Will Google+ Overtake Facebook? [Data]

by Melissa Miller

Date

November 30, 2011 at 4:30 PM

social network raceLast month, Google Co-Founder Larry Page noted that Google+ had amassed over 40 million users since its launch just 4 months prior. That's a lot of growth! Then again, Google Buzz had 9 million posts within 56 hours of its release...and we all know what happened to Google Buzz.

At this point, we're all keeping a close eye on Google+'s growth, wishing we had a crystal ball. Will it be another flop? Or will it take off, catch up to, and surpass the existing social networks like Facebook? Now that Google+ has business pages, it's even more important for marketers to pay attention. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not your business will benefit from having a Google+ page, here is an interesting timeline of events and growth to consider:

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This timeline of events illustrates some impressive growth. But if you take a step back, it's apparent that Google+ still has a lot of catching up to do if it's going to compete with Twitter or Facebook. Even at its peak, with all of the hype of the public launch, Google+'s 15 million visits accounted for less than 1% of social network traffic. Twitter attracted more than double the traffic in that time, and Facebook attracted over 100 times the traffic, with 1.76 billion visits.

In terms of membership, Google+'s community of 40 million is already almost one third of LinkedIn’s 135 million users. That's impressive considering LinkedIn was launched back in May 2003. Facebook currently has over 800 million members, but back in April 2009 - over 2.5 years after it was expanded to everyone (not just schools) -- it had grown to 200 million users. Google+ already has 20% of that total, thanks to Google's other successful offerings.

Marketing Takeaway

This data is interesting, but what does it all mean for your business’ marketing strategy? Should you take the time to create and maintain your own Google+ business page? The answer is "Yes!" Based on the data points we've seen so far, Google+ looks promising right out of the gate. Even if Google+ turns out to fizzle, you don’t want to risk getting left in the dust. We all know Google is a search engine giant, and it's likely there will be more benefits down the road (like valuable insights about your Circles). Already, there are SEO benefits to having a Google+ business page. So what are you waiting for?

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