Seriously, who is using Google Plus? And Why?


Among social media professionals, few take Google Plus seriously.

I’ve heard it on webinars, reading blog posts, and from colleagues.

Nobody believes people are using Google Plus.

After all, Fast Company magazine has called it a Ghost Town! If you take a look at that report by Fast Company, the numbers are pretty convincing, primarily if you compare Google Plus usage to Facebook.

So who DOES use Google Plus?

A company named CircleCount specializes in analyzing Google Plus data. Check out their home page. It offers some interesting data on who is using Google Plus the most.

Turns out the US, India and Brazil are leading the pack. Google Plus users are also more likely to be students, developers, engineers, designers, and photographers.

Recently, CircleCount released the map below. It shows publicly stated locations for the top 4 million profiles on Google Plus. Thanks to Mark Traphagan for finding this and clarifying how it was made.

Nice map. Now, I could give you even more demographic info from across the web, but that likely would not help your decision on whether to use Google+ or not. We should really be after something more specific and much more important.

Can Google Plus affect my specific brand, business, or website?

The answer can be found in your analytics. (It’s funny how often that is the answer to online marketing questions right?)

Isolate your organic search referral traffic from Google. Then, note what percentage of that traffic shows a referral of (not provided). Those are the people that are finding your site while logged into Google.

As an Internet marketer, I have access to a lot of Google Analytics. So, I just looked at this data for a bunch of different sites. They were from different industries and included e-commerce sites and blogs.

Overall, the range of visitors that are logged in to Google when finding these sites is typically between 15% and 25%. This is up from last year. Of course that number varries from site to site.

On Social Fresh for instance, over 50% of our visitors have been logged in to Google the last four months in a row! You are a savvy bunch of digital natives it seems.

This percentage is rising as a whole. And it will continue to rise.

Does this mean that about a fourth of all your visitors are using Google Plus? Not hardly.

They may be logged in to Google because of using Gmail, YouTube, or some other product. However, all of them have their search results “personalized”.

In other words, if they (or their circled friends) have been sharing or +1ing your site, you would stand a much higher chance of outranking your competitors.

The amount of activity on Google Plus may not excite you. But the opportunities that it offers in search is a reality.



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