Impact of Follower to Following Ratio on Google+


follower experiment header

The objective of this experiment was to determine whether there is a connection between the ratio of “circled” and “in circles” and page position in internal Google+ search. Often you will find that very popular pages follow only a handful of others and they tend to rank high on Google+ searches. Correlation was there, but does the ratio have any influence on pages’ ability to rank?

Google+ offers highly customised search results so for most neutral results we used “incognito” mode in Chrome or simply searching while logged out using the search page.

customised search

Experiment Steps:

  1. Log out of Google / Google+ or go into incognito mode if you are in Chrome.
  2. Go to:
  3. Type in a keyword relevant to your page, try to find the one where you’re not already ranked #1
  4. Make note of the keyword/phrase and its position
  5. Fill out the form below

Original Instructions to Participants

After you fill out the form we’ll ask you to circle all people who have your page in their circles. Do so in a specific circle which you can delete later on. We’ll monitor impact of your page’s rankings for one week after you add all your followers to your circles. After that you can delete the circle you added them to in order to restore your initial state. For any questions feel free to ping us in the comments or on Google+.


According to pages involved in our experiment, there is no visible impact of follower/following ratio on Google+ internal search rankings. Pages which used to rank well for a certain term did not drop in rankings after suddenly increasing a number of people they follow. Google+ page owners and managers, you can now relax knowing that circling your followers is not going to impact your page’s status on Google+.

Dan Petrovic is a well-known Australian SEO and a managing director of Dejan SEO. He has published numerous research articles in the field of search engine optimisation and online marketing. Dan's work is highly regarded by the world-wide SEO community and featured on some of the most reputable websites in the industry.

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6 Responses to “Impact of Follower to Following Ratio on Google+”

  1. Dan, This one is interesting. Though I have not yet filled out your form , I will experiment on it and let you know how it works for me…

    • Vikas Singal
  2. That would be great, let me know how it goes.

    • Dejan SEO
  3. Seems like another thing Google+ is doing right. Thanks Dan, this is good to know.

    • Peter Mead
  4. Thank you Dan. Any insights on whether the opposite side of the coin is true? Would having too many individuals/pages in your circles but being in very few harm your rankings. Would that be considered spamming by Google+ after crossing a certain ratio?

    • Pablo Davidov
  5. I used to worry about this a little bit but I decided that increasing my networking by following the right kind of people was worth it and I turned out to be right.

    • DaveKeys
  6. We need to find somebody who’s willing to tell all their followers to leave them for a while and then come back :)

    • Dejan SEO

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