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Suddenly, Google+ Shows Signs of Becoming A Serious Social Network for Brands

Ever since Google rolled out a series of tools for business users, most notably its Google+ Pages, traffic on the network has grown, according to search engine watchers as well as more casual observers.

Three Recent Spikes

Interest in the network spiked immediately when Google first launched it this summer, then that interest gradually tapered off, according to Chitika. Then, another spike occurred – one that appears to be sustainable, Chitika now says.

This happened around Nov. 1, with the rollout of Google Reader integration to Plus, and the release of the latest user interface for the Google+ Android app.

On Nov 7, Google+ experienced a second spike in user activity when Pages was introduced. A third spike occurred on Nov. 14th, which Chitika attributes to a surge in publicity about Google – namely the brandjacking of Bank of America and an additional feature release.

Although the spikes in traffic are brief, “there is a clear cause and effect – traffic following these peaks in traffic is significantly higher than it was previously,” Chitika concludes. “This indicates that many of the new features instituted by Google may have effectively driven user engagement.”

First, Secure Your Google+ Page

Whether Google+ becomes a destination on par with Facebook remains to be seen. However, its traction is sufficient enough that brands need to take the site seriously if they haven’t already, Covario says, in a blog post.

“Google+ is undoubtedly a work in progress,” it says. “However, signs like effortless integration with the search engine through Direct Connect send clear indications that Google could very well look into making more of its other owned services like Checkout, Analytics and YouTube, into the social network. This could create a serious competitor to Facebook.”

If nothing else, Covario advises, secure your brand’s Google+ Page – a lesson brought home by Bank of America’s experience.  It also suggests that brands build links on the top 5 brand keywords targeting the official Google+ Page from the initial stage of creation to minimize any potential abuse from unofficial pages.

Third, it says, test optimized content across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ Pages to analyze impact on search engine rankings.

The Daria Musk Example

Daria Musk has amassed over 24,000 followers on Google+, using the tools that the site has released, illustrating the channel’s potential. She released a song called “+1 Me” that catered to users of Google+, writes Drew Orlanoff at the David Teich Tech Daily.

“Using the live video platform from Google+, Hangouts, Musk has been able to play hours of live music for an always changing audience,” he said.

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