Should Facebook Fear Google Plus?

Facebook vs. Google Plus

Do the good folks at Facebook have reason to fear Google Plus? Lately there has been a lot of chatter surrounding the potential downfall of Facebook. By making decisions that have given rise to the ire of its users, the social media giant is faced with some serious questions. Its most recent concerns came in the form of a potential class action lawsuit over whether or not Facebook is misusing users’ confidential information sent via private messages.

Meanwhile, in Googleland, the team is sitting back and enjoying the show while Google Plus, Google’s social media challenger, picks up some serious steam. While skeptics may question how valuable the relatively new social channel really is and whether the stats provided by Google are accurate, I am here to tell you that those skeptics are misguided.

Let’s look at it from an EVG perspective. Facebook and Google Plus send just about the same amount of traffic to our website, but that’s not where the value comes in. The value is in the type of traffic that the sites send. Check out these performance stats from our website for Facebook referrals vs. Google Plus referrals:

  • Google Plus referrals view more than twice as many pages as Facebook referrals per month
  • Facebook referrals only visit 3.44 pages per visit, while Google Plus referrals visit an average of 6.01 pages per visit
  • Google Plus referrals spend greater than six minutes longer on our website per visit than Facebook referrals

These are the types of quality visitors that most businesses are looking for and these are the types of statistics that add value to your website. These are also the types of statistics that are making social media managers wonder whether or not they should be focusing so much on Facebook, or if they should shift that focus to Google Plus to attract more targeted site visitors who will consume far more content than their counterparts.

Admittedly, Google’s statistics regarding the number of active Google Plus users may be a little misleading. Google touts 300 million active monthly users, but the definition of “active” might be used a bit loosely. Whether that number is accurate or not doesn’t really matter. Who cares how many users there are out there when the ones that are actually using it offer so much more value?

Google Plus users are the ones consuming your content. And that’s not the only thing about Google Plus that makes it valuable.

Plus one it

You didn’t think that a social media site that was designed by Google would have zero impact on search did you? That little +1 button that you see on your posts is actually a signifier that your content is worthy of showing up in search. Each time a user gives your post a +1, that content becomes more and more valuable in search. Posting high quality content on Google Plus can really help to amplify your efforts by helping to boost your search engine rankings.

Communities

Whatever your interest, there is a community on Google Plus that offers you the content you are seeking. Whether you are into Nordic walking or you fancy yourself a karate expert, there is a community for you. Communities allow users with similar interests to get together and discuss topics that mean something to them.

Users are able to start discussions by posting links, text, and images. This is an excellent way to refer qualified traffic to your website. The users in any particular group likely have a keen interest in the subject matter, so it goes without saying that when they find something of interest and click through to your website they will want to see what else you have available. Just make sure you have more valuable content for them when they arrive.

Don’t listen to the naysayers: Google Plus has a huge upside. It would be wise for you to get in on the ground floor. I’m not suggesting that you run as fast as you can from Facebook, but don’t say I didn’t warn you if you listen to the skeptics and neglect to establish a presence on Google Plus.

Anthony Gaenzle – Director of Marketing

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