Using Google+ for Viral Traffic Generation! [Case Study]

by Abhishek Raj December 13, 2015
December 13, 2015

Lately there has been a lot of buzz on the web regarding Google plus being a dead social media marketing tool. If you’re one of those who believe that the Google+ ripple for social media marketing is over, then reading this post could perhaps completely change your negative attitude towards the plus network!

Barely 3 months have passed, and I still remember how Google+ generated the biggest viral traffic that I ever witnessed in my blogging journey so far. No, it wasn’t 1000 visitors a day, neither it was 5000 visitors a day. Man, that was 20,000 visitors in just a day! YES, that huge!

How Google+ started this viral traffic is still a big mystery!

It was just another fine morning of June 2015. With all my love and heart, I wrote a post titled – Why I love Nexus devices more than any other android device. After publishing the post, as usual, I shared it across all my social media channels. But this time, thinking that the post is quite controversial and might trigger great interest among the nexus fanboys worldwide, I decided to share it with the nexus community at Google+.

Well, that’s where the spark started. And, this spark soon turned into a WILDFIRE!

I saw people hitting +1s, re-sharing the post like crazy, and fighting with one another in the comments. Sure, that day Google+ sent me 1000’s of visits. But what I saw next day was both, overwhelming as well as perplexing at the same time – The next morning I woke up to 5000 visits on the post, and counting… No, this wasn’t Google+ traffic, nor any referral traffic. This was an incessant stream of direct traffic hitting my blog at an unbelievable rate of 128 visitors entering the blog at a moment! By the end of the day, statcounter reported almost 20,000 page visits! Luckily, my shared hosting plan survived. Here are a couple of memorable screenshots –


Where did this direct viral traffic come from?

The Google Now widget was the source of this direct viral traffic as reported to me by one of the readers in the comments. To test the veracity of his statement, I immediately opened the Google Now widget on my nexus 4 and was almost stunned to see my post being suggested as a news item card on Google Now! This was how the direct viral traffic stream started hitting my blog at an unbelievable rate.

Here’s my attempt to demystify the link between Google+ and Google Now:

I believe that as my post grew in popularity on Google+ with more than 100 plus-ones, re-shares and loads of comments, Google might have picked it as a hot story and started showing it as a news item on its Google Now widget worldwide.

This is what I believe could have possibly happened. Do you think something else could have been the reason? Do leave a comment. I look forward to your thoughts on this critical link…

Lessons to take home:

  • Google+ is NOT dead. It is indeed, way more powerful if you know how to utilize it properly.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of sharing the right content, with the right community.
  • Not every post gets viral. Write it by your heart and soul. Breathe life into it with engaging content, eye candy graphics, controversial/debatable topic and promote it across all possible social media channels. It will surely go viral if its really meant to be!

Your thoughts?

What has been your experience with Google+? Do you also have a similar success story to share? I’m eager to see your comments on this post.

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