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Google+ is failing! [DATA]

I have been monitoring Google+ traffic levels with Alexa from the beginning of August. It was doing OK in the first half of the month. This is why I didn’t pay much attention to it. But then the percentage of Google+ traffic from total of started to fall.

Due to a lot of comments about validity of Alexa data and methodology I wrote a post about how this data can be interpreted in a way that shows Google+ not failing.

[UPDATED TO REFLECT LATEST CHANGES, September 6 2011] Here are the numbers:

[table id=2 /]
As you can see from the chart the downwards movement is significant and steady. The Google+ share in’s total traffic has dropped more than 27% 37% in the last two weeks 18 days. If this trend will continue then Google will have a really big problem.

I hope they find a solution as we all will have a betters social networking experience when there are more than one competing social media networking sites. The biggest problems that I have with Google+ are:

Business problem

A lot of businesses are looking to find ways using Google+ for marketing. Well, Google told us to cool down and wait for it. If it is a platform I can use for business then I’m more interested. Right now Google is screwing with people who use personal profiles to set up business pages. So f****** what?! Let them! You may learn something!

Beta problem

We are in trial. It’s a beta. Work in progress. Somebody has to stand up and say we are go now! All websites are work in progress! Grow up, take some responsibility and launch the damn thing. Let people know through other services. GMail, Docs, YouTube, AdWords. Put it out there. Sure, the service may fail and annoy people but if you don’t do that Google+ may fail.

Games problem

I may be wrong here and maybe games will bring a ton of people to Google+, but I think it’s stupid. Yes, of course I can beat Sergey Brin on Angry Birds. Does it add any value to Google+ for me? Not really. (OK, maybe a minor ego boost). The whole gaming experience is not something to write home about. What they should have done is to create an open API. Let everyone write apps for Google+. Empower people! Make it easier and better than in Facebook.

This is somewhat tied to business problem. Show me how to integrate Google+ into my business for marketing or to serve clients better. You don’t have to invent everything yourself, let the users invent for you.

Account problem

I use Google Apps for my email and you can’t use that email with Google+, Coming soon is what they say. Well… I don’t want to use another address with Google+. I have my email address that is tied to virtually everything and now Google tells me to use another address that is like an island in the sea and not connected to anything. For the same reason I missed Google Buzz entirely (in that case coming soon changed to out of business).

Last week I posted a Google+ invite link to this blog. As you can see more than half of the invites remain. There have been 326 visits to that post, 189 clicks on the link and 69 sign ups. You have to get people in through the services, they have to need it. There’s only so many geeks who want to check it out for its coolness.

That’s about it! I would really hate to see Google+ fail. Competition is great and will make life better for all of us. But if this trend continues then it would be hard to get new people to sign up. “Hi! Come join our great social networking site that nobody uses! There’s lots of room…”

Comment to let us know what do you think, about Google+’s future.

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Posted on: August 23, 2011

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114 Responses

  1. Satya Prakash August 31, 2011 7:07am

    I have also not tried much of G+. I do not have time for anything for social software other than Facebook and Twitter. I think it is the biggest challenge for G+. Facebook has occupied so much space on social front that any new service need to be extra careful and very functionality rich + easy to use to get noticed.


    • mivla April 7, 2012 11:11pm

      the sample size of your study? How did yo ensure the representativeness of the sample. G) I agree with you there, but so are hundreds of other geek sites.painters sydney


    • Priit Kallas April 17, 2012 6:06pm

      It’s Alexa data so it consists probably of millions of users but skewed towards tech savvy people.


    • iPhone Parts Wholesale June 28, 2012 5:05am

      If not Google could lose in this terrain his space.


    • Ian Smith December 29, 2012 7:07pm

      One of my blog posts is entitled “Set up Google Authorship & Publishership – forget about the rest of Google+ for now”.

      And that is still my view. If you are serious about marketing your business online, then you should of course be utilising social media. But Google+ is largely a nightmare that most ordinary people (ie your customers!!!) cannot get their head around! So, don’t waste your valuable time – there are MUCH more important issues to address.


