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Google+ Proclaimed Dead. Is This a Fair Assessment?

Has Google+ peaked or is it just getting started?

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Google+ Proclaimed Dead. Is This a Fair Assessment?
[ Social Media]

Google+ is dead,” proclaims Dan Reimold, writing for PBS MediaShift. “At worst, in the coming months, it will literally fade away to nothing or exist as Internet plankton. At best, it will be to social networking what Microsoft’s Bing is to online search: perfectly adequate; fun to stumble onto once in awhile; and completely irrelevant to the mainstream web.”

Ouch, Bing’s really taking a verbal beating this week.

Do you think Google+ is dying? Let us know in the comments.

This is surely not the first time someone has declared Google+ to be dead. In fact, people have pretty much been saying it since the service launched. While it was pretty well received right out of the box, there were always those pointing to Google Wave and Google Buzz, saying that Google+ would just be another failure (though Buzz is actually still alive. I’d be interested to know some current user stats on that).

To be sure, Google+ faces an uphill battle in some ways. Facebook, the reigning king of social networks has not only made significant changes of late, which eliminate Google’s edge in some areas, namely, the Circles area. It’s basically just as easy now on Facebook to share things with select groups of people and know who you’re sharing them with. You can even follow the public posts from people’s personal profiles without them being your friend.

From the sound of it, it is Facebook that is really just getting started. The company’s developer conference, f8, is this week, and Facebook is expected to make some major announcements, which add up to a profile redesign, making the user’s profile a hub for content consumption – including music, TV shows and movies – and new buttons to accompany the “like” button. These will reportedly be “Read,” “Listened,” and “Watched.” People love sharing the stuff they read, listen to and watch, and these buttons will probably be quite popular, and keep people even more engaged with Facebook than they are now, which is already a lot.

Google only just released its first Google+ API last week, opening the door for developers to make Google+ more useful. That will be amplified even more as Google launches more APIs for it. And it’s not as if Google doesn’t keep launching new features and tweaks for Google+ (in fact, they just announced more today). That hardly holds up to Reimold’s Bing argument. Bing regularly adds new features too, but on the other hand, Bing does continue to gain market share month to month, as little as that may be.

Games will also get better with more API access. Then there’s the fact that Google hasn’t launched the brand profiles yet.

“To be clear, I do not buy the beta argument anymore,” says Reimold. “G+ still being in beta is like Broadway’s ‘Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark’ still being in previews. It has premiered. Months have passed. Audiences have tried it. Critics have weighed in. It is a show — just not a very entertaining one.”

It doesn’t help things when media reports come out about CEO Larry Page not having posted anything to Google+ in a month. Of course, the fine print is that he hasn’t posted anything public, and why should that matter? He’s the CEO of Google. He probably has a lot of things to say that aren’t meant for public consumption, especially given all of the government scrutiny the company continues to attract. That’s why there’s PR. But perception conveys something along the lines of “Not even Google is using Google+“. That’s certainly not the case, because I have a circle of Googlers, and many are very active.

That said, I log on to Google+ on a daily basis, and I don’t talk a lot on it (that’s mostly because my real friends are mainly talking on Facebook). I read things others have to say though. I see interesting content that they share. I use it basically like I’ve always used Twitter, and why neither has become a replacement for Facebook, I’ve managed to keep them both in my rotation. There is a whole lot more tweeting going on than Google+ing, however.

That’s not good news for Google search. As you may know, Twitter and Google severed their realtime search ties. Google no longer gets that Twitter firehose to offer realtime tweets in any given web search. That sucks. Google wants to just use Google+ instead, and while that may be useful from time to time, it’s no replacement for Twitter. Not by a long shot. It doesn’t look like it’s on pace to be anytime soon either. So that’s another reason why Google needs Google+ to be successful.

Google doesn’t need Facebook user numbers to be successful. If nothing else, Google+ can just serve as another way to keep people using other Google services more. As it continues to be integrated into Google’s portfolio of products in more ways, it’s just one more link in the Google chain. The profiles are in search results. It’s not about how much content any person is cranking out on Google+. It’s about identity. We’ve covered this before. Google+ gives you a way to share content if you want, but in the end, it’s about identity, which means it’s about the real Google profile – the Google account. I think Google is doing pretty well in numbers there.

That should help with Google’s efforts in revolutionizing commerce, which just launched this week in a limited capacity.

