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Google + Ghost TownI was an early advocate of Google+ and I continue to be one if for no other reason than it’s hard to ignore the a company like Google – and that I really hate being wrong.

But I saw this infographic today published by Mashable in an article entitled “This Infographic Shows Why Google+ Is a Ghost Town” and it made me take pause – it’s the first time I’ve thought seriously about the possibility of me – and millions like me – being wrong about Google+.

The reality is that it’s just too early to tell – Google+ is little more than a year old, so the jury will be out for some time on whether it will ultimately make it or not as a social network – or whatever else it may evolve into.

Personally speaking, my Google+ stream is the most interesting and active of the four networks depicted in this infographic to which I subscribe. In fact, much of the content I generate on the other three networks originally came from my Google+ stream. I have also made more new connections via Google+ than Facebook and LinkedIn combined – MEANINGFUL AND LASTING CONNECTIONS, not just “Like’s” and “Follows”.

I’ve told all of my small business clients that a Google+ business page is a “must have” and should be included in any social marketing strategy’s toolbox. The main reasons for this are simple:

  1. Google+’s rapid adoption and growth. You can’t ignore 170 million users. And you can’t ignore Google.
  2. Its SEO benefits. Your business becomes more relevant in Google searches now with Google, Search plus Your World.

OK, so why am I second guessing myself now? Not because Google+ is not a great social network – it is. But as a social marketing channel that drives people to your website where they can learn more about your brand and “book it”, it is a dog! At least, that’s been my experience to date with several small business clients here in paradise – dead last or N/A in every Google Analytics report. Google+ hangouts haven’t seemed to help either.

I sense a reluctance in many social marketing pros to be the first to dis’ Google+ – what if they’re wrong!? But I’d be interested in at least hearing from them about whether or not they are obtaining decent social metrics from Google+ via Google Analytics’ social reporting, or whatever analytics tool they may be using. Is Google+ driving up website traffic? If so, to what degree? If not, why not?

The comments are yours!

+Mike Poynton