    • Sam Oneal February 6, 2013 11:11pm

      not so bad…


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  3. TRVolk August 31, 2011 4:04pm

    Does this chart account for DDOS attacks on Google itself?


    • Wetter Pit June 14, 2012 12:12pm

      There is much competition in social network and Google have to participate in this. If not Google could lose in this terrain his space.


  4. Priit Kallas August 31, 2011 10:10pm

    Some supporting data: According to analysis from Experian Hitwise, there was a 5.5% drop in U.S. visits last week to 1.16 million.


  5. Blake August 31, 2011 11:11pm

    I just deleted all Google Plus content from my G+ account. Until Google changes their stance on Pseudonyms and nicknames, I hope the service crashes and burns just like Google Wave did.


  6. Joe September 1, 2011 12:12am

    @Nexii – In terms of an interest graph right now Twitter is the first thing that I use when I want to find out about interests outside of my scope of friends. Plus Twitter allows for anonymous accounts.

    It just seems to me that Google told it’s engineers to “build something cool” and that they expected customers to figure out what it’s used for. Which is why there are so many mixes messages as to what Google Plus is from executives. It’s our version of Facebook, no wait it’s an online identity system, no no it’s the next generation Twitter, hold on it’s …

    Is it pretty? Yes. Does it use cool technologies? Yes. But my question still stands: If Google wants me to do all of the work of rebuilding my social graph(Facebook), my interest graph (Twitter) or my professional graph (Linked-In) what can it do for me that’s different and better than the above 3?


  7. thegeniusfiles September 1, 2011 6:06am

    Google shot itself in the foot with its botched handling of the G+ identity/Nymwars issue. Guess what? People don’t like Google’s heavy-handed approach, and are choosing not to use G+ just like Eric Schmidt and Vic [sic] Gundotra have suggested that they should do if they don’t like the policy.

    I am boycotting Google in entirety and encourage everyone to do the same:


  8. Pin Up Bot September 2, 2011 12:12am

    I think you are right on all points. I don’t see anything special about it other than the circles thing, but that isn’t a reason why any of the 750 million facebook users would go to google plus instead.

    I think it is the next “wave” for google. Unfortunately, after this huge fail, I don’t think they will have another chance at it. The CEO Schmidt guy recently stated that it wasn’t a social network but an identity service which is why they are not allowing nyms. That alone makes me weary of google now. I’ve closed all of my google accounts except the one I use for uploading my product data feeds; but is that a reason to even keep that account? I think I will delete that one in the next week or so. I really don’t like that people are being forced to post their personal name information publicly on google+, it’s the principle. The only reason I even tried it in the first place was because I use gmail. But what I’m finding out about the way google does things now, it’s just not in anyones best interest and I think they will go the way of the dinosaur.
    I think another search engine is in order. Perhaps facebook. Or just go back to msn/bing; They are more precise anyway.


  9. Mooper September 2, 2011 10:10pm

    Err, does anyone realize that A) Google isn’t seeking to expand this broadly yet, as it is still in testing, B) They haven’t marketed it *at all* yet (advertised it within other products like Gmail, etc), C) They are developing it with early adopters exclusively to make sure it is ready for prime time when they do market it, D) When they open it to the public and link it to Gmail, YouTube, etc, users will explode, E) It’s usage amongst early adopters is limited because there isn’t a critical mass to keep everyone heavily involved… yet, E) Today, it still requires an invite to join, F) Those who have actually used it for more than ten minutes broadly agree it is incredibly superior to Facebook, G) There is a fervent userbase, despite the decline, that generally includes the savvy movers and shakers…


    • Priit Kallas September 6, 2011 10:10pm

      Mooper, A) it really doesn’t matter what Google is seeking. People are losing interest. B) marketing point is valid but as we saw in Buzz case not enough. C) People are losing interest and this is very hard to regain. D) See B and C. E1) Come on! This is circular reference, it’s not used ’cause it’s not used. E2) There are 150 invites for every user that makes about 3,75 billion invites available in the first circle. Should be enough don’t you think. It’s NOT private beta. F) What was the sample size of your study? How did yo ensure the representativeness of the sample. G) I agree with you there, but so are hundreds of other geek sites.