Google+, the social element, is just a piece of a much grander picture. If Google+ fails, Google will just look for more ways to make the Google ACCOUNT cool. So far, Google has a pretty good track record with that. See: search personalization, Gmail, Picasa, YouTube, Google Docs, Google Apps, Google Reader, etc.

One last side note: eMarketer just shared an interesting graph based on info from Zoomerang, indicating that SMB decision makers in the U.S. use Google+ more than even YouTube and company blogs for marketing:

SMB social media marketing

Will Google+ survive? How much does it matter? Tell us what you think.

Google+ Proclaimed Dead. Is This a Fair Assessment?
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  • http://top10cdrates.wordpress.com/ Top CD Rates

    Google shot themselves in the foot by not opening it faster to the public. It is silly to not open the gates and the delay may be what kills it.

    • http:www.mlmconsultant.com ROD COOK

      It is great! A networking social community for techies and geeks! We love it!

  • http://www.the-system.org The System

    Google+ dead? Did it ever get born? The only people who can be bothered with it are marketers who just want to self promote their own sites, looking at the SERPS.
    Google should stick to what it knows best!

    • http://adeeljanjua.com Ali

      The SERPs part won’t work that way. It only affects the SERPs for logged-in users who have have someone in their network who +1′d a site for it to affect any rankings whatsoever.

      I think it’s a great idea but yes, mostly marketers IMO are interested in it so far. I guess that is Google would want it.

      I would love to hear about some success stories of how come marketer did actually manage to generate a +1 bait.

      Thanks for a great post.

  • http://EMCSWebMarketing.com Howard Frisvold

    Google will never make it as a main stream search engine……. Google’s Android will never catch up to Windows CE or put a dent in Blackberry…
    So hearing statements like Google+ is dead will fit right into the future history of Google.

  • http://motorcyclebootsforwomen.com papamike69

    I have a Google+ account. i was asked to add friends I tried my yahoo acount my MSN account and all it did find friends to ad to circles but non of them have a Google account. I could contact each one and make sure they get a gmail account and set up their Google+ account but then again why should I do Googles work for them. All my 10,000 plus friends are on FB. Hummmmmmmmm!

  • mark

    How can Google+ ever work when they don’t even give you access to it hoe can I say if it is good or bad until I get to try it. If they want to get any where let Google users try it as t least.

  • http://www.hub-uk.com David Jenkins

    Interesting. My initial feeling about Google + was why would anyone bother but what do I know compared to brains working for Google. However because of the effects of Google Panda I could not afford to ignore anything which Google might be using in search rankings so I installed it across my whole site in June.

    In the last month my site has had two people give me a Google +. I think there are about 4,963 pages.

    I thought it might just be that my site is crap but this give me some hope. Of course Google + might fail and my site still be crap!

  • http://www.modeltrainhobbyist.com Lionel Bachmann @ Model Trains

    I think Facebook will remain the place to go for friends to connect; it has been the dominant place for social networking for years. Google+ will probably be for professionals, and companies to market themselves and their brand, and for posting content.

  • http://online-marketing.vizfact.com/ VizFact

    The hell with G+, I am not even interested anymore because of the closed nature of it. It would be cool to be a member and watch as it improves, but those idiots are acting as if it’s a million dollars in thaaaar, fawk um.

    The sizzle has cooled. Let then die.

  • http://www.hub-uk.com David Jenkins

    The BBC thinks differently:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14985494

  • http://www.centauria.com/ Centauria Vancouver

    Still very early in the game, BUT it’s a bit inconvenient to move to a new place when you’ve got hundreds or thousands of friends on FB and most of us do by now. I think it was a mistake by Google+ to wait too long and then to confront Facebook so openly by exploiting FB’s privacy vulnerability with “who-to-share-this-with” settings. FB fixed it in a moment by adding new sharing options and Google+ lost their edge in that same moment. They would probably do much better by putting a very different twist on Google+, by targeting Google+ at businesses and brands that are still largely uncovered by SM and distancing themselves as much as possible from FB, not confronting it.

  • http://www.Worldhyundaimatteson.com Chicago Hyundai Dealer

    A bit early to to pronounce them dead…perhaps things will change when business accounts are allowed.

    • http://www.webstoreseo.com Jeff Fagan

      I agree. Way too early. That said, they have a long, hard uphill battle. I think business accounts will be helpful towards their goal.

