Why the talk about a 60% traffic loss to Google+ is (probably) alarmist nonsense

Google PlusLet’s see now. Where to begin? It’s been reported elsewhere that traffic to Google+ has dropped off by as much as 60% when compared to the huge boost the social network got in the days after it went public on September 20 (reportedly a 1,200% traffic boost). The basic problem now is that some are flinging this number around as some kind of proof that Google+ is doomed to fail and can’t retain users. So, time to for a reality check.

First of all, that Google+ would receive a huge but temporary boost around that time was a given. Remember this worldwide Google+ promo that Google ran on all its search pages, including Google.com?

Google Plus promo on Google.com

If you do that on one of the world’s most trafficked sites, of course it’s going to have a huge effect. And conversely, of course most of those people will not stick around. It was like a huge, wide shotgun blast. Who didn’t want to check out what that huge blue arrow on Google.com was pointing at, regardless of what it was? It was begging, even pleading, for attention. Then add to this all the media buzz that surrounded it all, producing even more curiosity in this new Google initiative.

So let’s keep things in perspective. After a huge, artificially introduced peak there is bound to be a slope. Instead, we should be comparing Google+ traffic now with what it was like before that huge promotion, i.e. before Google+ went public and was showcased on Google.com.

We’re mixing data sources here so take this with a grain of salt, but if that 60% drop after the big boost is accurate, that just means the rise in traffic to Google+ has been reduced to a “mere” 500%. Oh, the horror.


  1. well they are working on apps support and it can launch any day now.

    apps account support is a little complicated as you have to provide more features for local collaboration AND ensure that administrators have complete power over what the users are capable of doing on the plus network.

    i bet they would have some awesome features reserved for the apps users. the wait should be worth it.

  2. the Google+ still looks geeky after being invitation only for a while, especially in a universal world of Facebook users. So it has an X-factor for general users, the traffic wouldn’t likely to jump up again.

  3. I do agree with some of the points you are saying but consider the following scenario:

    1) How many browsers do you ACTUALLY use REGULARLY?
    2) How many search engines do you consult your questions to, REGULARLY?

    Chances are both are just one. A matter of preference, performance or accuracy, but in the end it’s just one. So why do you expect users to move from Facebook to Google+?

  4. @Marco Berrocal,

    MySpace use to be the “in” thing. Eventually, Facebook will feel like MySpace to everyone. Kids will roll their eyes that their dinosaur parents are still using that ancient Facebook thing. Eventually, people will feel silly for still hanging onto Facebook and the exodus of users from Facebook to Google+ will continue. Facebook also helps people out by pissing off its users with unnecessary changes and increasingly complicated privacy changes.

    Then, when Google+ is number one, someone else will come along and what is new will be old again, and another exodus will take place. The fact of the matter is, no matter how amazing and “in” something is, people prefer change… even just for the sake of change itself.

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and not published in real time. All comments that are not related to the post will be removed.