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  11. work from home September 5, 2011 2:02pm

    Google+ has been just started and in beta version. We are comparing this with the most established networking sites. Google will definitely add up new apps and functionality in Google +.


    • Priit Kallas September 5, 2011 8:08pm

      work from home, we are not “comparing this with the most established networking sites”, we are comparing G+ with G+.


    • wikimice February 12, 2012 5:05am

      Beware of the big G… it’s coming for you….


  12. Lee September 7, 2011 5:05am

    I didn’t read every comment, so my apologies if someone already said this. But one HUGE reason for the dropoff in traffic is probably the stupid insistence on “legal name only, no nicknames, no online names”. People who have built their online reputations using a nickname, people who use nicknames to differentiate themselves from a gazillion other people with the same legal name, and (most importantly) people whose physical safety may be jeopardized by using their legal name — those people are backing off in disappointment, or just plain aren’t interested. Plus, y’know, the people who get their accounts suspended because their legal names aren’t white and European enough to pass Google+ “community standards”.

    This is a PR disaster, and Google is showing no interest in fixing it. And because of that, I’m using my G+ account a lot less than I was, and so are a lot of other people I know.


    • wikimice February 12, 2012 5:05am

      G+ is the next step in evolution…


    • wikimice February 12, 2012 5:05am

      Google >> Facebook… das ist the bottom line


  13. Mooper September 7, 2011 10:10am

    I’ll make my point another way: Consider the possibility that G+ is exactly what its name implies… an added layer of functionality, a “plus”, to existing Google products. In other words, it isn’t a dedicated social network, but a layer on top of what Google users already love. If this is true, Google has no reason to be concerned about a short term spike in interest followed by a waning period caused by a lack of critical mass. They can achieve that critical mass when the product is ready and they turn on the marketing machine for it. If everyone wakes up one morning and, with one click, they can turn on wild new features for their Gmail, YouTube, Chrome Browser, Android OS, Picasa, and so on… won’t they? Yes, Buzz was sort of like this (albeit it applied to just a couple of products, not all), but it was very different in that it didn’t do much. The actual functionality of G+ is *far* beyond Buzz, more usable than Wave, and so on. If just 50% of Google users say, “ok, upgrade my Google Account free to these new features”, you’ll have hundreds of millions of users versus the 25 million users we saw in the first round. And it is at that point it will catch on with the masses… mom and pop, if you will.


  14. Former Googler September 8, 2011 6:06pm

    I am really hoping this will be the end of this experiment for google. In trying to control every piece of information on the internet and by ignoring basic privacy rights, google has become the evil corporation they used to abhor. They want to BE the internet, and that’s a huge problem.

    It is sad, really, but I hope everything they do from here on out fails. God help us if they take over a telecom company.


    • minime January 18, 2012 5:05am

      Well, it’s better than Mark Z collecting your personal information for his benefit… I would prefer google to take over the world than FB.


  15. advertising November 2, 2011 11:11pm

    …That’s a lot of threats for the new Facebook’s competitor!
    I wonder how they will try to tackle the issues!

    I am personally not a big fan of Google + but the idea seemed great at the very beginning.


  16. BrokenEye November 3, 2011 11:11am

    Well that was completely predictable.

    Now if only there was some way to get all the other antisocial networking sites to fail as well. They don’t deserve the kind of success they’ve been having, what with contributing absolutely nothing useful or even positive to society.


    • Equipoise November 4, 2011 12:12am

      Excuse me Brokeneye, you want ALL the social networking sites to fail? Don’t like them? Don’t use them. People who don’t want other people to talk to each other usually have an agenda. On an individual basis (friends and family talking to each other, giving information, getting information, meeting new people) some social networking sites, mainly Facebook and Twitter, have been a wild success. As with anything, it’s all in how you use it, and what you want to give and get.


