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social media researchAre you interested in Google+ marketing?

Wondering where the platform is headed?

Despite a number of detractors, Google+ has a number of fans and supporters who say Google+ has grown into a platform that wins them business.

In this article you’ll discover findings from recent studies focused on the current Google+ activity as well as speculation about what Google plans to do with the network.

Google+ in Recent History

When Google+ first launched, bloggers warned Facebook to watch its rearview mirror for the new, hyper-capitalized social channel. By all accounts, Google leadership designed Google+ as a social media platform, a direct competitor to Facebook.

At first, the hype didn’t seem hyped enough. Just two weeks after its June 2011 launch, Google+ hit 10 million users. By the end of the year, 90 million users had Google+ accounts.

google+ research

Discover research about the future of Google+.

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Compare that surge to Facebook, which took three and a half years to reach 90 million users, and Twitter, which took a little under three years. While it’s clear that these two older platforms primed the market for a Google+ launch years later, six months to get that many users is still a rocket-ship trajectory.

Google had two more distinct advantages. First, it forced users to sign up for a Google+ account if they wanted to easily use services like YouTube, Photos and Drive. In addition, the year Google+ launched, Google CEO Larry Page tied 25% of all employee bonuses to its success. With a motivated salesforce of 30,000+, you bet word spread.

Fast-forward four years to 2015, and we see headlines like Google+ Is Walking Dead, Goodbye Google+, I Wish I Never Knew You, Why Google Is Finally Putting Google+ Out of Its Misery… and a myriad of other posts using words like doomed and ghost town.

Digital marketers went back and forth for years about Google+’s ability to attract meaningful activity. Internet marketer Ryan Hanley wrote over a dozen enthusiastic posts about Google+, including this one gushing about the platform’s business pages. In 2015 he published How Perception Became Reality and I Had to Break up with Google+.

ryan hanley google+ article

Ryan Hanley wrote an article explaining why he’s dialing down the energy he puts into Google+. Image: Placeit.

Hanley makes a credible case here about why he and many other digital marketers had bet that Google+ would be successful:

“For what it’s worth, I believe the Google+ format is most evolved of all the social networks. First to include streaming video. First to include in-stream GIFs. First to include hovercard functionality. First to include post formatting. First to include varied image sizes.”

Despite these perks, the return on investment just didn’t hold up for Hanley and many others. In the comments on this article, Hanley reveals that he will redirect his time into creating content on his own properties while dialing down time and energy spent on all social media platforms.

#1: Google+: Ghost Town or Bustling Suburb?

While digital pundits hurl their Google+ prognostications at each other, marketers tread cautiously about where to put their time and dollars. Several robust studies of Google+’s audience, engagement and trajectory provide a snapshot of where Google+ really is right now.

International web research company GlobalWebIndex surveyed 83,806 individuals, Internet users ranging in age from 16 to 64, from countries around the world (except China whose policies make it difficult).

global web index google+ report

GlobalWedIndex’s report surveyed over 80k internet users. Image: Placeit.

While 60% of those surveyed claim they have a Google+ profile, only 21% of Internet users self-identify as active users.

One may think that the figure of 60% of all Internet users with a Google+ profile should be respected. There are 2.2 billion total Google+ profiles, after all. Even 21% of all Internet users could translate into access to large populations.

The problem is that while the other social media channels may have fewer members, these members visit, post and engage at a much higher rate. GlobalWebIndex’s numbers indicate that despite the above-mentioned Google+ advantages, it hasn’t been able to keep consumers on the channel.

The tough number for Google+ to go up against is Facebook’s 42% of all Internet users identifying as active on the channel. In fact, the chart below indicates that about 50% or more of social network users other than those on Google+ consider themselves active. As you’ll read below, Facebook’s own data confirms this regular activity in spades.

globalwebindex platform user stats

Google+’s decent audience numbers don’t mean much if account holders never visit or post on the channel.

Another study paints an even direr picture of the Google+ audience (or lack thereof). Internet marketing firm Stone Temple Consulting reviewed 516,246 randomly selected Google+ profiles.

CEO Eric Enge was careful to take into account the Google+ advantage that YouTube comments and video shares, profile photo changes and more automatically appear as posts on Google+, inflating numbers. Enge’s study filtered out these secondary updates to tabulate only those actively engaged in the Google+ stream interface itself.

