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by Nathan S

The SEO firm BrightEdge has released data on how Google+ pages are being adopted in the early stages of the social network’s launch. The results were impressive: In the first week of Google+’s official launch, 61 of the top 100 brands in the US now have a Google+ page. For comparison purposes, 93 of those same top 100 brands have a Facebook page.

The truth is that adoption of Google+ pages by big brands is happening very quickly, in some part due to the supposed search benefits of the +1 button. Having the +1 option on your website requires it to be connected to a Google+ page, meaning that without a Google+ page, a business is missing out on any search benefits the +1 will provide.

By contrast, many of the top brands, which have millions of “fans” on Facebook, have relatively few followers on their Google+ page. Only Google itself has more than 50,000 Google+ fans, and one of the earliest adopters of the new social media platform, Ford Motors, has only about 28,000 fans, compared to nearly 5 million fans on Facebook. This is due to the relatively small size of Google+ when compared with the other social media giants: 40 million users on Google+ compared to 800 million on Facebook and 100 million on Twitter. However, with companies competing for +1s and attempting to engage the customer through those +1s, Google+ may see a surge of users yet, as +1ing a company requires a Google account. I expect that companies will start to push for this engagement metric harder than “likes” on a Facebook page, and this in turn might draw more users onto Google+, with users “following” their favorite companies onto the network.

Obviously, all this remains to be seen. Google+ could still be a resounding success or a smashing failure for the search engine giant—it’s too soon to tell.

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