google+?

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#1: Reach The methodology from http://plus.miernicki.com/ counts all accounts, not just active or verified 1.85 Billion accounts (more than Facebook’s 1.32B active users, though likely lower than FB’s total users)

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Active User Counts are Smaller (but still huge) Stats via MarketingLand and Business Insider (*estimates my own assuming similar percents of total/active/instream ratios) October 2013: August 2014: September 2012: Total Accounts Active Users Monthly Active “In-stream” Users 100mm 540mm 647mm (*estimated) 400mm 1.10B 1.85B 55mm (*estimated) 300mm 360mm (*estimated)

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Google+ Gets About the Same Number of Monthly Active Users as Twitter NOTE: it’s likely the avg Twitter user is more engaged on Twitter than avg G+ users are on G+.

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For 18-34 Yr Olds in the US, Google+ is just ahead of Pinterest and just behind Twitter Please ignore the fact that Comscore’s chart listed 17.9% higher than 18%

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Stats via Circlecount. Methodology compares relative population size vs. Google+ profiles from Circlecount’s data Global adoption varies – e.g. Australia’s per capita use is ~1/2 the United States

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#2: Potential Reach This number represents the potential Google users that can be influenced by Google+ when logged into their Google account

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This result appears in position #2 for my search query with Mark’s picture next to it only because I follow him on Google+

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Anytime I’m on any Google property, this notification bell follows me and alerts me to Google+ activity (even from people I don’t follow!)

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#3: Access to Influencers

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#4: Photo Backups, Functionality, & Sharing

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#5: Extra Features & Real Estate in Search

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Google+ enables a unique kind of follower/following relationship Circles

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Different Groups for Different Interests

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You Control Which Circles See Your Shares

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G+ Enables Connections by School, Work, Gmail Contacts & More (but you can add anyone to any circle)

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Your Shares and +1s Can Reach Beyond Your Circles But only if you share publicly!

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How Google+ influences what searchers see and where they see it G+ in Search

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Google Authorship used to show photos connected to the G+ profile of the author. Now it’s just the author’s name & a link (here’s how to set it up)

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Authorship photos do still appear when Google personalizes results from people you follow on Google+

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Google Search also displays social proof from your connections who’ve +1’d or shared content you see in the search results

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Not only do Google+ posts have an amazing ability to rank for even the broadest keywords, the biasing effects can last for months or years

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More than a year after Geraldine posted this on G+, I still see it on page 1 for a related query

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The more recent the post, the higher it ranks on G+ in personalized results. For the last 3 years, the keyword matching algorithm has been extremely broad.

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For some active brands on G+, there’s a range of additional features like the “follow” button and recent posts

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Less followed, less active, and/or non “approved” still get some search real estate from their G+ page (NOTE: Google isn’t transparent about how a page/brand can get additional features in search)

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For many local, small businesses, G+ is a requirement of getting listed in Google Maps (and how Google defaults to showing your listing)

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Biases Personalized/Logged-In Search Results SEO Benefits of Using Google+ Gives Authorship Link & Citation Credit in SERPs Enables Knowledge-Graph Style Box for Brand Name Gives Authorship Photo and Link to G+ Post in Personalized Results Is Essential to Local Business Listings in Google Maps

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Leveraging G+’s Unique Photo and Video Features to Maximum Effect Visuals

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If You Have Android, G+ Auto-Integrates

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For iPhone & Windows Phone, the G+ App Does It

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Google+’s “Auto Awesome” Images is Pretty Good (though Instagram’s still better in some ways) G+ will take any series of similar shots and mesh them together to create fun gifs like this one:

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Photo “Stories” in Google+ Are Fascinating, Too

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Ease of Photo-Sharing is Definitely a Plus

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Videos Also Work Well and Have Easy Integration

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As with Facebook, Sharing Visual Content is Often a Way to Earn Greater Amplification

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Skype made it possible. Google+ made it better and more shareable. Hangouts

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Google Hangouts Are Often Superior to Skype Don’t worry, you won’t automatically grow a giant beard

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“Hangouts on Air” Enable Public Video Conferencing, Recording, & Sharing to YouTube Hangouts on Air can be simultaneously live-broadcasted and recorded for later viewing/embedding via YouTube