Key conclusions:

  • Over 91% of Google+ accounts are empty. Owners have never posted one update there. Many agree to create a Google+ account when trying to use Google Photos, YouTube and the other resources that Google provides free.
  • Just 16 million people truly post on Google+ each month.
  • Out of 2.2 billion total Google+ profiles, 212 million are considered active.
  • The STC study has several levels of “active”:
    10 or more public posts ever: 21.8 million users
    50 or more public posts ever: 6.65 million users
    10 or more public posts in past month: 1.93 million users
    50 or more public posts monthly: 106,022 users
stone temple consulting google+ public post stats

Stone Temple Consulting found that while 23.4 million (or 16 million after adjustments) people do publish one post on Google+ each month, just 2 million create 10 or more updates, and almost none create 50 or more.

The study’s extrapolated total suggests that about 23.4 million people put public posts on Google+ in the 30 days leading up to the study. After adjusting that figure for the auto-posts that come from YouTube video shares and profile changes, that number comes down to 16 million deliberate posts each month on Google+.

Much of this “Google+ ghost town” reputation comes from its existence in Facebook’s shadow.

According to the Facebook Q1 2015 Report, not only does the channel have 1.44 billion users, but also 400 million photos are uploaded per day. Users share 4.75 million pieces of content per day. Facebook’s average user creates 90 pieces of content each month. Google+’s 16 million total posts per month figure seems anemic compared to Facebook’s numbers.

Die-hard Google+ fans have asserted that the amount of private activity masks overall Google+ activity.

To test that idea, the Stone Temple Consulting study took a close look at 42,282 accounts that showed no public activity. Cleverly, they focused on view counts. Accounts with public posts averaged more than 45,000 views per profile. Those with no public posts averaged just under 2,000 views per profile.

Views would be far higher if these no-activity accounts were privately sharing like mad in their communities and with their contacts.

Another indicator of Google+ zombie status is the declining engagement rate. Steve Denning’s post Has Google+ Really Died? on Forbes.com reviews a Google+ study from Scott Galloway, clinical professor of marketing at NYU and CEO of L2, a business intelligence firm.

l2 google+ article

A study by L2 revealed declining engagement rates on Google+. Image: Placeit.

The study revealed that the engagement rate on Google+ has declined by 98% year over year, a precipitous plunge. It wasn’t just individual profiles noticing this decrease. Large Google+ communities that started forming at Google+’s inception have lost the majority of their audiences as well.

Key Takeaway: Despite massive effort and investment, Google+ hasn’t been able to create a true competitor to the worldwide success Facebook has created.

Perhaps consumers really can handle only one broad social network that’s home to nearly everyone on the planet. Instead, interest in niche social sites limited to demographics (Midwestern single dads) or interests (Sony PlayStation) seems to be brewing.

#2: Active Google+ Users Posting 50+ Times per Month

The “small but devoted” audience (a.k.a. cult following) has kept lots of ventures alive and even helped move them into the mainstream. While chances get dimmer each quarter that the Google+ fan base can create a cult following, some signs of life still exist.

GlobalWebIndex’s 2015 Google+ Profile report reveals that 56% of Google+ active users visit at least once per day, if not multiple times per day. Seventy-eight percent visit at least weekly.

globalwebindex visit frequency stats

Google+’s active users (a subset of Internet users) visit it as regularly as Facebook fans check their Facebook pages.

Similarly, the Stone Temple Consulting study found that those posting 50 or more times on Google+ do exist, but in miniscule numbers. Of Google+’s 2.2 billion profiles, just 106,022 or .0005% were keeping the page up regularly. Still, Stone Temple Consulting’s senior director of online marketing Mark Traphagen reports in a recent Marketing Land post:

“Every day I’m involved in dozens of stimulating conversations on Google+ with people from all over the world. There are huge, enthusiastically active communities, both public and private. Is it Facebook? Not even close (but what else is?). Yet there is plenty of life there.”

stone temple consulting google+ post frequency stats

Stone Temple Consulting finds only a hyperactive group of 106,022 entities posting 50+ times on Google+ each month.