  • J Ron

    I don’t know, I think facebook‘s time will come. Can’t last forever and was never that good anyway. I, for one, think people are ready for something fresh. G+ started out strong and although the more ‘tuned in’ adopted early, it will take time for it to catch on with the masses.

    • http://www.icbbs.com StevenH

      I agree completely. Facebook is heavy, hard to navigate without GPS and has never been intuitive. G+, on the other hand, is light and quick. East to navigate and intuitive — besides angry birds followed us there — and will begin to do the domination creep if FB doesn’t parlay.

  • bdacosta

    whose Bing and what to do they do except show up on my screen annoyingly without being invited..to me they’re just a pain in the ass.

  • zuhri

    I love google, my only source income is from Google adsense. But yeah…, Google+ is dead (very soon). Just like any other google products, orkut, answers, etc.

    I have 500+ friends on facebook, only one of them using Google+, and not very active. That tells you something!!

  • http://cozumelmexico.net Bob Rodriguez

    Yep, it’s going nowhere. Google is full time search. Facebook is full time social media.

  • http://www.whatshakin.com Logan Weiler III

    I had high hopes for G+, invited everyone I could, and then realized I was performing CPR on an already dead network. It’s just dead.

  • http://outsource.techndu.com bob massa

    all they need to do is start adding relevancy to facebook posts and facebook will get spammed beyond recognition(as if it could get worse)
    instead they seemed determined to slit their own throat by adding the relevancy to their own social signals. This will put the +button most prominently on the lowest quality content online. the worse the affiliate site, the more + they’ll pimp

  • Victor Latazia

    We originally likes the idea of Google having a social network but no one I know was on it. I actually just joined Fandustry.com and it’s refreshing. There are some bands on it and since getting the email about this no name site, it’s growing. I now have fans and am fans of some cool new bands. I was never into twitter but Facebook & Fandustry are my picks for favorite social networks. I hope to meet more people on Fandustry, it’s a awesome concept!

  • http://www.Lexingtonrealestatesearch.com Whitney Pannell

    Excellent post , Chris. I can tell you spent a lot of time writing it. I don’t think mainstream america will ever adopt to G+ . why should they make a change if all their friends are on Facebook. I think the techno geeks will continue to love and embrace G+. I have learned a lot from following the “guru’s” on G+. I think it will grow and prosper amongst a different segment than the Facebook crowd.

  • http://www.seolatinoi.com Rafael Montilla

    Most of the users of Google+ are geeks or anyone related to Internet marketing.

    There is a very few of my friend that use it, they said the advantage of Twitter over Google+, It is that twitter is much more simple to use, and Facebook is more popular.

    Remember people does not like to think too much.

  • http://woodlandsadagency.com Houston Advertising Agency

    17% market share after being live for less than a year? I highly doubt Google + is dead. If anything, it’s on a rise. Just wait until their android app gets downloaded by more people. It’s a good concept that should be here to stay! And why not? Who DOESN’T like Google? (Yahoo, Facebook, and Bing, please lower your hands!)

    • David

      Who DOESN’T like Google? That’s the funniest question I’ve heard in awhile, lol. That sounds like a question an advertising agency handling large amounts of their customers money for adwords would ask IMO. Hmmm…wonder what you do?

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    It’s dead, Jim. But hand me a hypo spray and maybe I can make the corpse talk for a while.

    • Tracey Sheets

      LOL

  • http://www.icbbs.com StevenH

    Your graph says it all. For Google + to already have 17% of market share (by invite basis) tells me that it’s just getting started. People who are anchored on FB will tout the death of it, but that’s irrational IMHO. If anything FB will have to scramble in order to defend their ground. Google has acquired them as a target, so it better be a hail mary touch down.

  • http://www.sarcinapesaptamani.ro Sarcina

    G+ it’s a great ideea, but Facebook will dominate. G+ is just for a small part of the people, for the rest is dead.

  • Rosa S.

    And the domino effect begins. So Google closed Slide’s products (SPP included) to focus on Google plus and their games and now the site is dying o.O This shows how bad of a move it was.

  • http://www.azimuthsix.com Todd

    yes, dead and dying. We have actually witnessed our click through rates on our clients site drop by factors of 20% minimum after the implementation. Google + is useless, no matter who the driving force is behind it. Our data shows again and again that it does nothing but perpetuate the search engine manipulation that our “friends” at google are famous for.

