Look, I love Google+. I know, I’m a rare bird that way. But I love the 10% SEO kiss I get from it, the Hangouts, the way it gives me Author Rank, and – truly – the people I chat with over there. They are often geeks like me, so we have a good time chatting about stuff that likely bores the average social media platform user (not to be all braggy; I’m just a nerd that way).
But a new study shows that despite its 100 million users, engagement on Google+ is actually really low.
Cue sad trombone.
- The average post has less than one +1, less than one reply, and less than one re-share.
- 30% of users who make a public post never make a second one. Even after making five public posts, there is a 15% chance that a user will not post publicly again.
- Among users who make publicly-viewable posts, there is an average of 12 days between each post
- A cohort analysis reveals that, after a member makes a public post, the average number of public posts they make in each subsequent month declines steadily. This trend is not improving in newer cohorts.
An article in Fast Company shares Google’s response to the study, and it brings up a very valid point:
“By only tracking engagement on public posts, this study is flawed and not an accurate representation of all the sharing and activity taking place on Google+,” the spokesperson said. “As we’ve said before, more sharing occurs privately to circles and individuals than publicly on Google+. The beauty of Google+ is that it allows you to share privately — you don’t have to publicly share your thoughts, photos or videos with the world.”
Good point; if you looked at my public Facebook activity, it would look like I spend very little time on the platform. However, I’m in many private groups where I’m extremely active, but there is no way that a service like RJ Metrics could see that. I do the vast majority of my chatting on Google+ either privately or within my circles and not in the public stream, so there’s no way to know if this survey actually proves a damn thing.
The truth is, the benefits of Google+ might not lie in engagement anyway. But even so, it’s clear that you ignore Google+ at your peril.
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