Google+ saw a surge in traffic the first week after it launched brand pages, underscoring just how much companies wanted to get their marketing presence felt on the network.
have given the young social network a boost, less than two weeks into their
arrival, according to data.
HitWise noted that for the week ending Nov. 12, Google+ logged 6.8 million
visits from U.S. users alone, making it the third-biggest week for U.S. visits
since the network launched June 28.
The top two weeks for Google+ visits occurred
the week ending Sept. 24 (after the company opened up to all users) and the
week after that, into October. Traffic slowed for the rest of October following
the mad dash to join the hot new network, which has somewhere between 50
million and 60 million users.
HitWise analyst Heather Dougherty said the growth from Nov. 5 to Nov. 12
represented a 5 percent increase from the previous week and a whopping 25
percent increase from just one month ago.
Eight of the
top 10 referral sources for Google+ traffic were Google properties, led by
Google.com at 45 percent and Gmail at 16 percent. Google's Web services
accounted for nearly three-quarters of upstream traffic to Google+, which is
what Google executives intended to happen as they sought to make Google+ a hub
for Google's other applications.
noted that the share of visits to Google+ from returning visitors, which she
defined as those persons who visited the network within the past 30 days, has
been increasing over the last few weeks. That means increased stickiness or
user engagement, which is exactly what Google was expecting when it began
integrating the network with its existing Web services.
average of the first two weeks of November versus the same time in October
shows the share of returning visitors to the Google+ site increased 18
percent," Dougherty wrote
. "Last week, 74 percent of
the traffic to Google+ was from returning visitors, suggesting that Google+
users are returning to interact and engage with their networks (aka
data does not include traffic from mobile applications or via the Google
notification bar that comes with a Google+ membership on desktop computers.
To what can we
attribute the traffic hike in November? Simple: Google+ brand pages, which launched Nov. 7
. Brands such as Coca Cola, Pepsi
and Toyota launched corporate accounts on Google+ to connect with customers and
boost marketing awareness.
came amid such pent-up demand after Google forbade brand pages on its network
until it had the proper verification system in place, so tons of businesses
naturally jumped at the chance to secure their brand page when Google opened up
In fact, SEO specialist BrightEdge said
61 of the top 100
brands rushed to secure Google+ Pages. That compares with 93 of the top 100
that have brand pages on Facebook.
exactly how much engagement is going on between customers and brands on Google+
is another story. Coke, McDonalds and Verizon have only hundreds of fans, while
each of those brands has millions of followers on Facebook.
Ford, for example
, has 27,575 fans on Google+ as
of this writing, but nearly 5 million on Facebook, which has offered brand
pages for three years. Google clearly has some work to do, as do the brands
that are casting for users' attention on the social network.