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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: https://plus.google.com/s/
  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, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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