Tag Archives: Google Plus

What’s New for October 22, 2013 – Social Media Traffic, Mobile Engagement, Responsive Sites

Study: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest Send More Referral Traffic Than Google+

Shareaholic released an annual report highlighting social media traffic trends for the period from September 2012 through September 2013.

According to this study, Google+ has driven less than one-tenth of one percent (> 0.1%) of all referral traffic to its publishers over the past year. The top three referring sites over the past year were Facebook, with 8.11% of referrals; Pinterest’s was 3.24% and Twitter’s was 1.17% compared to Google+’s 0.06%.

Social Media Trends 2013

The study also measured the growth of the social media platforms as referral sources over the same period and found that Google + was at just 6.97 % compared to (58.81%), Pinterest (66.52 %), Twitter (54.12%) and YouTube (52.86%).

Study: Over 50% of Engagement on Facebook Posts from Mobile Devices

ShopIgniter did a study encompassing more than 2,000 posts with 2 billion impressions in the first 6 months of 2013. The study revealed that 51.4% of engagement on Facebook posts was from mobile devices and the average conversion rate from Facebook traffic was 4.4%.

The engagement rates of different post types was also tracked, and showed surprisingly high numbers for paid posts for photos (5.785%) and offers (4.186%). Unlike search engine users, Facebook users seem to not mind sponsored posts. The full report is available at ShopIgniter.

Facebook Engagement on Mobile

Google: Responsive Design Does Not Technically Give Your Site a Rankings Boost

Even though Google does officially recommend responsive as the approach to going mobile, John Mueller of Google states that having a responsive design doesn’t give you more of a ranking boost than using either of the other two accepted approaches to smartphone optimized sites.

The key however, is that Google does not favor non-mobile friendly smartphone sites in rankings.

Google’s John Mueller said:

“No. Google currently doesn’t differentiate sites like that.

You may see indirect effects (smartphone users liking your responsive site and recommending it to others), but we don’t use that as a ranking factor. We are starting to use common configuration errors to adjust the rankings in smartphone search results though.”

Bottom Line: Google might have taken a little bit of a hit on this week’s review, between backing off of its clear endorsement of Responsive Design, if only a little bit, and finding that the naysayers who have said all along that users are creating Google+ sites because Google makes them as part of Google Local Listings may be right. Facebook comes through with shining marks on sponsored information that does not seem to “put off” users and gives a very targeted, effective platform for advertisers.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa, California Online Marketing, SMO and SEO Company.

What’s New for September 19, 2013 – Search Volume, Google +1, Bing Search

Status Quo on Search Volume in August 2013

No significant change in search volume, despite Bing’s marketing efforts and purported consumer concerns about privacy on Google. Over the past year, Google is up slightly from 66.4% to 66.9%. Bing/Yahoo combined have grown the same 0.5% in search share in the same period.

comScore Search Volume

Google+1s Have No Direct Effect on Rankings

Eric Enge has conducted a study entitled “Direct Measurement of Google Plus Impact on Search Rankings.” The study had debunked the theory held by many SEO experts that Google+ is the key to improved search rankings on Google. The study has concluded that Google+ has no direct impact on Google search rankings. There are indirect benefits like social sharing and potential link growth, but Google+ has no direct impact on Google search rankings, according to the study.

Changes for Bing Search

Microsoft has announced changes to the Bing Search Engine, and the changes can be viewed at bing.com. The changes, ranging from a new logo and modern design to better compatibility with mobile and HDMI viewing environments are designed to improve the utility of the search engine. The search results have also been modified to be more useful, including a feature called “page zero” which allows users to view the search results without actually going to the search results page.

Bing New Search

Bottom Line: Google is still the leader, and the Google+ study has verified what Matt Cutts has been telling SEOs for months. Bing continues to make changes to be more relevant in a Google-dominated search environment, but so far has not been able to leverage that into anything other than maintaining their share of search volume. The quest for the SEO community continues to be how to continue to work within the progressively restrictive search algorithms of Google. It looks like we will all be writing unique and useful content for the foreseeable future.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa, California based SEO, Website Design and Social Media Optimization Firm.

