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The Weird & Magical Powers 
of Google+ 
Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
This Presentation Is Online Here: 
bit.ly/gplusmagic
Why Google+? 
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, 
LinkedIn, and Instagram are all 
opportunities, too. What makes 
G+ special?
#1: Reach 
1.85 Billion accounts 
(more than Facebook’s 1.32B 
active users, though likely lower 
than FB’s total users) 
...
Active User Counts are Smaller (but still huge) 
Total 
Accounts 
Active 
Users 
Stats via MarketingLand and Business Insi...
Google+ Gets About the Same Number of 
Monthly Active Users as Twitter 
NOTE: it’s likely the avg Twitter user is more eng...
For 18-34 Yr Olds in the US, Google+ is just 
ahead of Pinterest and just behind Twitter 
Please ignore the fact that 
Com...
Global adoption varies – 
e.g. Australia’s per capita 
use is ~1/2 the United 
States 
Stats via Circlecount. Methodology ...
#2: Potential Reach 
This number represents the 
potential Google users that can be 
influenced by Google+ when logged 
in...
This result appears in 
position #2 for my 
search query with 
Mark’s picture next to 
it only because I follow 
him on Go...
Anytime I’m on any Google property, this 
notification bell follows me and alerts me 
to Google+ activity (even from peopl...
#3: Access to Influencers
#4: Photo Backups, Functionality, & Sharing
#5: Extra Features & Real Estate in Search
Circles 
Google+ enables a unique kind 
of follower/following 
relationship
Different Groups for Different Interests
You Control Which Circles See Your Shares
G+ Enables 
Connections by 
School, Work, 
Gmail Contacts & 
More (but you 
can add anyone 
to any circle)
Your Shares and +1s 
Can Reach Beyond 
Your Circles 
But only if you 
share publicly!
G+ in Search 
How Google+ influences what 
searchers see and where they 
see it
Google Authorship used to 
show photos connected to 
the G+ profile of the author. 
Now it’s just the author’s 
name & a l...
Authorship photos do still 
appear when Google 
personalizes results from 
people you follow on 
Google+
Google Search also 
displays social proof from 
your connections who’ve 
+1’d or shared content 
you see in the search 
re...
Not only do Google+ 
posts have an amazing 
ability to rank for even the 
broadest keywords, the 
biasing effects can last...
More than a year after Geraldine posted this on G+, 
I still see it on page 1 for a related query
The more recent the post, 
the higher it ranks on G+ 
in personalized results. 
For the last 3 years, the 
keyword matchin...
For some active brands on G+, there’s a 
range of additional features like the “follow” 
button and recent posts
Less followed, less active, and/or non “approved” still 
get some search real estate from their G+ page 
(NOTE: Google isn...
For many local, small 
businesses, G+ is a 
requirement of getting 
listed in Google Maps 
(and how Google 
defaults to sh...
SEO Benefits of Using Google+ 
Biases Personalized/Logged-In Search Results 
Gives Authorship Link & Citation Credit in SE...
Visuals 
Leveraging G+’s Unique Photo 
and Video Features to 
Maximum Effect
If You Have Android, G+ Auto-Integrates
For iPhone & Windows Phone, the G+ App Does It
Google+’s “Auto Awesome” Images is Pretty 
Good (though Instagram’s still better in some ways) 
G+ will take any 
series o...
Photo “Stories” in Google+ Are 
Fascinating, Too
Ease of Photo-Sharing is Definitely a Plus
Videos Also Work Well and Have Easy Integration
As with Facebook, Sharing Visual Content is Often a 
Way to Earn Greater Amplification
Hangouts 
Skype made it possible. 
Google+ made it better and 
more shareable.
Google Hangouts Are Often Superior to Skype 
Don’t worry, you won’t automatically grow a giant beard
“Hangouts on Air” Enable Public Video Conferencing, 
Recording, & Sharing to YouTube 
Hangouts on Air can be simultaneousl...
Some Bloggers Use Hangouts on Air 
As a Primary Content Channel 
From Denise Wakeman’s Hangouts (lots of good stuff in the...
Amplification 
12 tips to earn greater reach 
and attention to your Google+ 
posts
Tip #1: Measure Your Progress 
Use a tool 
(Circlecount, 
pictured here, is 
free) to track your 
G+ activity and see 
wha...
Tip #2: Be Visual 
We’ve seen a strong correlation 
between the performance of our 
content on social media and the 
engag...
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, ...
Tip #3: Share to the 
Right People 
G+ may default to 
private sharing or 
may not include all 
your circles, so be 
sure ...
Tip #3: Share to the Right People 
G+ also enables you to search for and 
share to individuals (like Twitter’s 
@mention f...
