In 2011, Google brought us it's most enduring Social Media effort in Google+. Having tired of Facebook and its constant privacy changes, I jumped ship and joined Google in August of that year having been given a beta invite.
After being on G+ for a few months I began to see a dramatic increase in traffic being sent to my three websites. Looking into where the sudden spike came from I was completely surprised to discover that over seventy percent of my new engagement arrived via Google’s new social outlet.
I exited Facebook in October 2011, deactivating as well as deleting my account. I was now fully invested in G+. I saw first hand how much traffic was being pushed to all of my websites. And that being the case I planned on staying with what worked. Not only had Google+ given me more traffic than Facebook ever did on a consistent basis, Google also converted more visitors to customers and repeat customers. In four years from the inception of Google+ in 2011 through 2014, CJP Photos saw a dramatic uptick in visitors and sales. Something happened during the last four months of 2014 however. I still haven’t been able to pinpoint what.
Visits to my websites via Google+ dropped precipitously. The decline started off slow so I wasn’t entirely aware until around the middle of October. From the time Google implemented its social platform, people called it a graveyard. I NEVER experienced that, even now my stream is constantly filled and always in flux. I’m still not getting the kind of engagement I once did. Now I’m lucky if I get five visits a day via Google. At its height, as many as one hundred fifty people were hitting CJP Photos a day. Sometimes many more than that.
In December 2014, I did something I promised I wouldn’t. I returned to Facebook, mostly as an experiment. I wanted to compare visits to my various websites with Google and with Facebook. Almost immediately after I created my business page on Facebook, sales began to trickle in via Facebook. I began posting the same content on Google as well as Facebook. Traffic was over four to one in favor of Facebook. I began to experience the same uptick in sales and visits I originally did when I joined G+. My stats have continued to climb via Facebook and they have remained static at G+. I’m distressed at this outcome because I think Google has a better layout and has a better handle on privacy changes. After having been back on Facebook for a year now I can honestly say that the game is over. Facebook is the clear winner. In less than a year, my stats have doubled. My sales via Facebook are up too.
I’m not giving up on Google+, however more of my content is now being shared on FB. I’m still at a loss for the dramatic decline to my website via G+ and I’m still saddened by it. I’m at a loss, because the same traffic continues to populate my G+ Stream.
In the meantime:
Focus on what’s ahead of you.