What is the Future of Google+?

Compared to social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Google+ is a much quieter contender. Despite the criticisms that some have of the social platform, Google+ maintains a steady number of loyal fans and followers. These fans appreciate the simplicity and visual-friendly layout of the platform, plus its convenient associations with Google’s other services such as Drive or YouTube. Even with its distinct benefits, Google+ is still hit hard with detractors. Consider the latest headlines about Google+ being on its deathbed – or completely dead.

 

So what is the future of Google+? Should you ignore the death threats and position your brand on the network anyway? Or should you move on?

 

These are questions that marketers go back and forth with quite often. And there’s no simple answer. That’s because every social platform has a unique audience, and it’s only beneficial for a brand to be on that channel if their audience is there. If you’re confident that your audience is on Google+, what can you expect from it?

 

Lower Rates of Engagement

 

According to research from GlobalWebIndex, 60% of respondents said they have a Google+ profile, but only 21% of these users say they are active on the social network. This 21% equates into large populations, though it’s important to point out that Google+ users tend to post, visit and engage at a much lower rate than other social channels. Consider that 42% of Facebook users are active on the channel.

 

Small but Loyal Fanbase

 

Google+ does have a small but dedicated fanbase that has helped keep the channel alive. GlobalWebIndex found that 56% of these users post at least once a day, if not multiple times a day. Seventy-eight percent of these users visit Google+ at least once per week. Unfortunately, this audience represents a very small number of users. And, sometimes numbers are inflated due to auto-posts that come from YouTube video shares and profile changes.

 

International Differences

 

It’s important to note that Google+ isn’t the same in every country. In India, for example, 80% of Internet users have a Google+ account, and 40% of them are active on it. Similar numbers exist in Malaysia, Thailand and South Africa. It appears that Google+ is a more popular platform for newer adopters of digital technology, especially as Google+ lost out to Facebook in more mature countries like Germany, France and the United States.

 

Improved SEO

 

Google+ remains the top block of listings delivered in SEO. No matter what anyone says, Google+ is part of Google, and having a strong presence on the social network will boost your SEO. Continue to engage with posting updates, have professional looking images and expect local listings on Google to be influenced by the interaction of information on your Google business listing.

 

So is Google+ worth your time?

 

It all depends on whether or not your audience is on the social network. Typically speaking, Google+ users fall into the 16-34 age range, with men outnumbering women. It’s also more popular in some countries, as mentioned above. And Google+ is not expected to disappear anytime soon – statements from Google support this. So if your audience is on Google+ and you enjoy being a part of evolving changes, look at the platform as one more opportunity for engagement.

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