BrightEdge just published their December SocialShare report and it has some interesting numbers.
First, 77% of the top 100 brands now have Google+ pages. Sounds good, but the number stood at 61% last month, so it’s not a huge hike. Facebook is at 93% so Google+ is closing in — slowly.
The bigger news story is in followers. Again looking at the top 100 brands, Google+ pages saw an increase of over 50%. The numbers rose from 147K to 222K people in brand circles in December.
Not surprisingly, the most populated brand was Google, with 77,000 folks in the inner circle.
Now here’s a rarity, IBM and Vodafone are two brands that have Google+ pages but don’t have an official Facebook page. How about that?
Starbucks is also doing well with quadruple the number of followers and H&M and Pepsi each rose above 20,000 followers.
The Google Boost
When you look at these numbers overall, you can see a slow rise in Google+. Most of the action happened when pages opened for business. Since then a few more companies have created pages and more people have added brands to their circles. It’s nice, but it’s not all the impressive.
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That may change in 2012. Now Google is adding Plus updates to the Google search results and that should give the social site a real leg-up. Right now, though, the results don’t show for every brand. If you search T-Mobile, you’ll see this:
I also found similar results for Toyota and less prominent, but still there for Angry Birds. I didn’t get any Google+ results when I searched Coca-Cola or Pepsi. So I have no idea how Google is deciding what makes the search results and what doesn’t. Feel free to enlighten me if you have the answer.
Let’s assume that it’s just a matter of time before all Google+ Page updates show up on Google search. That would mean a huge boost for any brand using the site. Will it be enough to beat the traffic on Facebook? Maybe, but it will be a long time coming.
What do you think? Is Google+ in line to become a contender or not?