Internet Marketing Tips, Suggestions, & Ramblings

Will Adding a Google + Button Increase Referring Site Traffic? [Research]

Ever since Google + went live, there’s been great speculation as to its effectiveness in referring traffic back to websites. Because of this, SEO Inc. decided to take a closer look at Google +.

The Experiment

SEO Inc. compiled and reviewed statistics of eight diverse companies in varying industries. SEO Inc. looked at four companies that had Google + integrated on their websites, and four companies that did not. It should be noted that none of the companies we recorded information from were in the publishing industry, and only one company was in the tech industry.

For the companies that had Google + installed on their website, we took a look at the following numbers:

Google + Referral Traffic
Google + Referral Traffic
  • The number of referred visits last month vs. this month from plus.google.com
  • The percentage of new visitors of those that were referred from plus.google.com
  • The number of Google + referral visits last month vs. this month from plus.google.com
  • The percentage of new visitors of those that were referred through plus.google.com

The Data

Referral Traffic from Sites With Google Plus:

Site 1

  •  Overall referral visits last month: Over 1,600 visits 85.26% new visits
  • Google + referrals last month: 1 visit
  • Overall referral visits this month: Over 1,800 visits 85.8% new visits
  • Google + referrals this month: 207 visits 88.89% new visits

Site 2

  • Overall referral visits last month: Over 400 visits 86.13% new visits
  • Google + referrals last month: 1 visit
  • Overall referral visits this month: Over 400 visits 85.77% new visits
  • Google + referrals this month: 0

Site 3

  • Overall referral visits last month: About 5,000 visits 70.86% new visits
  • Google + referrals last month: 0
  • Overall referral visits this month: About 4,000 visits 73.36% new visits
  • Google + referrals this month: 0

Site 4

  • Overall referral visits last month: About 250 visits 86.06% new visits
  • Google +s referrals last month: 0
  • Overall referral visits this month: About 200 visits 86.19% new visits
  • Google + referrals this month: 0

Referral Traffic from Sites Without Google Plus:

Site 5

  • Overall referral visits last month: About 40,000 visits 33.39% new visits
  • Google + referrals last month: 0
  • Overall referral visits this month: About 45,000 visits 34.06% new visits
  • Google + referrals this month: 0

Site 6

  • Overall referral visits last month: About 420,000 visits 45.31% new visits
  • Google + referrals last month: 0
  • Overall referral visits this month: About 480,000 visits 46.35% new visits
  • Google + referrals this month: 0

Site 7

  • Overall referral visits last month: About 6,200 visits 71.55% new visits
  • Google + referrals last month: 0
  • Overall referral visits this month: About 10,000 visits 64.49% new visits
  • Google + referrals this month: 0

Site 8

  • Overall referral visits last month: About 400 visits 82.51% new visits
  • Google + referrals last month: 0
  • Overall referral visits this month: About 400 visits 72.05% new visits
  • Google + referrals this month: 0

In addition, we took a look at the same data for the four websites that did not have Google + installed.

The Findings

Based on the data, SEO Inc. was able to determine that only two of the eight websites had traffic from plus.google.com, and one of those sites only had one visitor. Additionally, the only site that seemed to have notable traffic from Google + was a tech-based company.  None of the websites without the Google + button installed had any referring site traffic from the Google + site.

The Implications for SEO

This experiment seems to suggest that companies with an established technological background will fare well with Google +. Furthermore, companies that actively seek out referral traffic through Google + have a greater chance of getting Google + shares, and thus Google + referring site traffic.

Out of the 8 websites, only 1 site had notable traffic from Google +. This poses the question of just how effective Google + is and will be in the future. For now, things still seem to be a little up in the air but it is early.

If you have any comments about Google +, please write them below! Are you using Google + in your Social Media Marketing?

SEO Inc. would like to note that this data came from a small segment of websites. This data was taken during time period of Sep 11, 2011 – Oct 11, 2011 vs. Aug 11, 2011 – Sep 10, 2011.  This data does not provide conclusive evidence to determine specific search engine optimization or referring site strategies. It should also be noted that the Google + project is still in it’s early stages. Things that are true today may not be true tomorrow.

About Garry Grant

Garry Grant is a veteran expert in search engine optimization and the digital marketing industry. With nearly 20 years of experience, Garry has successfully built a multi-service operation at SEO, Inc., developing proprietary technologies through complex strategic solutions. He has extensive experience in key initiatives and operational responsibilities grounded in information technology and performance management.

Garry’s expertise and esteemed reputation, coupled with SEO Inc.’s impressive client success record has earned him such accolades as Entrepreneur Magazine's 2005 Hot List for the Hottest Internet Property, Inc. 500 2007 Honorary award for Fastest Growing Private Company in America, an Inc. 500 top 50 Company in San Diego, and interviews with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post.

Garry Grant began his online career in 1993 creating strategic Web and e-business solutions for Homepage.com, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Premiere Radio Networks, Clear Channel Communications, EarthLink and Artisan Motion Pictures. Today, Garry and SEO Inc.’s highly skilled digital strategists develop proprietary technology and strategic digital marketing direction for Fortune 500 companies including, SC Johnson, McAfee, Entrepreneur.com., Inc Magazine, IGN, Tacorri, LPL Financial, National Kidney Foundation, G4 TV, Fuel TV and Sony, just to name a few.