Why Are Marketers and Businesses Ignoring Google Plus?


Google Plus

…and when will that change ?

There’s a strange thing happening on Google. Despite the huge press for Google Plus and its incredible, unprecedented growth, marketers and businesses don’t seem to care about it. Yes, there are some great Google Plus business pages being created but the collective market just isn’t interested (at least not yet). Why do I say that?

No one searches for it!

There’s a noticeable lack searches for “Marketing on Google Plus” and “Google Plus For Business” as compared to similar searches for other social media platforms and internet marketing terms. This implies that most people are not yet interested in learning the best ways to market on Google Plus or to use Google Plus for business (and yes, I tried googleplus and google+).

Take this example below. Marketing on Facebook has 110,000 searches a month versus a measly 720 per month for Marketing on Google Plus!

marketing on social media platforms

No one advertises for these terms except Google itself!

In addition, no one seems to be advertising for these terms. Google itself seems to be the sole advertiser for both “Marketing on Google Plus” and “Google Plus for Business”. This implies that marketers don’t have much to sell related to these terms or to consider these terms very valuable as of yet. Notice on the “Facebook for business” search results page below these that the ads are not necessarily all for Facebook. Some are for social media marketing in general.

Google Plus for Business Search Results Page

* Low traffic now but we’re happy that our last Google Plus for Business post is on page 1!

Marketing On Google Plus

As compared to “Facebook For Business”

Facebook for business has plenty of action from advertisers. This is a thriving marketplace.

Facebook for business search results page

So when will Google Plus take off for business?

I took a look at the search and news metion trends for Google Plus, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for both the “marketing on” phrase and the “for busines” phrase. I also did some research to get some rough users numbers to plot against those trends.

Social Media marketing trends graph

Social media for business trends graph

Some conclusions:


  • “Facebook marketing” and “Facebook for business” searches dominate as compared to YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus.
  • Searches and news about “marketing” on platforms typically precedes the “for business” searches and news. In the case of Google Plus this seems to be the case, but the marketing searches seem to have petered out while the “for business” searches have been much more pronounced.
  • Significant press coverage seems to lag large volumes of searches by quite a few months or years.
  • Twitter got a lot of searches and press coverage for both areas when it was in the 10-20 million users stage (2009).
  • Facebook had it’s big bump  in “marketing” searches in late 2007 when it had about 50 million users and “for business” in early 2009 after it passed 100 million users.
  • “YouTube marketing” searches started in 2007 as it dominated all of the other video sharing platforms. “YouTube for business” searches get big much later – in 2009.
  • “LinkedIn Marketing” searches started growing significantly in 2009 as it approached 50 million users. “Linkedin for Business” searches didn’t get big until 2011 (but maybe because people know it’s “for business” already)

Google Plus is growing amazingly fast

Google has so many ways to cross-promote the platform, some people are looking for an alternative to Facebook and there has been a lot of buzz about the platform. All this has driven people to Google plus at unprecedented rates (see graph below).

It took just 88 days for Google Plus to get to 50 million users!

It took Myspace 1046 days, Twitter 1096 days, Facebook 1325 days and LinkedIn 2354 days.

(Sources: read more from Leon Haland and Paul Allen here)

When will people start to care about Google Plus for marketing & business?

So when will the tipping point for Google Plus for business and marketing happen? Is it when the system gets more user-friendly? Is it when Google Plus adds more functionality that businesses can use for promotion? Is it based on a certain critical mass of users? Is it when Google puts robust advertising options into Google Plus? Is it when third party tools can start to deliver Google Plus management and automation options?

What do you think? Why don’t businesses and marketers care about Google Plus and when will this change?

Click here for an interesting article and discussion on Why Google+ is an Inevitable Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy on Copyblogger.

Other sources used:

Tom Treanor is the founder of the Right Mix Marketing blog. He’s the author of the Search Engine Boot Camp, the co-author of Online Business Productivity, and regularly speaks at industry and corporate events. His writing has been featured on the Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and other leading industry blogs.


  1. What an interesting post! Maybe many people feel as I do. I feel that more of the people I want to talk to or share with are on Facebook and Twitter and not so much on Google+, so why spend much time there or advertise? I also think that we are so used to these other platforms sometimes it’s hard to switch.
    When it comes to advertising we want to make sure that we are reaching who we want and maybe that isn’t yet so on Google+.
    Susan Newman recently posted..Social Media Wakeup Call: Content May Be King, But Branding is Queen!My Profile

    1. Susan. Yes, I agree. I think it’s new, people are on overload from all the other platforms and it’s not clear yet (other than “content marketing”) how to reach the audience. I’m surprised the numbers are so low though. Thanks for the comment!

  2. I’d have to agree with Susan. Maintain another social outlet for your business? Keeping everything updated (Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) AND put out an e-newsleter AND write a weekly blog…when to do the production side of the business? Especially if you’re a one-woman show? I just started a Google+ business page, but unless G+ can show distinct advantages over FB, et al, AND my followers start showing up on G+, my G+ business page just isn’t going to get that much attention.