Tip #4: Use Ripples to Find Potential Amplifiers
Tip #4.5: Buzzsumo Helps ID the Right Content 
Search, filter, and find the most shared stuff
Tip #5: Share G+ Post On Other Networks 
Amplifying your G+ shares on other 
social networks can help boost reach 
and SEO...
Tip #6: Share at the Right Time(s) 
Via Followerwonk 
(G+ times usually align better w/ 
Twitter than FB)
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...
Tip #8: Join & Leverage Communities
Tip #9: Employ Hashtags & Keywords 
The “Explore” tab can show 
you popular and trending 
hashtags
Tip #10: Format Your Posts 
Easy to scan 
means easy to 
read, click, and 
share
Tip #10: Format Your Posts 
Simple guide to the basics
Tip #11: Create “Direct Notification” Circles 
You can invite other Google+ users 
to get notifications every time you 
pu...
Tip #12: Consider Google+ Comment Integration
Networking 
How to reach people in ways 
that build lasting relationships 
on G+
Finding People on G+ Can Be a Challenge
“People & Pages” Can Help
Google’s Web Search > G+ Search
Use (But Don’t Abuse) Notifications 
Not as Good: 
I don’t know these 
folks and this 
doesn’t look 
relevant to me or 
pe...
Resharing & +1’ing is a Great Start 
Being an early supporter is 
particularly appreciated 
(especially when combined w/ 
...
Cite Others Without Thought of Reward 
And when you make 
citations/shares, be sure to 
use the +name format so they 
can ...
Mostly, Apply Bill & Ted’s Righteous Advice
Page or Profile 
Google+ enables pages (for 
brands/websites) and profiles 
(for people). 
Which is right for you?
Google+ Pages
Google+ Profiles
Profiles Are Best if… 
You’re a blogger, writing on your own site 
You’re the sole owner/operator of your web-based 
busin...
Pages Are Best if… 
You expect rapid growth of your business and 
know you’ll require social media management 
at scale 
Y...
If You Have a Page, You Should Also Leverage 
Your Personal Profile
The Competition 
Is Google+ worth investing 
time in over networks like 
Twitter, Facebook, and others?
A Social Network’s 
Size Can’t Be The 
Only Factor
Where is Your Audience Today?
Where is Your Potential, Future Audience?
Is Your Competition Non-Existent on G+? 
If your competitors aren’t 
active, that’s a chance to 
lead the market! 
Not an ...
Remember G+’s Superpower 
Follow + Share = Rankings
Google+ 
may not be right for everyone, 
but it’s almost certainly worth 
some effort for those who create 
& share conten...
bit.ly/gplusmagic 
Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
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The Weird Magical Powers of Google+

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Transcript of "Weird magic-power-googleplus"

  1. 1. The Weird & Magical Powers of Google+ Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
  2. 2. This Presentation Is Online Here: bit.ly/gplusmagic
  3. 3. Why Google+? Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all opportunities, too. What makes G+ special?
  4. 4. #1: Reach 1.85 Billion accounts (more than Facebook’s 1.32B active users, though likely lower than FB’s total users) The methodology from http://plus.miernicki.com/ counts all accounts, not just active or verified
  5. 5. Active User Counts are Smaller (but still huge) Total Accounts Active Users Stats via MarketingLand and Business Insider September 2012: October 2013: August 2014: Monthly Active “In-stream” (*estimates my own assuming similar percents of total/active/instream ratios) Users 100mm 540mm 647mm (*estimated) 400mm 1.10B 1.85B 55mm (*estimated) 300mm 360mm (*estimated)
  6. 6. 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+.
  7. 7. 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%
  8. 8. Global adoption varies – e.g. Australia’s per capita use is ~1/2 the United States Stats via Circlecount. Methodology compares relative population size vs. Google+ profiles from Circlecount’s data
  9. 9. #2: Potential Reach This number represents the potential Google users that can be influenced by Google+ when logged into their Google account
  10. 10. This result appears in position #2 for my search query with Mark’s picture next to it only because I follow him on Google+
  11. 11. 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!)
  12. 12. #3: Access to Influencers
  13. 13. #4: Photo Backups, Functionality, & Sharing
  14. 14. #5: Extra Features & Real Estate in Search
  15. 15. Circles Google+ enables a unique kind of follower/following relationship
  16. 16. Different Groups for Different Interests
  17. 17. You Control Which Circles See Your Shares
  18. 18. G+ Enables Connections by School, Work, Gmail Contacts & More (but you can add anyone to any circle)
  19. 19. Your Shares and +1s Can Reach Beyond Your Circles But only if you share publicly!
