Rumours of Google+’s demise may be premature

28 Jul 2011

It’s too early to be getting into a flap about Google+ and suggestions its traffic may be declining. Yes, there is evidence that Google’s new social networking service Google+ had fewer US visitors last week, but the difference is a marginal 3pc.

Google+ is still a runaway success when you consider it amassed a 20m audience in just more than a fortnight. That should give Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pause for thought. And we ain’t seen nothing yet when you consider the internet giant is making signals that social gaming and a myriad of other features may be on their way.

According to Experian Hitwise, Google+ had 1.79m visits for the week ending 23 July, down 3pc on the previous week when the network had 1.86m.

That’s 3pc, not much, and at the height of summer time. Maybe its on account of Google’s decision at the weekend to remove branded sites?

Where there should be cause for concern, however, is the length of time on the site. Average visits were 10pc shorter in the time period, a reduction from five minutes and 50 seconds to five minutes and 15 seconds.

In its defence, according to CNET, Google has said the data is based on the number of visitors to Google+ and not the number of actual users. It also said the analysis doesn’t factor in interactions via mobile and the use of the black navigation bar that is filtering its way across various products, such as the Google home page and Google Reader.

It’s still early days, and if Google+ breached the 20m mark two weeks ago, the site could well be on its way to 50m in about a week’s time.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years