  • Alexandra Glenn

    It’s too soon to tell. It hasn’t even been three months yet. It just opened to the public and isn’t even open to businesses yet. I think it’s premature to say that it is dead. A lot of my friends aren’t on it either but, I remember when Facebook had just started and everyone was still using Myspace. A lot of people may not leave Facebook but from a business standpoint it’s too valuable to be dead.

  • http://www.myblindbiz.com Steven K. Dale

    If I needed another Face Book I would ask for one. Since I didn’t hear anyone asking, I can assume there was no need for one.

    This could be a fun blog posting What would you like from Google?

    I’m starting to think Social media is way over done and over blown. Attaching SERP’s to social media is un-necessary. It’s not relevant and too simple to manipulate.

    • David

      Ah, finally it’s stated correctly! I worked with social networking to promote my sites and business and the results relating to search engine ranking have been nothing compared to the time and energy that should have been used for fresh content, quality linking, and general seo work. I noticed it seemed to be strong at first and then sort of died out as far as results (must have been another google algorithym shake up) along the way. Thank you for the realistic post!

  • Jerry Matacale

    I’ve been trying to get a Google+ account for months thru various means, without success. Apparently missing the initial launch and getting invited by someone already in was the
    kiss of death? What the h*ll is up with that!? When is Google goin to open back up for new
    Members?!

    Can offer an opinion as to whether is it alive or dead… To me it hasn’t even been born yet!!!

  • http://www.myvishwa.com Mandar

    Google+ using www.myvishwa.com circle concept which is there for more than last three years. They pickup the circle idea along with name.

  • http://www.honestgamers.com/ Jason Venter

    There may be something to claims that the service is dying. You noted pretty much everything I’d want to say in your write-up, Chris, so all I can add is that personally I keep forgetting Google+ even exists except when I check other Google services and see the little bar at the top of the screen that reminds me. I think other services will continue to be what makes or breaks Google+. I also agree that being in beta this long isn’t working. Sites do this all the time and remain in beta for years sometimes, but Google+ can’t get away with it because now “beta” is sucking any momentum and it’s keeping people from joining. The longer my friends aren’t on Google+ because they haven’t been invited or aggressively courted, the longer the service has to cement itself in my mind as “the place where none of my friends are,” and that’s not doing it any favors.

  • http://www.regalcars.com Art

    Haha. Facebook is going to be releasing music, movies and profile customization? Shall we call it MySpace 2.0?

  • Adriana

    Too soon to tell , but dead or dying … No way , most of the people which have some kind of internet exposure will be there at least the tipical company pages for sure

  • http://adscendmedia.com Jeremy

    I never expected real success from G+ and I don’t think it will ever reach it. The statement that G doesn’t need FB users is ok, if their expectations were that, but they weren’t. They wanted to be a new, hipper version of FB and they’re going to fail at it. Because fact is, as much as FB users complain about FB, they’re not ready to jump ship or post their status on two things at once. FB is where everyone is and posting on G+ is like talking to yourself, so I don’t think that will change.

    Also, personally, I find G+ to be very odd and unintuitive.

  • Kipp Hollingsworth

    From somebody who uses it multiple times a day, every day I would say it is a long way from death. If anything, I use Facebook about 70% less now than I did before.

  • David Clark

    I have had Google+ for some time now but can’t get others interested in joining… Facebook has way too much hold on social networking… Everything thing else is a step down, maybe several steps down… So in answer to your question, yes Google+ is dead…

  • http://www.websearchengine.ca Organic SEO

    I’ve been interested in finding out whether or not my blog would benefit, pagerank wise, from linking my site websearchengine.ca to google profile and so I created my account few weeks ago. I instantly tried to register for +Google but was decline enrollment as it was in beta phase. Funny just today I got an invitation to join +Google and hours later I got this newsletter posing the question whether or not +Google is dead. I hope not, but since I am very involved with using other Google products, such as webmaster tool, adsense, gmail, calendar, google profile, and adwords. +Google, for me anyway, seems like a good addition to the mix. I hope it stays around because while facebook is great for personal use, I find it clumsy for business. To use it for promoting your business you have to create a ‘page’ and you can’t friend others on ‘pages’ instead visitors need to ‘like’ it and that’s it …. Dean.

  • David

    I’ve said itbefore and I’ll say it again especially in this smoke and mirrors venue.

    “As long as Google continues to crap on small businesses with algorithym changes that undermine the hard work and advertising finances Google will continue to decline in the search engine business. These small business owners will continue to communicate with their family and friends regarding the constant disregard and lack of customer support and with this there will be no success in additional services in any other areas, at least not for long.”