What’s New for August 22, 2013 – Google+ Updates, Higher Graph Search Rankings

Google Plus 1

Google +1s Do Not Improve Rankings According to Matt Cutts

In Response to a number of online articles asserting that Google +1s help to boost rankings, Matt Cutts has gone public to dispute that claim.

He wrote:

“Just trying to decide the politest way to debunk the idea that more Google +1s lead to higher Google web rankings. Let’s start with correlation != causation: http://xkcd.com/552/. If you make compelling content, people will link to it, like it, share it on Facebook, +1 it, etc. But that doesn’t mean that Google is using those signals in our ranking.”

The point is that rather than chasing +1s of content, your time is much better spent making great content.

In the same thread, there were a number of skeptics who responded to Cutts, so he added:

“Suffice it to say that I would be very skeptical of anyone who claimed that more +1s led to a higher search ranking in Google’s web results. Most of the initial discussion on this thread seemed to take from the blog post the idea that more Google +1s led to higher web ranking. I wanted to preemptively tackle that perception.”

Conclusion: Content is king, and that will not change anytime soon.

Facebook Local Graph Search

How to Get Higher Facebook Graph Search Rankings

Facebook users are becoming familiar with Facebook Graph Search. Optimizing your Facebook page to show up more prominently on Graph Search should be part of your current SEO campaign. Here are a few things that you can do to improve your Graph Search rankings and your social media activity:

1. Business Address

Graph search results are often heavily based on location. If you don’t enter your address on your page, you will not appear for location-based searches.

2. Include keywords

Your “about” section on your Facebook page should be treated just like a meta description on your webpage. Look to include relevant keywords for your product or service in this section.

3. More Likes

Pursue promotions that help encourage more people to Like and follow your company’s Facebook page. Businesses with lots of followers get better Graph Search rankings.

4. Choose the Right Category

It is important that you choose the category for your Facebook Page that is the best match for your business so that you are accurately represented in search results.

5. Post and Tag your videos and photos

Facebook Graph Search makes it extremely easy for anyone to search for photos and videos. Posting photos and videos and tagging your business can improve Graph Search rankings.

6. Have a Complete Profile

Fill out everything within your profile. This will help your rankings and direct relevant Facebook traffic to your page.

7. Customize your URL

www.facebook.com/MyCompanyName. Having a unique URL that has your company name within it helps rankings for both conventional SERP, and Facebook Graph Search results. The portion of the customer URL “MyCompanyName” is called your username within Facebook.

Google+ Translate

Google Translate is On Google+

Ed Chi, a Google Staff Research Scientist at Google, announced on Google+ that they just added Google Translate to posts on Google+. Whenever there is a language that can and should be translated, there will be a “translate” link below the text. When you click it, the translation will work.

Bottom Line: Content and social media activity are the keys to successful marketing via Google in the current environment. These facts are borne out again and again in statements from Google and studies of search results by SEO Professionals.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa, California based SEO, Website Development and Social Media Marketing Firm.

Google Plus is All Grown Up

In December last year, Google announced that over 500 million people had upgraded to Google Plus with 235 million active across Google (Using +1 apps in Google, participating in hangouts, etc.).

A recent study of social media usage by big brands is located at BrandZ top 100 global brands. The results, some of which are outlined below, show that Google Plus and YouTube have become a powerful social media tool that the strongest international brands are beginning to utilize in their marketing.

YouTubeGoogle Plus

  1. YouTube and Google Plus continue to combine their efforts. 87% of the top brands surveyed have an active YouTube channel. The top 100 brands on YouTube have collectively garnered over 3 Billion views of the videos that have been placed in their channels. Recent changes instituted by Google + have created integration with YouTube, making this an even more powerful combination.
  2. 75% of Global Brands have an active Google+ profile, according to the study.  Brands are finding Google Plus to be a cost-efficient and effective method of connecting with clients.
  3. 59% of Brands with Google + Pages engaged their circles with posts in February 2013. This shows that the Brands are understanding the value of staying connected to their audience through Google Plus.

Bottom Line: The results of this study illustrate that Google Plus has all of the makings of an effective marketing platform for business owners. For local businesses, the ties between Google + and Google + local listings are an added bonus. If you have not already done so, establish a Google Plus Page and begin introducing your business and growing a following with that audience.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa, California SMO, SEO, and Website Development Firm.


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