The popularity of Google+ has showed dramatic growth recently, according to February 2012 analysis from Compete, which tracked the the landing page for the main feature of the social network, the +1 button (google.com/+1/button, or plusone.google.com), beginning in November 2011. The page drew over 40 million unique visitors in December alone, with more than 10 times that amount in visits, while also passing 3 billion page views.
Compete also looked at its panel of 2 million non-mobile US-based users, representing a 1% sample size for the US, to determine the website’s popularity among non-mobile users. The company found that Google+ has grown by about 40% for US non-mobile traffic in each of the primary metrics that shows website performance. In fact, in December, Google+ reached a new peak of 20 million unique visitors, 50 million visits, and 200 million page views.
Google+ ranked 9th in the top 10 social networking websites and forums in December 2011, with 0.41% share of US market visits, according to Hitwise data released in January 2012. This represents 24% growth in just one month, after earning 0.33% share of visits in November. In fact, in December, Google+ grew its share of US social networking site visits to rival myYearbook, in the process also halving its gap with LinkedIn from 0.3% points to just 0.15% points.
Google+ may not find its mark as a vehicle for tailored search results, though. According to an AYTM survey conducted in January 2012, just 7.5% of respondents said they would more inclined to use the social network if they knew they would get more tailored search results from doing so. By contrast, the vast majority (92.5%) said they were either ambivalent (48.1%) or not more likely (44.4%) to use the network to get more tailored search results.
Overall, 19.3% of the 400 US adults surveyed said they use Google+, although that was matched by the proportion (19.5%) who said they did not know what the social network was.
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