Half of Google+ Users Come via Google Search, Gmail

Google+ user metrics are out, courtesy of Experian HitWise, which found the social network had 1.8 million visits last week, with more than half the traffic coming from Google.com and Gmail.

Google+ has been in limited field-testing for more than three weeks, and there has been no shortage of statistics and punditry bandied about in the blogosphere and on the new social network itself.

ComScore counted 20 million users on the service, one week after Google CEO Larry Page said + has over 10 million users.

Experian Hitwise arrived July 20 with some new stats for the Google+ parsing hub. Google+ received more than 1.8 million total visits through July 16.

That's an increase of 283 percent over the previous week and leap of 821 percent through July 2, capping its first week of existence. And yet that doesn't seem much considering the amount of users the Website supposedly has.

Facebook is still whipping Google+ in time spent on a social network. HitWise Research Director Heather Dougherty said the average visit time for Google+ last week was 5 minutes and 50 seconds, compared with almost 22 minutes users spent on Facebook.

Dougherty also looked at how users arrived at Google+. Google.com (34 percent) and Gmail (26 percent) accounted for 50 percent of all upstream traffic to Google+ last week, with additional 6 percent more traffic coming from YouTube and Google Profiles.

Facebook ranked third among Websites visited right before Google+, an indication that many social-network users maintain multiple accounts.

Google+ ranked as the 42nd most visited social-networking site in the U.S. through July 16, and was the 638th most visited site among all sites in the U.S. for that period.

Regionally, Google+ received the most visitors from Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco (in descending order). This is an interesting stat, considering that Google's home base of Mountain View, Calif., is so close to San Francisco.

While the early numbers are promising for Google, some wonder whether the growth will continue.

No one is expecting Google to lure most of the users from Facebook or Twitter, but there is some question as to whether early Google+ users will become fatigued from creating and populating Circles with their various contacts.

It takes time, which for most people knee-deep in social media is in short supply.

Will users simply create Circles and let them lie fallow because they don't have time to provide the necessary upkeep for the seeds they plant? Fast Company posed the issue, and eWEEK now pivots related questions to our dear readers: Are you feeling Google+ Circles fatigue? What are you doing about it?