Key Takeaway: Google+ clearly did manage to connect some people and businesses in meaningful ways. Google+ evangelists certainly learned the variety of tools possible on a social channel.

#3: Google+ Audience Stronger Internationally

Before giving up completely on Google+, consider the niches it has pervaded. Perhaps one contains your customer base.

In India, 80% of Internet users have a Google+ account, and nearly 40% are active on it regularly. Similar numbers in Thailand, Mexico, South Africa, Malaysia and other countries put to shame the U.S. engagement rate on the channel. (To remind you, 60% of American Internet users have Google+ accounts, and 21% use the channel actively.)

Study authors at GlobalWebIndex speculate that “online populations in fast-growth markets typically [have] heavy skews towards young, urban and affluent demographics,” which is the typical prospect that Google+ appeals to. Google+ lost out to Facebook in the mature markets like Germany, France and the U.S., but got better attention with newer digital adopters.

globalwebindex google+ users by country

Internet users in India, Thailand and many other Asian countries have adopted Google+ in greater numbers than their western counterparts.

The most active Google+ users fall into the 16 to 34 age range, with men outnumbering women by about 12%. The divisions over income levels are about equal.

globalwebindex google+ user demographics

While the Google+ audience skews slightly to younger and male, it’s evenly divided over age, gender and income for the most part.

Key Takeaway: Experienced marketers understand that numbers don’t tell the whole story. Countless posts have been written about showing up on the channels your ideal prospects occupy.

With Google+ still a free platform (in the sense that it’s not charging to deliver posts to earned audiences like Facebook does), it could be worthwhile for you to put some effort and time into the channel if there’s a chance your market is there.

In How to Build Powerful Alliances on Google+, marketing expert Martin Shervington explains that Google+ is not yet crowded, so there’s room for someone new. Also, experts may be there with whom an individual can make an alliance.

Conclusion

Despite the depressing numbers Stone Temple Consulting revealed in their huge study, neither Enge nor Traphagen believes Google+ is dead or soon to be. First, abundant and repeated statements from Google executives indicate the opposite.

Enge also concludes that the +1 button (akin to the Facebook like) is too useful and valuable a way of keeping a finger on the consumer pulse for Google+ to abandon it.

Further, Google+ is already integral to too many Google properties. Most of all, Enge explains, “It’s about the data… Social media is a large data source, and Google is determined to play in this sandbox.”

As Facebook has learned, providing advertisers the insights into customer behavior and interests is quite profitable. In a 2014 Marketing Land post, Traphagen speculated that Google+ could re-brand, but his 2015 post backed off from that theory.

Keep in mind, too, that Google+ just created its Pinterest-like product called Collections in the spring of 2015, which is a sign of life and plans.

Having a Google+ account now and using it for social sign-ins will keep marketers apprised as the channel evolves. Watching how Google+ breaks up into stand-alone products will be viewing history in the making and provide insight into the future for social channels.

If you’re interested in capturing key audiences on Google+ now, you can find an overview of Google+ marketing here: Essential Google+ Marketing Resource: A Complete Guide.

What do you think? Will Google+ simply be a sign-in mechanism in a few years? Would you prefer Google’s products to be stand-alone, rather than bundled with Google+? Has Google+ gotten you leads and clients? Are you engaging in exciting conversations there? Leave your comments and questions below.

RyanHanley.com image, GlobalWebIndex.com image and Forbes.com image created with Placeit.
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  • I don’t know about general aliveness of Google+ but I get a lot of free traffic from there for many niches… which must be indicator of something!

    Maybe the numbers are that bad because google used to force everyone opening gmail to open every possible account on their platform.

    I really doubt it will die and end, because as you said… it is too much integrated into pretty much everything!

  • It is amazing that Google+ has struggled given the parent brand’s power and influence around the world, but I think I know why. Google+ is so darn intricate that it bars the average human from accessing its capabilities. If I were Google+, I would develop a step-by-step online course (for free) to help people understand and leverage it. Secondly, they need to step up and state something bold, such as, “If you are active on Google+, we know that it will give you the absolute best SEO value of any social media channel on the planet.” They need to be forthright on such a bold promise and then deliver it. Then people and brands would be flocking to Google+ if the above was addressed.

