Google + is an interesting beast and as a platform, the question remains, what is Google Plus social media relevance?
As more and more data comes out, the question is still up in the air. It’s not that Google is not trying, they have been shoving Google + down our throats by integrating (very poorly)successful social media properties like Blogger, Picasa, Google Places and You Tube into one platform: Google +
In doing so Google + has shown impressive growth in terms of registered users but when it comes to social media, growing your base is only one part of the business model. Most social media platform do so by providing a platform where users want to spend time and and share content with their friends increasing relevancy of the platform and creating an incentive for users’ friends to join.
Google failed at that part and fell back on the second option; using properties users love to use and forcing them into Google +. It could have worked if Google had not made it more difficult to use the already successful properties and tried to make it as difficult as possible to share them in platforms other than Google +.
The result? A recent study from Shareaholic shows that high user growth is not translating in higher use, engagement and sharing.
The study of the 8 most “popular” platforms conducted between September 2012 and September 2013 shows that Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter still dominate the landscape while Google + flat lines at the bottom, both in terms of traffic and traffic growth
As a marketer and a user in general, the question is, where do you spend the limited amount of time you have, the answer is simple, where your audience is, spends time and interact.
Google may disagree with the studies, but the fact remains, spending time on You Tube or Gmail does not add to spending time on Google + and they still have a long way to go to make themselves relevant as a widely adopted social media platform.
If SEO is still a good reason to create a Google + business page, investing time and energy to build the presence is still of questionable value.