Does Having a Google+ Matter?

Google Plus. What is there to be said about Google Plus? Do you “Plus?” Or is it “Google Plussing?” I bet you’re considering “Plus 1’ing” this right now. Or not. Are we all friends because of Ripples yet? We aren’t?? Well, dude, ride that Ripple right into my social circle and we’ll hang out and be BFFs with Matt Cutts and Weezy.  What a trip… Anyway, in all reality, what does Google+ do for us aside from being a proposed ranking factor and another social network utilized by industry heavy-hitters already making good on other social networks? Are we drinking the lemonade because we’re told to? Is it super vital to have a Google+ presence? (Wait, pass that lemonade. It tastes good. Is that strawberry?) LOLdog Google+ didn’t come out of the gates with a huge reception the same way as other social media networks. Sure, Twitter started slow, but once celebrity personalities and big businesses started 140-charactering to us and we all realized how easy it was to complain to airlines, the flood gates opened, and Twitter was the place to be. Same thing (sort of) happened when Facebook said, “Alright. You don’t have to be in college anymore to use this. Come one, come all, and share pictures of your nights of debauchery with your grandparents. Huzzah!” (Editor’s note: Remember, people. It’s called “tagging etiquette.”) Then you bring in Tumblr, Instagram, FourSquare, Pinterest, Vine, etc. The list goes on. But while these social networks exploded and millions and millions of people filled servers with cat gifs, pictures of their meals, and wedding inspiration boards, Google+ just was there. Still is, but it was, too. So why is it that Google, one of the largest entities that has ever graced this Universe in terms of their sheer power, has a social network that people are surprised “still exists?” Is it too industry-specific? Is Google+ really only for SEO and digital marketers to nerd out on? Does Google+ really have anything to do with rankings? Does Vic Gundotra know something we don’t about the future of Google+? It’s hard to imagine Google will pull the plug on this beast, especially when you look at some numbers from 2013.

google+ stats

Granted this infographic is from 2013, but how much could have really changed in less than a year? These numbers are insane. And which one of you is currently following Britney Spears? Show of hands… If these numbers aren’t enough, what about these?

  1. There are over 540 million active monthly users on Google+
  2. 1 BILLION people are registered on Google+
  3. 800,000 users join Google+ a month
  4. 1.5 billion photos uploaded a week
  5. +1 is clicked more than 5 billion times a day
  6. 70% of business brands have a presence on Google+
  7. 20 million unique mobile monthly users are on Google+
  8. 1,203 million monthly page visits to Google+
  9. 6.6 million users are located in the United States
  10. 68% of users are male

(Source) The long and short of it is, you have nothing to lose by joining Google+. Google+ is important to your brand. That much can be said. There are unanswered questions, sure, but so long as a social network built by the great overseer of the Internet exists, and they have these types of numbers to back up their efforts, you might as well get your profile up and running. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get dinged later for not having an active profile? But probably not. (We hope.) Maybe Bing will come out with something soon. Bing Bam? “Bam my article, man!” ….Wait, that doesn’t sound right.

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