  • @jacobmarketingfyi:disqus one area which still very much alive and kicking are the Google+ Communities. Strong G+ communities are just as active as they always were.

    The main issue highlight in this article is the “news feed” and general user.

    As a “message board” type experience (i.e communities) Google+ is still rocking.

  • Suzzane,

    Thanks for the mention in your article. This is an incredibly well done and unbiased take on Google+ and challenges the platform is currently facing.

    Its easy to become blind to the failings of social platforms you grow to love. Our participation on these platforms becomes part of who we are online.

    In my case, the target audience I serve is insurance professionals. In that capacity Google+ was not a viable solution. Instead of banging my head against the wall trying to get them to participate I chose to go where they are (email, blog, Facebook).

    Tough decision, but one that had to be made.

  • Google+ delivers quality interactions for us on a very small scale. Facebook delivers virtually no quality at a massive scale. Google and G+ continue to thwart adaption by continuously changing account structures. We hear and see it all the time with irate businesses stating “we can’t figure out all of our various Google accounts”. GA, AW, AS, WMT, Plus, places, business, apps etc. Ultimately, none of this will likely matter. I travel a bit and meet a wide variety of people around the globe. When meeting new people I try to slip in a discussion on how they are using the Internet to “Run their lives”. The new generation rarely use facebook, hardly anyone uses G+ and most will mention they rely mainly on this or that app. Texting is a common denominator. Summary – its becoming a very fragmented market with apps dividing up the audience into customized experiences. Perhaps no single platform will be the winner?

  • connie.ocasi

    ====

  • SuzanneDelzio

    Hey Ryan,
    Great to hear from you here! As I mention in the article, I do respect both your initial enthusiasm and your eventual dial down of G+. And Jacob, yes, a lot of marketers on G+ as well as tech people.

  • SuzanneDelzio

    Interesting. I agree they threw their whole toolbox at G+ too quickly! Do you think that being active on G+ gives you the best SEO on the planet or are you saying Google should be that brash to say that?

  • SuzanneDelzio

    Thanks Ryan. Saw the post above first. Since we are all human and limited, we have to go where our clients are, no matter how exciting and amazing these tools are. Hard to come to terms with!

  • SuzanneDelzio

    Apps and niche or private social channels? Interesting, boots on the ground, insights Jerry. Thanks.

  • With the money, personnel and I.Q. available to Google, they could resolve this problem easily. A matter of weeks, a few months – really. Current management at Google+ must be full of tech geeks as these are the only people that get their platform. I would put 100 regular, intelligent SMB owners into a weekend symposium and survey them: “What would you need and want to make Google+ the most valuable social media platform for your business marketing needs?” I’d love to lead it, and I have reached out to Google+ multiple times, all with no response. Their too busy over thinking themselves into irrelevance.

  • Margie Hanson

    I am finding activity and engagement like on no other network in Google+ Communities. They are a goldmine. A 2nd comment is that it so unfair that facebook should be the leader of the pack when they don’t show posts, they offer no real open search capability for reaching out to new people, businesses have to pay to have any success … shall I continue. I have to agree that fb is a “must have” because they have blindsided everyone. It’s almost that you are not credible without a fb account. Google+ even does a better job technically showing posts with images, etc. Googlt+ was the first to allow us to edit our posts after sending. Just a shame that Google+ has not gotten its due.

  • My observation is that the users who like G+ are from the techie community.

  • Janice Hostager

    One advantage G+ has is Google Hangouts, and the technology that’s spun off from that. It’s a great solution to webinars for smaller businesses. And when I search a blog post I’ve published, the version published on Google+ article shows up higher in the search rankings, pretty consistently.

  • B Relevant Social

    Google+ was my first social media platform, and I was an early adopter. The only reason it isn’t my main personal social media platform is because my family and friends are on Facebook and they wouldn’t even try G+. So I had to get a FB account in order to keep in contact with the fam.

  • Nate Babb

    I guess my main question is why nothing is talked about in regards to the Local SEO value that an actively managed, branded, accurate NAP, and hours of operation has. If you only think engagement, sure it’s inferior, but what about Search, and the increase in impressions when that SEO ranking is positively affected.