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Some Bloggers Use Hangouts on Air As a Primary Content Channel From Denise Wakeman’s Hangouts (lots of good stuff in there)

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12 tips to earn greater reach and attention to your Google+ posts Amplification

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Tip #1: Measure Your Progress Use a tool (Circlecount, pictured here, is free) to track your G+ activity and see what works vs. doesn’t

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Tip #2: Be Visual We’ve seen a strong correlation between the performance of our content on social media and the engagement/quality of the visuals in the posts. Hence, we now put lots more energy into making great images on, for example, our whiteboard videos

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Tip #2: Be Visual If you’re sharing a link, be sure to optimize which image is chosen. If there aren’t any good ones, consider taking a screenshot and sharing the image and link together.

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Tip #3: Share to the Right People G+ may default to private sharing or may not include all your circles, so be sure to add them You can choose to send emails to people in your circles – take care not to abuse this ability

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Tip #3: Share to the Right People G+ also enables you to search for and share to individuals (like Twitter’s @mention functionality). This will create a notification in their Google navigation

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Tip #4: Use Ripples to Find Potential Amplifiers

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Tip #4.5: Buzzsumo Helps ID the Right Content Search, filter, and find the most shared stuff

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Tip #5: Share G+ Post On Other Networks Amplifying your G+ shares on other social networks can help boost reach and SEO influence

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Tip #6: Share at the Right Time(s) Via Followerwonk (G+ times usually align better w/ Twitter than FB)

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Tip #7: Reciprocation (+1 and Ye Shall Be +1’d) Aleyda will get a notification of my +1 and see my name – that creates a powerful, but often subconscious nudge for her to return the gesture

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Tip #8: Join & Leverage Communities

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Tip #9: Employ Hashtags & Keywords The “Explore” tab can show you popular and trending hashtags

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Tip #10: Format Your Posts Easy to scan means easy to read, click, and share

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Tip #10: Format Your Posts Simple guide to the basics

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Tip #11: Create “Direct Notification” Circles You can invite other Google+ users to get notifications every time you publish/post something to particular circles. Read Ray Hiltz’s post for more.

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Tip #12: Consider Google+ Comment Integration

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How to reach people in ways that build lasting relationships on G+ Networking

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Finding People on G+ Can Be a Challenge

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“People & Pages” Can Help

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Google’s Web Search > G+ Search

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Use (But Don’t Abuse) Notifications Not as Good: I don’t know these folks and this doesn’t look relevant to me or personalized in any way. Think they just want more eyeballs ? Great: I didn’t know Justin, but his question is straight-forward and up my alley. Happy to help!

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Resharing & +1’ing is a Great Start Being an early supporter is particularly appreciated (especially when combined w/ a comment!)

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Cite Others Without Thought of Reward And when you make citations/shares, be sure to use the +name format so they can see your post

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Mostly, Apply Bill & Ted’s Righteous Advice

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Google+ enables pages (for brands/websites) and profiles (for people). Which is right for you? Page or Profile

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Google+ Pages

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Google+ Profiles

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Profiles Are Best if… You’re a blogger, writing on your own site You’re a small business owner that isn’t focused on rapid, scalable growth You’re the sole owner/operator of your web-based business/website You don’t plan to ever have a team of marketing professionals managing your social media accounts

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Pages Are Best if… You expect rapid growth of your business and know you’ll require social media management at scale You currently have multiple people working on your online marketing team You have a brand that scales (or will scale) far beyond any individual founder

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If You Have a Page, You Should Also Leverage Your Personal Profile

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Is Google+ worth investing time in over networks like Twitter, Facebook, and others? The Competition

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A Social Network’s Size Can’t Be The Only Factor

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Where is Your Audience Today?

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Where is Your Potential, Future Audience?

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Is Your Competition Non-Existent on G+? If your competitors aren’t active, that’s a chance to lead the market! Not an indication of a “ghost town.”

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Remember G+’s Superpower Follow + Share = Rankings

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may not be right for everyone, but it’s almost certainly worth some effort for those who create & share content online. Google+

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Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com bit.ly/gplusmagic