Posted February 9, 2012 8:12 am by with 8 comments

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No matter how you feel about Google, Plus 1’s and Google + or how you think they should or should not influence search results you have to admit that Google has created some positive social waves for the first time in its history.

So just how big is this impact? Compete calls it enormous

It is now safe to say that Google+ is becoming an enormous success, with nearly half of the unique visitors of Twitter (40,411,065 unique visitors in December). With a steep upward trend and knowledge of the power behind a Google product, expect continued growth from the unequaled search engine’s social platform known for ingenuity, creativity, and revolutionary product offerings.

Compete uses the following numbers as the support for this claim.

Now comes the question as to whether visitors are what defines success or, especially in the case of a social network, is that the key performance indicator (KPI) that you use to claim success? I say that it can certainly be one element but it is not enough to make the claim that Compete does.

Social is about interaction and that is something that is much more difficult to put in a measurable fashion. We like numbers like visitors because it is something we can all agree on and can get our hands on much easier. The trouble is that it falls far short of being a true measure of success in the social media world.

So do you think that this metric is enough to say that Google+ is an enormous success? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments!

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  • Nice post Frank Reed. :]
    I think that Google+ is an enormous success, I am using G+ every day and I like it.
    With Search Plus Your World and deeper Google+ integration it’s must have for all in the internet and inbound marketing business.

  • Google+ is obviously the emerging magic bullet ccenterpiece for GOOG’s (finally?!) platform strategy.

    And the opportunity it affords brand marketers for truly leveraging the power of search+social to drive discovery & share is already enormous, as first movers are finding out.

    But “uniques”, I think we’d all agree, is not the metric to focus on if we’re seeking proof. Like any other social network or membership program, active users is the KPI to watch.

    Defining this is open to interpretation, but it’s not unreasonable to set a criteria along the lines of —

    MAU = users who visit AND post, comment, share or create at least once weekly for the past 30 days

    This is a mildly high bar for measuring active usership, but if you think about how and how often most people use Facebook, it’s a fair criteria to measure how much enduring engagement G+ is set to poach from the current giant —- as it slays it slowly… ; )

    Thom Kennon | +Thom Kennon | @tkennon |

    • Jennifer Boulden

      Exactly, Thom. I get the feeling a large portion of those users are going to G+ to see if anything is actually happening there, rather than staying and interacting with it the way they do their more familiar social networks.

      My “friends” circle has 121 people in it, all of whom are active on Facebook and/or Twitter. Of those, there are about 11 updates in that stream this week, from a total of 6 friends. Same story in all my other circles. The activity seems to have dropped off a LOT since launch. The only one with more activity is the least personal “following” circle, where the nationally known folks broadcast their updates, most of which are duplicates of what they’re putting other places.

      I’m intrigued by the SEO/social possibilities, but skeptical of how many regular joes, even connected consumers like these friends of mine are, are really embracing the new network.

  • Google+ is really nice tool. I like it so much better than facebook. I think its a must have to build your brand and promote your products.

  • sounds like helpful info,but i still don’t get it joe come most
    sites get about 50times more twitts than google+?

  • It’s tough to say what to make out of any numbers these days, but I’d suggest that G+ is likely much closer to Twitter. Many people have multiple Twitter accounts, whereas Google keeps that pretty well restricted. I assume the comparison above is unique accounts, rather than users. Or maybe I’m misunderstanding.

    • @Jon – Your guess is probably as good as the next person’s. Research is sketchy on all fronts regarding the Internet so we all need to exercise caution and, dare I say, a healthy skepticism when it comes to all of this data.

  • 40,411,065 unique visitors? Hmmm, I didn’t know Google had that many employees.

    But seriously, I agree with you Frank. My Google+ account is a Ghost Town…on those rare occasions I even go there. The market is saturated: Facebook, Twitter, and now Pinterest(?). There are only so many hours in a day and for that time that people have to engage on these platforms they’ll go where their friends are. It’s Facebook’s war to lose at this point.