  • I think of Facebook as a small aquarium and G+ the 7 oceans of the world – when I sign into Facebook I get lots of cute animal pics & videos and know what my friends in Indiana had for dinner

    When I sign into G+ i sign into G+ – analytics – webmaster tools – gmail – adwords – docs – my Google enterprise dashboard – photos & much more AND I get more plus ones on G+ some day with about 300 followers than i get likes the same day with 300,000 Facebook fans.

    caveat: I can also call Google 24/7 and have never waited more than 2 hours for a call back.

    Looking at G+ as a social media destination is like looking at a 100,000 are farm but only at the silo

  • Hey Suzanne the link from the “find out more” button under
    Monthly Blog, Social Media & SEO Package on your site – is broken – fyi

  • Google has never known how to market themselves very well.

  • Amen!

  • SuzanneDelzio

    Oh wow. Could it be that Google+ has to appeal to the family rather than business side? We are all limited in our social time, after all.

  • SuzanneDelzio

    Uh-oh. On it! Thanks, Windy!

  • SuzanneDelzio

    Google+ is doing better than Facebook at customer service. Must spend $50 per week to call Facebook. Maybe G+ getting ahead there? Do we all get that these platforms are so new, they’re still hesitant to answer the phone? What do you think, Windy?

  • I’ve been using Adwords since 2006 – it’s always had a positive ROI & google always answered the phone

    I think business are tiring of social media and it’s lack of effectiveness in general – CMO’s are looking at companies like Apple with no social media presence

    the owner of this SOCIAL MEDIA blog converted their LinkedIn group to a subscription model – which was very anti social –

    Ellen Pao found herself reading want ads when trying to fix social media on reddit

    I have 12 years of data from our ecomm website and 4 years of data from our FB page. Today our site is converting at 4.77% EXCEPT Facebook traffic which is once again converting at ZERO and never has converted at more that .02%

    I think Facebook will end up going the way of Lehman Brothers – Washington Mutual & General Motors as they keep screwing the pooch – think “oh you didn’t know that a like share or comment was counted as a click” – I know that’s changed but at some point Mark & Sheryl are going to run out of “prop the stock up schemes” – think pay to play

    earlier this year we spent about $4,000 on FB ads – I never even got a phone #

    google calls us every 3 months to “check in” on our PLA account

  • Peaceful Janice

    They are tech geeks and they see the main bonus in gathering data, collections being a focused attempt at exactly that.
    They don’t want to give SEO value as that would after all fuss up their SE algo machinations, the most important thing on Earth.
    And alas, geeks only listen to geeks…

  • B Relevant Social

    I think it was because Facebook was already adopted by so many when G+ came into the market. IMO G+ is a better platform than FB for marketers and those of us that don’t just want to watch cat videos, but they didn’t differentiate themselves enough from FB to attract the younger crowd. Even FB is losing millennials to Snapchat and other apps.

  • Two things make it worthwhile sticking with G+. Posting a link to new articles on G+ definitely helps with rankings and definitely helps the page to be indexed – which is a big deal when you have a small website that may only be crawled every few days. Hard to post on topical items with that sort of delay.

    Secondly the G+ Communities are great for certain topics with a superb layout for quick scans of topics.

    Not quite sure why Twitter, LinkedIn and G+ try to be Facebook (Twitter with new “birthday” feature, LinkedIn with “work anniversary, G+ with everything) when they are different and should work on making that difference more marked.

  • New Google VP of streams & photos sounds like a Twitter wannabe

    G+ “collections” looks a lot like pinterest and auto posts to the g+ account you’re signed into

  • Janice

    I started with Google + in beta as a travel blogger who posted photos and videos. Many early adopters were creative types like photographers and bloggers, not everyone was techie. Google + began with a stream of photos after all a picture is worth a thousand words. Google image database of photos is infinite. People love photos and now video content is king with youtube. I don’t see Google + going anywhere because it is connects android phone numbers and gmail to all its services. You are exactly right that people sign up for Google+ to connect to gmail, youtube or their phone number which means Google has new users constantly. These new users may come back later to use one of the myriad of Google products which all connect to Google+. You can not measure their engagement across the board. It is too vast, but that does not mean it does not exist.