  20. 20. G+ in Search How Google+ influences what searchers see and where they see it
  21. 21. 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)
  22. 22. Authorship photos do still appear when Google personalizes results from people you follow on Google+
  23. 23. Google Search also displays social proof from your connections who’ve +1’d or shared content you see in the search results
  24. 24. 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
  25. 25. More than a year after Geraldine posted this on G+, I still see it on page 1 for a related query
  26. 26. 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.
  27. 27. For some active brands on G+, there’s a range of additional features like the “follow” button and recent posts
  28. 28. 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)
  29. 29. For many local, small businesses, G+ is a requirement of getting listed in Google Maps (and how Google defaults to showing your listing)
  30. 30. SEO Benefits of Using Google+ Biases Personalized/Logged-In Search Results Gives Authorship Link & Citation Credit in SERPs Enables Knowledge-Graph Style Box for Brand Name Is Essential to Local Business Listings in Google Maps Gives Authorship Photo and Link to G+ Post in Personalized Results
  31. 31. Visuals Leveraging G+’s Unique Photo and Video Features to Maximum Effect
  32. 32. If You Have Android, G+ Auto-Integrates
  33. 33. For iPhone & Windows Phone, the G+ App Does It
  34. 34. 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:
  35. 35. Photo “Stories” in Google+ Are Fascinating, Too
  36. 36. Ease of Photo-Sharing is Definitely a Plus
  37. 37. Videos Also Work Well and Have Easy Integration
  38. 38. As with Facebook, Sharing Visual Content is Often a Way to Earn Greater Amplification
  39. 39. Hangouts Skype made it possible. Google+ made it better and more shareable.
  40. 40. Google Hangouts Are Often Superior to Skype Don’t worry, you won’t automatically grow a giant beard
  41. 41. “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
  42. 42. Some Bloggers Use Hangouts on Air As a Primary Content Channel From Denise Wakeman’s Hangouts (lots of good stuff in there)
  43. 43. Amplification 12 tips to earn greater reach and attention to your Google+ posts
  44. 44. 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
  45. 45. 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
  46. 46. 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.
  47. 47. 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
  48. 48. 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
  49. 49. Tip #4: Use Ripples to Find Potential Amplifiers
  50. 50. Tip #4.5: Buzzsumo Helps ID the Right Content Search, filter, and find the most shared stuff
  51. 51. Tip #5: Share G+ Post On Other Networks Amplifying your G+ shares on other social networks can help boost reach and SEO influence
  52. 52. Tip #6: Share at the Right Time(s) Via Followerwonk (G+ times usually align better w/ Twitter than FB)
  53. 53. 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
  54. 54. Tip #8: Join & Leverage Communities
  55. 55. Tip #9: Employ Hashtags & Keywords The “Explore” tab can show you popular and trending hashtags
  56. 56. Tip #10: Format Your Posts Easy to scan means easy to read, click, and share
  57. 57. Tip #10: Format Your Posts Simple guide to the basics
  58. 58. 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.
  59. 59. Tip #12: Consider Google+ Comment Integration
  60. 60. Networking How to reach people in ways that build lasting relationships on G+
  61. 61. Finding People on G+ Can Be a Challenge
  62. 62. “People & Pages” Can Help
  63. 63. Google’s Web Search > G+ Search
  64. 64. 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!
  65. 65. Resharing & +1’ing is a Great Start Being an early supporter is particularly appreciated (especially when combined w/ a comment!)
  66. 66. 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
  67. 67. Mostly, Apply Bill & Ted’s Righteous Advice
  68. 68. Page or Profile Google+ enables pages (for brands/websites) and profiles (for people). Which is right for you?
  69. 69. Google+ Pages
  70. 70. Google+ Profiles
  71. 71. Profiles Are Best if… You’re a blogger, writing on your own site You’re the sole owner/operator of your web-based business/website You’re a small business owner that isn’t focused on rapid, scalable growth You don’t plan to ever have a team of marketing professionals managing your social media accounts
  72. 72. 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
  73. 73. If You Have a Page, You Should Also Leverage Your Personal Profile
  74. 74. The Competition Is Google+ worth investing time in over networks like Twitter, Facebook, and others?
  75. 75. A Social Network’s Size Can’t Be The Only Factor
  76. 76. Where is Your Audience Today?
  77. 77. Where is Your Potential, Future Audience?
  78. 78. 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.”
  79. 79. Remember G+’s Superpower Follow + Share = Rankings
  80. 80. Google+ may not be right for everyone, but it’s almost certainly worth some effort for those who create & share content online.
  81. 81. bit.ly/gplusmagic Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
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