  17. Derek November 30, 2011 4:04pm

    As I’ve said elsewhere, G+ is FB designed by the guys from The Big Bang Theory. Technically great but almost totally unusable without major effort. Nothing is instinctive or easy the way good software should be. No amount of smokescreen from Google can disguise the fact that this isn’t working. And, now that businesses are using it as a channel, that’s all it is, another distribution channel.


  18. Diet Plans Hans December 12, 2011 4:04am

    Google+ isn’t failing! It’s just getting started!!!


    • Priit Kallas December 12, 2011 3:03pm

      Well, it may work out in the end as Google has billions to spend on it but it’s not a success they hoped for. I really would like to see competition in social networking field.


  19. DaisyD January 14, 2012 9:09am

    Google+ is simply not user-friendly, sorry… I had such hopes to see FB taken down by google+ but apparently, that is not gonna happen.


  20. wikimice February 12, 2012 5:05am

    Google is the future of this planet, embrace it…


    • Priit Kallas February 12, 2012 3:03pm

      Google+ may or may not make it as a social networking site, but google has a lot of power so it’ll try everything to make it work.


    • Massagista July 19, 2012 5:05am

      Good work! i love is site!


  21. baseball netting March 10, 2012 11:11am

    I think that there are just way too many social media that are available and people just simple can’t use them all in one day. Some people are probably content with FB and Google+ is just another outlet they can use if FB is not working for them.


  22. Travel insurance for seniors April 22, 2012 6:06am

    Since g +1 if from the big dog google, it may consider the freind requests as potential spam. Not considering the google wave but facebook has its own potential. I just love it, in other words i think not lot of people were attracted to google plus one. See alexa data incase to find the stastics


  23. John September 4, 2012 2:02pm

    Alexa data is so far off, we can hardly predict anything based on this figures..


    • Priit Kallas September 4, 2012 7:07pm

      Yes, we can if it’s just one site.


    • Mobile Casino September 14, 2012 2:02pm

      I believe that google+ will be the most popular social network in the world!


  24. اعلانات مبوبة January 1, 2013 5:05pm

    Some supporting data: According to analysis from Experian Hitwise, there was a 5.5% drop in U.S. visits last week to 1.16 million.


    • social work ceus February 5, 2013 8:08am

      That will be a good way to apply for since I will test with some important data.


    • Acheter Idol White Gel February 20, 2013 1:01pm

      What is the fall from google +? Not sure if that works.


    • business energy broker March 11, 2013 6:06am

      Many business people do marketing with these social media, which can get them good data for convert marketing to sales.


    • cheap car insurance April 3, 2013 12:12pm

      With Google behind Google+, I doubt Google+ will fail…


  25. ebrandz review April 9, 2013 1:01pm

    Thanks for sharing it. I found this Information very interesting and informative! Keep sharing!


  26. La Manga Club Villas April 19, 2013 3:03pm

    Google plus is very user friendly. Yes, it is simple unlike FB.


    • link building services May 21, 2013 9:09pm

      Where to check all things like these mistakes of google plus?


    • unter diesem Link June 11, 2013 10:10pm

      The new additions will make use of several of Google’s technology assets. For example, if someone posts a photo of the Eiffel Tower, Google Plus would use image recognition and the content from its Knowledge Graph (see “Google’s New Brain Could Have a Big Impact”) to recognize that it is the Eiffel Tower and add a tag.


  27. Gehe hier June 12, 2013 2:02am

    It’s been a great reading, you got pretty valuable info on the subject. Thanks for sharing it with us.


  28. cedar saunas May 16, 2014 10:10am

    We are comparing this with the most established networking sites.


  29. colleen failey May 24, 2014 8:08am

    google keeps asking me for my phone number, so i just stopped using google services.


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