    Google + can be whatever you want it to be. You can connect with customers locally or internationally. I love the Google Plus Collections because one can “collect” newspaper or magazine articles, photos, videos about their business and store them in Google+ Collections. This helps your business to be found in search. There is no other social media platform that allows businesses to do this. Google+ also has a Featured Collections in which Google + select Collections to be featured giving more exposure for search. There is no social media platform that can beat Google Search. Google + is tied to Google Search, whatever you post publicly in Google + ranks instantly in Google Search.

    Google + Communities are the best for engagement. It is the best way to generate conversations and reach people.

    Google + Key Differential Factor: Facebook limits the number of people that can see your posts. Even if a business pays to post on their facebook page there is always a limit to the number of people who will see their posts. You can be assured that you will never reach 100% of the people on your facebook posts. However Google+ allows through your email contacts and phone number contacts 100% connection to your circles. Google + goes beyond your circles to your friends circles. Then it goes a step further to your extended circles which is your friends’ friends circles. The results of connecting your business to be found in search is astronomically. If a business posts something in Google+ it can potentially reach thousands of people for free in search. Google Ads allows you to target your competitor’s clients in search. Facebook does not come close to reaching the numbers of people that Google+ can generate for a business. Google + is underutilized but not dead.

    Google+ is based on individual search. It is not possible to quantify individual experience in Search results. Lastly Google is profitable. Google has mentioned bringing wireless access to the world. Google must be doing something right.

  • draytonbird

    As Rosser Reeves observed 50 odd years ago in Reality in Advertising, “there’s only so much room in the box”.

    Marketing truths don’t change that much, no matter how excited people get about the new, new things. In most markets the top two brands thrive, no 3 struggles to keep up and the rest are nowhere.

  • The best line: “Google+ delivers quality interactions for us on a very small scale. Facebook delivers virtually no quality at a massive scale.”

  • I believe as mobile search overtakes desktop, Google Business Pages will become more important because of its close connection to search results. All the more reason for businesses to have a Google+ presence.

  • Nice post Suzanne! I do think that G+ will continue on because of the international users. No leads or clients from G+ (yet), but it all comes back to me not posting or engaging there more than a couple time a week (like most of us). It will be interesting to watch the future play out with G+ and see how far and different it becomes with products offered separately rather than bundled. Have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂

  • Your pop-up that will not close on my tablet almost made me not even bother to read the part of the story that I could see.

  • SuzanneDelzio

    Tech and marketing?

  • SuzanneDelzio

    “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s?” Pay a little homage to Google by engaging on G+ is probably an easy task considering the indexing advantages.

  • SuzanneDelzio

    Thanks for the insights, Janice. I wonder if G+ low numbers will keep its reach free for a very long time. Thoughts?

  • SuzanneDelzio

    Scary but true. Even with Google’s big bucks. I think of the 100 craft breweries out here in San Diego trying to make it. Only 3 have broken away from the rest.

  • SuzanneDelzio

    Yes, the info about the international users is interesting. 80% in India?

  • SuzanneDelzio

    Good to keep in mind.

  • Janice

    Suzanne Who knows what the future holds for Google+ except Google. Google Ads seems to generate profit now. If the future of social media shifts and Google starts losing money then Google will look at other ways to generate revenue. Google+ being a free social media platform is one of Google’s strengths and Facebook’s weakness. It is my opinion that Google+ should continue to be free. Google Ads are a success.

  • drburt

    Whatever happens on Google + and posted as Public will show up in Google Search results with your profile photo. If Google killed authorship this is the way to show your content with your profile photo attached to it. It works teally great and attracts new clients as well.

  • Once I heard on a webinar that G+ was big in Brazil. I even started posting only in Portuguese on my page trying to drive extra traffic from it, but I have not seen much results. I haven’t given it up, but I do not seem to figure it out either. I find G+ even harder than FB.

  • That’s another good point. It’s smart to use Google stuff because I am sure Google shows favor with their apps when thinking about Google SEO

  • Interesting data. I’m not really that active on google+ so this info helps

  • there is no relationship between google app use and SEO

  • I beg to differ. Search results will bring up Google+ and Youtube videos.

  • I think it’s safe to say that we all saw this coming. Right off the bat, it felt like G+ visions were not going to work.. Facebook has the social media world in the palm of their hands… and then some. I also think that G+, as insanely good as they are in everything they do, thought they could just roll over the industry… They had their moments but it’s not enough… it looked like they took it lightly.

