The Google+ Engagement Truth

Last week I was at the Google Partner Summit in NYC.  Lead411 was recently invited to the Premium Publishers Group so I was very excited to go.  By far the most interesting presentation/session was about Google+ and more specifically about its engagement.  It was done by Ryan Stonehouse of Google.   Before I start this, I just want to say that I am a Google+ lover not hater so I feel this is coming from solid objectivity.

Fuzzy Engagement Stats Again

One of Ryan’s slides included “Google+ has over 90M users” and “60% of them login daily” – This confused the hell out of me as I remember reading Matt McGee’s post about how the 90M users were actually just using  any of Google’s products in some capacity… not using G+ or logging in.  I had to know the truth so I asked him during the session, “So are you saying that 60% of Google+ users log in to the Google+ site each day?” – He said “No.”  Google+ users are not actually going to their stream or logging into Google+, but they just engage with Google+ in some way each day.  That could mean clicking on a +1 button or clicking on an ad with a +1 button, etc.

Real Engagement

At one point in the session Ryan asked the crowd if they used Google+.  Out of the 200 people at the event, 3 to 6 people raised their hands including myself.  WOW!   Judging from the sites(all fairly well known names) I saw at the Summit,  I would say that 70% of these publishers get most of their traffic from Google.  I was very surprised at this, so at lunch I asked about 10 different fellow attendees about their G+ usage.  All said they had an account, but  never use it.

My Take

First of all, to me, this proves that Google+ stream engagement for most people is extremely low.  I love Google+ and I go there more than I go to Twitter/Facebook/etc, but let’s be honest. All of these publishers know that Google+ posts are affecting the SERPs yet they still do not use it.  If these web marketers aren’t using it then what is the layman doing?

Second, what are these publishers thinking?  Yes, they appear to be fools. Not only will this effect your rankings later, but Google+ is extremely helpful in learning more about seo and inbound marketing.  But I guess I can’t be surprised considering Bruce Clay, one of the most reknowned SEOs hasn’t posted on G+ in 8 months.

Anyway, for more G+ optimization I suggest this guide by AJ Kohn.

Is Google + For You?

Just what we need, right? Another social network to post updates to. While Google doesn’t have a great history in the social media world (Wave and Buzz both failed), people are starting to pay attention to Google +. On the surface, the new social networking site is similar to Facebook. You can post updates and connect with other people, and very recently, Google opened the doors to Business Pages. But after that, the two aren’t much alike at all (at least today).

With Google +, you can put people in Circles. So if you have a Circle for Friends, Co-Workers and Social Media Types, you can organize your contacts into these groups, and you can send messages targeted at each. Your mom probably won’t care about that social media blog post you want to share, so you can easily select the groups that do care and share the link with only them. Facebook has a similar option with Lists, but few people actually use it.

Another difference is that you can participate in Hangouts, which are video chats with up to 10 participants. I haven’t tried this (don’t really want to), but it could be interesting as a way to connect with virtual employees.

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