    1. Holly – yep, I think you hit the nail on the head. Small and large businesses seem to have a wait and see attitude at this point!

    2. I agree, there are not enough hours in the day to keep up with all the social media for a small business. What i think Google+ has got going for it is the connection to Google’s data, the android and gmail contacts associated with google accounts.

      I recently created a page for my small business and am still confused as to what the best practice is for creating content with the business’s name on it or with mine. Also blogger blogs can only be connected to a person’s google+ account. So in the end the ‘business as a seperate identity’ is lost. Are they actively saying that it is better to designate an individual as a ‘Host’ for business content and representation?

  3. I really enjoyed your insights. I have had a few clients mention Google+, but only in the context of ‘what, another thing to maintain and pay attention to?’. The thing you brought up that I hadn’t even considered is the absence of advertisers. It seems to me that this is an opportunity for marketeers to create and promote produces at low entry prices. Your post has motivated me into action.

    1. Thank Rick! Yes, people are feeling around the edges but the low volume of searches seems to indicate businesses are not really seriously looking yet. If they were, they’d be saying “how do I market in google plus now!”. Good luck with the opportunity there – I agree!

    1. Yes Kristofer – clearly Facebook is the huge marketing target right now. I suppose that’ll change but only when Google Plus goes mainstream. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  4. We have a Google Plus page and a Facebook page for our online watches retailer. Facebook is touching 7000 followers, but Google Plus barely registers any. I feel a push coming on before Google Plus gets a higher profile in the search results.

    1. Hey Rich, thanks for sharing your story. Yes, there are order of magnitude differences in terms of what you can get from Facebook now versus Google Plus (in terms of engagement/followers). It’ll be interesting to see how Google Plus will evolve to get everyday people more involved.

  5. I agree with Susan!I have my Facebook profile and a facebook fanpage with few fans yet and a large amount of followers on Twitter. To be honest, I had enough with social media when Google Plus was launched and I feel I didn’t need another profile and another social network to manage, also because a lot af audience is still on Facebook. Anyway, now with the new Google Plus improvement, I’m trying to post interesting and different content and I’m attracting followers on Twitter and then I tell them to follow me on Facebook and Google Plus. I think Google Plus is great to share photos because I love the design, simple and minimal and also to share small blog post.
    Patrizia Corriero recently posted..I’m comingMy Profile

  6. Howdy Tom,

    You know I have an aversion to social networks, and Google+ fits in that “circle” – so I haven’t checked it out much. But it seems to me that mainstream business lags behind the pack when it comes to adopting platforms. Maybe there isn’t a lot of value in “figuring it out” when they aren’t sure it’s going to stick around. Or just the pack mentality… jump on when everyone else does because then it must work…

    Michael Alexis recently posted..How Neil Patel Makes Millions From QuicksproutMy Profile

    1. Hey Michael. I just noticed this unanswered comment. I know your aversion to social media. I think this will be an interesting one. I sense that the momentum is not living up to Google’s hopes and I’m not sure if it will go mainstream without some heavy-handed Google efforts. We’ll see. Thanks for the comment!

  7. I’d be willing to delve into Google+, but I’m honestly not sure what to do with it. I don’t want to spend a lot of time figuring it out when I could be investing time in other social media with guaranteed ROI. It’d be helpful if there was a step-by-step guide out there to help me, but I haven’t found one yet!
    Keri recently posted..Suzanne Valadon, self-taught artist of Bohemian ParisMy Profile

    1. Keri, there are some step-by-step guides out there on blogs if you do a search or go to Chris Brogan’s site – he may have one. Chris has also written the first (I think) book on Google Plus for Business. I think I may curate a set of Google Plus articles as I’m sure people would love to know more! Thanks for dropping by.

  8. Its only a matter of time before businesses begin to understand the benefits of GooglePlus. It is good to hear that G+ is growing, Soon businesses will realize that G+ will be the most effective way to gain an online presence. In terms of online activity Google is in complete control of where online searching is headed. This makes G+ the most effective way to ensure that your business is recognized online. G+ allows organization within the business as well, you can separate different departments of a business into circles and instead of using email you can share information with each circle. Instead of spending money on travel you can host a hangout. G+ not as a social media, I would hate to see G+ turn into the next Facebook. G+ if used effectively will allow business to increase their online presence.

    1. Charles, those are some great points about Google Plus and the potential it has. Yes, it does control the future of search so that’s a very important point. I’ve heard some people refer to it as a “look-alike” of Facebook. I’m not sure where they’re coming from and I agree with you that it would be better if it was unique and differentiated from Faceboook. The features they’re adding will mostly likely help them do that. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Marketing can be costly. Access to the main social media sites is free, so the financial costs of using Twitter and Facebook are mainly in terms of man hours.

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