    My business thrives off of Bing and Yahoo search engines and any small business owner that tries to rely on Google for their website presence will go broke before the phone rings. It’s just that simple. Most small businesses markets are local. The only reason Google has not declined at a faster rate is due to global websites. Sit back and watch. If Google does not shift some emphasis toward local small businesses in the area of relevance and customer service they will be just another whore for big corporations and eveyone not looking for the ATT website to pay their cell phone bill will be searching via Bing.

    • Pete

      Totally agree with this comment. I was a Google fan until I started doing business with them through my small business. My kids and family all know my thoughts about Google now days and isn’t what you would want.

  • http://www.ferreemoney.com/ Video Ranker

    Google Plus ain’t dead, but it lacking in many ways compared to Facebook. It’s strange that a core SEARCH capability is still in the “coming soon” mode? You would think Eric S. would have had more in place before releasing v1 and their early api set just came out. If G+ isn’t careful even this new social network will turn to dust as did G-Wave and Buzz

  • Sean

    Chris, thanks for the G+ invite!

    I think it’s good and definitely not dead. Invite-only for so long is pretty foolish. They should open it up ASAP.

    It’s going to take some time. I never even saw Wave before they killed it.
    They should open this sucker up and steadily improve it! I think it’s going to be a viable service at some point… It is hard getting people to come aboard though…

    I like the photo upload from android… It makes photo sharing very easy.

    I’m looking forward to the future of G+. I hope they don’t pull the plug. It would be very foolish.

  • http://www.hotelprismacusco.com/ Shomara

    It’s going to take some time. I never even saw Wave before they killed it.

  • TBolt

    The only thing Google+ is missing is PEOPLE. Now that, apparently, anyone can join without an invite @ google.com/+ , the site can finally spread its wings. It’s going to be hard, though, to give casual and hardcore Facebook users an incentive to change.

    If Google+ fails with the mainstream crowd, it could be the foundation of an amazing add-on feature for Google Apps.

  • http://www.LAokay.com Steven

    I see it as Google has this huge team devoted to search and not so large teams devoted to anything else, and as such new features and updates to existing products and services will take a lot more time to develop and test before being released to the public. If Google+ were really still in beta, I would expect Google to still have the Beta sign up. Instead it’s past it’s initial beta, and now it’s working on new stuff since they have a base of a site and membership to be able to test out new features that get out of Alpha testing and can move into Beta testing with the public.

  • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

    Google+ will keep growing for as long as all you Google guys keep growing your “in” “chin-beards”.

  • possoms

    Boo on Google+, I joined caz I was thinking Google would bring Superpoke pets to its gaming part. But NO!!! Google is killing our pets on March 6th. I will not use google any longer as of that date. I will remove my Chrome, my search engines and leave anything Google in the dark. Shame on Google for giving us hope then killing our dreams.

  • http://www.manutdreds.com Spangle

    I’m using Google plus mainly because it’s a better system than Facebook,Facebook likes do not improve your Google ranking,and do not aid your SERPs, whilst + does.

    Facebook as a site is terrible to navigate and is a total waste of time when trying to attract members to forums or websites.

    I’ll stick with +

    Spangle
    HTTP://www.manutdreds.com
    Manchester United Blog and forum.

  • http://elseidy14.blogspot.com/ amr elsaide

    مشاهده,بث مياشر,مباريات,الدورى الانجليزى,الدورى الاسبانى,الدورى المصرى,الدورى السعودى,جمبع الدوريات العربيه والاوروبيه

  • http://www.12caliber.com shanker

    google +1 will live if they make it in a way that we as people dont have to sign in to our accounts so we can start rating .
    i think they should make there tracking system in another way without forcing the customers or people to make a google account .
    i wish luck for everyone in the world….
    best regards
    shanker

  • http://www.jacksononthemoon.com Sharon J

    As far as I am concerned Google+ was never useful. I actually have a life and a business to run. I use social media as well as I am able and also to keep in touch with friends. But if Google thinks I want to learn a whole new skill set and who is going to go in what freaking circle, they are crazy.

    I will learn it if they pay me all the money I will not make while I am learning it and using it. None of my friends are on it anyway, so I would be out there in cyberspace all alone. How sad is that???

  • http://www.nautical-gifts.us Nautical Decor

    It would be nice to see Google+ survive, Facebook is a pretty big deal to crack, I do not think they can do it.

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