SEO company BrightEdge has published a study in which they detail some statistics regarding Google+ Pages usage. Among the highlights:
- 61 percent of the world’s top 100 brands have created Google+ Pages since its inception.
- 94 percent of the top 100 brands have a presence on Facebook.
- Only 12 percent of the created Google+ Pages received a link back to their Page from their website.
- 53 percent of the top 100 brands displayed a link back to their Facebook page from their website.
- Of these top 100 brands, the review shows a collective total of 300 million followers on Facebook, compared to only 148,000 followers on Google+ for the same brands.
- With approximately 65,000 followers, Google had the largest follower base of any other brand on Google+.
Google launched the first iteration of its new Google+ Business Pages on November 7. The new Pages feature allows brands, products, companies, businesses, and organizations to build their very own tailored Google+ presence. This is Google’s latest gambit aimed at recruiting legions of entrenched Facebookers to the fledgling social platform.
Users are offered a very similar experience using the business Google+ experience as the individual Google+. Companies can place followers into various category circles in order to share content or to interact with only those specific circles of groups or individuals that they wish to.
Further analysis of the BrightEdge study shows that those with Google+ Pages were performing better than average on Google search. The site typically appeared in the top 12 Google search results for their corresponding brand name, while those with only FaceBook Business Pages averaged in the top 13-14 results. This highlights the need for SEO for Google+ Pages.
This clearly shows that Google places more weight on businesses and websites employing various Google properties. It’s hard to find fault with Google giving their loyal followers a competitive advantage.
Google this week announced that it would make it even easier for businesses to connect to their Google+ Business Pages through several third-party applications such as Buddy Media, Involver, Virtue, Hearsay Social, Context Optional & HootSuite. Google stated that their pilot program would allow brands to further their presence on Google+ and to increase engagement with their followers.
With the failure of Google Wave, Buzz, and only limited usage of Orkut, the launch of the Google+ social platform has been an uphill battle for Google all the way. Initially only receiving a lukewarm reception from the public, the fledgling social platform managed to gather steam and attract more than 40 million users at last official count.
The data provided by BrightEdge suggests that users are slow or reluctant to migrate to Google+ and are not yet prepared to abandon Facebook. As the brand pages have only been around for a week, it seems too soon to be dismissive of the Google+ Pages based on the preliminary data provided by BrightEdge.
Many of these new Google+ Pages have not even posted regular content yet making it extremely premature in comparing it with Facebook, especially considering the latest Experian Hitwise report showing a 5 percent jump in Google+ visits the week of the launch vs. the previous week and a 25 percent jump over a month ago. Was this simply an increase due to people setting up their pages that will fail to translate into long-term success and loyalty? We’ll have to wait and see.
A potential exploit that Google may attack is the fact that Facebook generates its revenue through the promotion of its application platform to draw in advertising dollars. While Facebook certainly does have the lion’s share of users and many have been anxious to jump ship, for any business to remain competitive, it is best not to become too loyal to any one platform.
The wiser tactic is for brands to embrace those social sites and platforms that will work for you and will be the most successful in realizing increased rankings, click-through rates, and ultimately conversions.