  • any effected on SEO, after google + dead??

  • @marktimberlake:disqus You know I have mad love for ThePlus. The issue is getting my market (insurance professionals) onto another platform when they struggle with Twitter and Facebook.

    I love all the connections I’ve made and maintain on Google+… but to continue my time on a platform that isn’t seeing the adoption which can sustain my business in the class of business I serve would be silly.

    I could definitely be wrong.

    But the real point of my article on Breaking Up With Google+ was to say, “Spend your time wisely” Google+ or otherwise.

  • @videoleadsonline:disqus I’ve been repping WebinarJam pretty hard lately. Love how it uses HOA tech and provides the experience to non-G+ users.

    Thoughts?

  • @NickCucumber:disqus there has never been any evidence that simply posting an article to G+ increases its SEO value.

  • I just don’t see it as an “either / or”, I have a niche community on G+ and have attracted a lot of people to that from outside G+, in fact for many of them it is their first experience of G+ Ryan. 🙂

    So I think you can actually have your cake and eat it in this scenario, push your content through G+ onto twitter and FB and then bring them back to the G+ community, also hold regular community hangouts which can then be found on YouTube, again driving them back to G+ communities, where at least the community is indexed…

    We are all different, so this might not work for your sector, but I don’t see why not? 🙂

  • Peaceful Janice

    Your blog posting to GPlus could be a great boost to that blog, you can have GPlus comments on your post right inside your blog – makes it very lively. Just saying. I found the structures of Plus less confusing than the FB setup. Depends on where you start I guess.

  • Google+ seems to want to be all things to everyone and can’t quite decide where its strengths are. Like many others I was an original invitee, thinking that somehow created a special status, then they threw the doors open to everyone else, not too many walked through, and those that did were left in confusion and bewilderment. However, the value of any social media to me is that it provides a different platform to interact with a different set of customers / potential customers. On that level Google+ has a value. I also think that Google+ will eventually find its niche in the increasingly fast pace of social marketing so on that basis I’m staying put, but if it does die it won’t take me with it!

  • Hey @ryanhanley:disqus WebinarJam is a pretty good HOA ‘wrapper’ as is Business Hangouts and the up-and-coming CrowdCast app. All utilizing HOA tech as the main video engine.

  • G+ not dead. 😉

  • Absolutely agree. Their approach of building tools and everyone else will figure how to use/expand on them is lofty but in real world, not deliverable.

  • I’ve written several (rather frustrated) posts on why G+ isn’t dead and the reasons marketers shouldn’t abandon it just yet. Several studies have shown that there are strong corelations between +1s and higher rankings and as G+ posts are indexed almost immediately, it’s great for traffic. I’ve always had a good level of engagement on G+, although recently (since the latest raft of G+ is dead articles) I’ve noticed a drop in comments, although I’m still seeing plenty of shares and +1s.

    The media is killing G+ off but there’s no real evidence to support the idea that Google will abandon it. I think as Jacob says below, it’s great for traffic and as someone else points out, for communities.

  • G+ has a solid beachhead in the tech savvy world and as a marketer that has value. I agree Google made this all a bit to technical to get on top of for the average user.

  • HBates

    The strangest thing happened to me when google made the most recent changes. All o a sudden, my G+ account (which I used for my biz presence) was gone! Poof! I did not delete it. Don’t have any idea what happened. I didn’t pay much attention to it after awhile, but do need it for verifying authorship, YouTube and such, but don’t use Gmail.

  • I wanted to like G+ more. I wanted to like FB less. I wanted to use G+ more. I ended up using FB more. The truth is, even though G+ has some great features, FB is still easier to use. As long as FB continues to be easier to use, that is where most people will be, for most things, leaving G+ to only be used for a few select specialized things that FB does not have. Presently, I use G+ to share articles, but I interact with others very little. I use FB to share articles and I interact with others a lot. I keep hoping G+ will turn things around, because I am still a bigger fan of G+ than I am of FB. The longer G+ takes to turn things around, the harder it is going to be, and the more ground they lose to FB. I’ve got my fingers crossed for G+… ’cause Google rocks! 😀

  • @edwindearborn:disqus excellent idea!! And, when all else fails, run a national television advertising push like Amway and Avon did to turn around. It works!

