Great gratitude to +Mark Traphagen for sharing this! I love +Mike Elgan's rational 'defense' of the platform. A good discussion worth taking the time to view and consider…



This Week in Google on “Is Google+ Dead or Dying?” Fascinating and lively…
This Week in Google on “Is Google+ Dead or Dying?” Fascinating and lively discussion starts at 40:54 by +Leo Laporte, +Mike Elgan, +Danny Sullivan and… – Mark Traphagen – Google+

Originally posted to Google+

17 thoughts on “Is Google+ Dead or Dying?

  1. +Mark Traphagen​​ oh come on… your outfit's study basically confirmed the view of (public) ghost town, no? You're hanging your hopes on an unspecified number of "lurkers" and non-public posters, that from Eric Enge's own data I just don't see very much evidence for:If there were a lot more (daily or near-daily) lurkers, then there should be a lot more plusones. If there were many more private-only posters, then they should have more followers showing, and more views than what can easily be explained through g+ follow recommendations attempts (of largely inactive profiles, if we can go by our own experiences).

  2. For the moment, "Google+ is the last legitimate shortcut in seo" according to +David Amerland — a source in whom I deeply trust. Even if it were true that Google+ is a ghost town, Google Search is not and the two are intertwined in a way that only people like +Rand Fishkin, +Eric Enge, +Mark Traphagen and David understand. I'll take their insights over the so-called insights of the Forbes writer any day.

  3. +Todd Lohenry what people who look at our study forget is that it makes no attempt to measure the comments and +1s that take place here.People who do these things but don't post will be greater in number than those who post. Same as it is on ANY social network.There is also the notion of private posting. I am unconvinced that this as large as many suggest, but don't dispute that there will also be many who post only privately.

  4. +Eric Enge Good points, Eric. Also, I'm grateful that Google Plus is not Facebook — the world only needs one social network like that! I'm quite happy with the people I meet and the interactions I have in Google Plus and Twitter and the residual seo benefits of being active in both of those networks…

  5. +Todd Lohenry I've never questioned the seo angle. That carrot was always there (even though authorship got rolled back to a large extent…), and it was always surprising to me that it didn't create more pull for brands/news-brands/SMBs. Only real explanation was the strange vacuum/irritation created by the "brandgate" move during the first few weeks of the launch, and then burying the finally launched pages under way too many rules/restrictions to work well (very few without sul boosts ever got very far).

  6. +Eric Enge​ in case you see this, maybe you could still answer the few questions I posed to you over on Mark's (second) share of your study some days back, regarding two details about the users/view count numbers in your third chart.You appear to be echoing my sense that evidence for massive "lurker" use extremely slim at best, and for massive private posting even slimmer.

  7. +Alex Schleber I do think the attempted measurement of using view counts is a pretty crude one. That test did show that there is not some huge groundswell of people who NEVER post publicly, and only post privately. However, I can't treat it as conclusive.An important note I saw elsewhere, was that on Twitter when people who reply to tweets, that gets seen as a separate post. Not so on Google+.So there remain difficulties in making an apples to apples comparison.Nonetheless, I stand by my opinion that with G+ we have a network that is smaller than Twitter. How much smaller is hard to say.On the other hand, I'd say that the conversations over here are much more in depth and valuable than those on Twitter.

  8. +Eric Enge thanks for getting back. I concur with the G+ active smaller than Twitter active conclusion. Interestingly, I've long said that both Twitter and G+ suffer from the same problems (onboarding, etc.) inherent in the Follow Metaphor.If there were massive lurkers, there should be SOME reflection of this even in the plusone or comment counts ("engagement"), assuming that a plusone action, very similar to e.g. a FB "Like" is not too much to expect from a "lurker".If there were say 10x lurkers to 1% "creators" and 9% "curators"/amplifiers (the posts of the latter are presumably also reflected in the total posts counts), assuming your 23.4M (very to sporadically) monthly actives would extrapolate to 210M additional users.Would we than array those in similar usage rate scenarios as the posters (which follow a rough 80/20 Principle distribution)? E.g. 20% of lurkers have ~ 80% of the lurking activity? Asf.Overall, just not that much DAU (or nearly DAU)-style activity in the true sense of the word.

  9. +Eric Enge On private posting, the only moderately hard number I've ever seen on that is Vic Gundotra's claim that "half of G+ posts are private", which Mike Elgan threw at me again in his recent post on this and Steve Denning's Forbes piece.Best I can tell, that's still perfectly consistent with the idea that most profiles still post publicly. So it's really not an objection, counterargument, or contradictory data.

  10. +Mark Traphagen I'll note that relatively few organizations were at all interested in my own piece. Having Kevin Anderson's Sankey chart actually helped a lot — visualizing data really helps drive it home.Both BI and Boing Boing picked it up of their own accord. BI's verbatim inclusion of my "space alien cat" disclaimer had me in fits for about a half hour, though the reporter also perfectly picked up my meaning: you don't have to trust the source, the data and methods are both freely available.I remain hugely grateful for you and Eric for having followed through on my "try it yourself" challenge.

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