Google+ has generated plenty of discussion in the few months since its launch. While there has been plenty of negative press about how G+ is performing and the fact that its market share is still small relative to facebook and twitter, the speed at which G+ has grown cannot be ignored. Add to this the power Google has to leverage its own product’s position through its dominance of search and a business ignores G+ at its peril.
While much coverage has focused on the fact that G+ is still a minor player in the social market the facts and figures still show a meteoric growth
- G+ reached 50 million users in 88 days, Facebook took 3.5 years to do the same (1325 days)
- G+ reached 90 million users in the first 4 months of being open to all (not by invite)
- In December G+ was adding more than 600,000 users a day
Of course a product launched by a monolith like Google with their huge marketing power and budget would be expected to perform well, but the spectacular failure of Buzz proves that just being a Google product is by no means a guarantee of success. When put in context and measured against Buzz – a much ‘fairer’ comparison – G+ is a huge success. Conservative estimates forecast G+ hitting 300 million users in 2012, with 400 million a reasonable possibility. Those kind of figures simply can’t be ignored.
Search Plus Your World (SPYW) – Google+’s Ace Card
A social platform with hundreds of millions of users is in itself a powerful force, but the SPYW update currently rolling out from Google takes G+ to another level. Essentially SPYW means results in organic search are now weighted toward results from businesses and users of G+ for anyone who’s signed into a Google account. There’s also mounting evidence that G+ is having a notable wider effect on organic search. While Google maintains that organic search will remain unbiased it’s not surprising that G+ acts as a strong influence on results, and while SPYW is predominately at work stateside we can expect a global roll-out in the next few months. It’s long been part of Google’s stated mission to incorporate social factors into search, and clearly they will look to their own platform first.
The combination of these two factors means any business looking to ensure an online presence needs to incorporate Google+ in their strategy. To learn more about how social media marketing can help your business take a look at our pages on social media or contact Relevance today.