Using Google Plus & Hangouts for SEO + Social Signals

Google Hangouts chat SEO

Just an interesting experiment I did with Google Hangouts and Google Plus. I had been reading a lot of articles about Google plus being a “ghost town” social network and wanted to check it out for myself. Much to my surprise, its not so abandoned after all. People from all over the world are using Google Hangouts for music sessions, chatting with their school friends, general chat/talk, and for various other communication needs.

Think of this as a means to game Google from another angle while getting your account populated with friends, get +1′s to URLs, and get shares on Google Plus.

I went to Google Hangouts, started a hangout named “lol internet”, pointed my webcam at the wall, put Spotify playlist on loop and then left the house for a few hours. While I was away, 151 people entered the Hangout and interacted with each other and my idle account. The results and findings are listed below.

Total experiment time: 4 hours.

Google Hangouts Experiment

Google Hangout test SEO

Uses for this:

  • Leveraged for easy traffic to a URL
  • Reputation Management.
  • Populate new Google accounts to make them look more ‘real’. Use the accounts to drop comments on Google Places, Blogspot, Youtube, Orkut, Groups, Google Plus.
  • Gain Google+ followers to an account.
  • Drive users to your Google+ page. Have your website URL and etc. posted on your G+ wall and they will click through to your website if interesting.
  • Using webcam manipulation sofware like Camtasia or Webcam Max to put a URL or promo video on your webcam stream. A low ratio of users will visit your website.

Step 1) Create a Google account.
Step 2) Upload picture as your profile picture.
Step 3) Start a Hangout. Make sure it is open to the Public and setup like this:

Google Hangouts Experiment

Step 4) Point webcam + turn on music. You’re done! Now watch as you will get dozens of friend requests!

Google Plus and Hangouts SEO

Random Findings:

– You can only idle in a hangout room for 90 minutes. The Google Hangouts has an idle timer set to kick you out of the Hangout session after 90 minutes of no click activity. After 90 minutes of no click activity you will be prompted with a dialog asking if you are still there. If it is not clicked, you will be removed.

Google Hangouts Timeout

– Hangouts has a lot of non US users. Witnessed many users from the middle east, India, Pakistan & Brazil.

- You can block users and report violations to Google.

Ignore people if you need to

- You can drop clickable URLs in the Chat section. I have not yet tested to see if you can index a URL by placing it in chat rooms.

Also, always has to be some haters out there.

Google Hangout Haters

TL;DR how do I use this for SEO and social signals?

  • Hang out in Google Hangouts
  • Populate your G+ account, get in other users Circles + put other ppl in Circles
  • Post urls to your G+ wall
  • It will get +1′s, exposure to your URL and shares if your content is awesome and appealing
  • Any questions or comments? Would you like us to analyze and grow your Google+ account? Email edmond [at] bluereach [dawt] com

Update 12/21/12: This method for using Google+ Hangouts has been changed due to some recent updates to the Google Hangout system. We will update once we have a fix for this.

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