Posted December 21, 2011 5:28 pm by with 7 comments

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Google+ Pages for brands arrived with a decent amount of fanfare back in November and since then it’s been pretty quiet. That doesn’t mean the pages aren’t being used.

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?

  • I don’t think the search thing is a big deal right now. I mean the G+ pages are only showing up for brand searches as an extension of the sitelinks. You’d like to think that brands would have the serps for their own name sewn up anyway, even without this.

    What I would be interested in though is what these brands are doing on their G+ pages. Are they using them in different ways to their Facebook page for instance? Or are they doing something unique that sets their G+ page apart from their Facebook page or Twitter channel?

    • Cynthia Boris

      Usage is indeed still a problem. Most people are just using the same content from Facebook but others are taking advantage of unique features like Hangout.

      As for the search, yes, they should be hitting the top slots, but what happens if they have large listings and several G+ links is it pushes everything else totally off the first page. It just has a lot more impact than a single listing.

  • I’d like to see how Google+ can tip the scale to their favor, now that Facebook got Timeline to spice up everyone’s personal page.. I guess, I’m saving a front row ticket to the war between brand pages for 2012.

  • “Is Google+ in line to become a contender or not?”

    Without a doubt. There is so much going on with the integration of Google+ pages with all the other Google services.

  • Do i believe that G+ will making big? yes albeit not in a couple of months, but over span of a few years. It took Facebook about 7 years to get to where it is now and it will take Google plus longer because it has very well established competition, but i have faith that G+ will eventually become a force to be reckoned with.

    • Cynthia Boris

      I agree that it’s going to take time, not so much for G+ but for people to transition over to using it. Brands can build the best pages on the internet but if consumers are sticking with Facebook, it won’t matter.

  • It may still be too early to tell. Google is carefully paying attention to user intent and making changes that make Google+ more attractive. It may never be a Facebook killer, but as long as it provides something useful there will be an audience.