Why Google Plus Referral Traffic Disappeared

In May of 2013 Google revamped Google+ by taking away the auto-refresh feature in which posts would automatically populate for users to see. The interface forced users to click a button to see new posts that had been published recently. Unfortunately, this was the death of Google Plus in terms of referral traffic. The chart below illustrates the huge drop in traffic after this update:

google-plus-referral-traffic-disappears

Note that from early 2012 all the way through May 2013 there were huge spike days for Google Plus referral traffic. Some of these days included (visitors):

  • 414
  • 1125
  • 312
  • 308
  • 343
  • 656
  • 593
  • 464

After the interface change on May 23rd, 2015 my website never received more than 300 visitorsĀ in a single day again. By August 2013 traffic dried up to almost nothing. By the end of 2013 I couldn’t get more than two dozen visitors from Google Plus enough though I had over 500,000 followers at the time.

The quickest way to ruin a social network is to allow marketers to take over and/or change the interface to the point that is makes users unable to find content. As a content creator, I have no interest in Google Plus because it is not worth my time. When I do post an article to Google Plus I get spam comments or “experts” telling me I am doing it wrong.

I thought Google Plus was going to be a great way to generate traffic to some of my websites but I quickly found that not to be the case; especially after the May 2013 update. If you are hoping to get traffic from Google Plus or almost any social media outlet you are fooling yourself. Rank on the front page of Google search and you won’t have to worry about trying to beg social media users to visit your website.


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