Google+ Traffic is Valuable
Having read the constant stream of press negativity about Google+, I was surprised how well the social network did in our October Website Engagement Survey.
Website traffic referred from Google+ is significantly higher quality than the traffic from Facebook or Twitter. It beats those networks hands down on measures of Bounce Rate, Pageviews / Session, and Avg Session Duration.
- Bounce Rate: Google+ 49% vs Facebook 59% and Twitter 64%
- Pageviews / Session: Google+ 2.86 vs Facebook 2.25 and Twitter 2.05
- Avg Session Duration: Google+ 2 min 58 sec vs Facebook 1 min 57 sec and Twitter 1 min 39 sec
However, it’s true that Google+ is a lot smaller than Facebook or Twitter. Shareaholic’s study showed Google+ with only an 0.08% share of social media referral traffic vs Facebook at 21.25% and Twitter at 1.14%.
But, if you are a social media marketer or community builder, do you care that Google+ is tiny compared with Facebook? Not really. What you care about is whether or not you can effectively engage with customers and prospects on Google+.
The numbers show that Google+ users are more engaged than website visitors from other social networks.
In addition, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence indicating that Google+ is a great source of engaged visitors. I recently attended the eMetrics conference in Boston and started casually asking people I met, “Which social network sends your website the best traffic?” The most common answer was “Google+”. Usually, they would also tell me that they got a lot more visits from Facebook, but that the quality of traffic from Google+ was better.
If you read the blog posts, and particularly the comments, relating to social media marketing, you’ll notice a lot of positive statements like this one, posted on Yoast’s Blog.
Is Google+ Too Small for Google to be Bothered?
So, it looks like Google+ is a small, high-quality, social network. Does that mean we should be worried? Does Google tolerate anything small?
Google killed off Google Reader, apparently because – even though it was really popular with a core group of fans - Google operates at vast scale, and a niche consumer product like Reader just doesn’t move the needle.
So, yes, it does seem like there is reason to worry about the future of Google+. But, not because it is a failure. Like Google Reader, it may just not be big enough for Google to care about.