  • Google definitely has some kind of a grand long term plan about those, we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Gabriele Muellenberg

    I love Google Plus and enjoy the international socializing in it most. However, it find that many of the people I know and meet prefer Facebook. Many even believe that their Facebook is their local website. Facebook is indeed much more user friendly. I never managed to verify my brand page, as I don’t have a physical shop front or the like. Facebook to the contrary doesn’t demand so much. So it gets more followers. Google tends to complicate things far too much for normal people.

  • Google+ is the one and only social media platform where I do broadcast posts with little to no engagement. Google has never proved to be serious about competing with Facebook. I wish it would fold up so that we could debate something much more meaningful like what would Twitter look like if Google buys them?

  • rfrank

    +Edwin Dearborn – So true, regarding the problem could be solved fairly easily. However, G+ should NOT be perceived or marketed as a rival to Facebook or Twitter, that’s going to dominate the market. But it certainly could become a major, major player. As you noted, all that’s needed is a simple informational video or three on how to tap into G+ great features, PLUS some consistent messaging, marketing and support from Google, Realistically, G+ could capture a major portion of the U.S. internet audience (similar to numerous other nations) in a relatively short amount of time. It appears that there is a huge, pent up audience of people who are interested in ‘actively’ participating in an intelligent, professional community. Similarly, there is a phenomenally large portion of the Facebook crowd that is weary of the silly, self-consumed messaging that floods much of that network. For the moment, that audience is there for the taking, IF Google/G+ will move on it. If not, someone else will jump on that opportunity fairly soon and run with it, leaving G+ languishing in its current state. Personally, I’d love to see Google wake up, get soundly behind G+, and get it rolling.

  • rfrank

    +Ronnie Bincer – With all due respect, knowing that you are a G+ expert, I disagree on the idea that “Google has never known how to market themselves very well.” Google knows how to market. It just doesn’t do it the same way as others. After all, we are talking about the organization that built the Google search engine, and Google Analytics, and now has YouTube, etc. Personally, I don’t think it’s a lack of ‘know how,’ but a lack of commitment and ‘want to.’ They could ignite G+ in matter of weeks, if they had the ‘want to.’

  • I agree they need the ‘want to’, but I’m not sure they market themselves well. If they weren’t the leading search engine and made all these free products for folks to use, I’m not sure how well they’d be able to spread their message. From my inside view the stuff is made by Engineers and they expect their ‘better mouse trap’ to cause people to ‘come to their door’.

  • Bryan Plymale

    linkedin seems to be courting that , “pent up audience of people who are interested in ‘actively’ participating in an intelligent, professional community”. as well as the crowd that is “weary of the silly, self-consumed messaging” i’m enjoying this discussion feed very much. thank you all.

  • Sometimes Google can surprise users… If all will contimue like mow, i agree, google will be dead. But i think, Google heads don’t want to lose this tool. That’s why i think we can wait something new about this social network…
    P.S. I realy sorry for my english…

  • Liz

    Great information! Google + did roll out some great features but it sure never got close to Facebook’s engagement.

  • I post both in Facebook & Google+. While Facebook sends more traffic, I do get lot of steady traffic from Google and started to like it more than Facebook.

  • I agree with your observations. Google+ need to work on their user interface and make it easy and simple.

  • Agreed, used a feed-style social media, Google+ is useless. However, I used to for my page to post onto great communities and I receive a decent amount of traffic versus Facebook Groups for the same articles at the same times.

    In the pipelines surely is a great update and revamp of Google+ so it becomes a livelier and more active place to hangout (commuting time, etc.)

  • Brother Cambly

    It’s far to easy to make statistics say what you want them to say. Google’s first mistake was forcing users of YouTube to use Google+. G+ has no structure, a common fault with networks, leaving it unsociable. At first look I thought it was a great idea since I had two popular channels on YT. There was no de-facto method to bring them into one profile. Support did not exist. Google built an island hoping to take a bigger share of the Internet. Their record of shutting down services rather than improving them leaves G+ in limbo.

  • William MATAR

    I use and I love Google Plus. I am from Lebanon Middle East