More users turning to Google+

The latest online data reveals online users are increasingly turning to Google+ for their social activities and branding efforts, as companies are discovering the value of engaging numerous social media outlets. While Facebook and Twitter are still generating the highest volumes of traffic, Google+ is narrowing the gap with more features specifically designed for companies launching local SEO campaigns and looking to increase their online consumer base.

Google+ growth stats
Over the past two months, Google+ has experienced significant growth. The number of online users following the top 100 brands increased 54 percent from 7.9 million viewers to 12.2 million. Furthermore, the number of viewers turning to Google+ to follow their favorite companies or brands grew 150 percent between February and March of 2012, as the number of Google+ users continues to skyrocket.

As more consumers discover the benefits of Google+, major companies are also investing in SEO strategies and efforts on the social channel. Three out of the top four biggest brands have joined Google+ including famous names such as Visa, Wells Fargo and fashion designer Hermes. These brands, and smaller companies, are creating their own Google+ branded pages to increase interactivity and engagement with consumers, while building a strong, SEO strong presence online.

Jim Yu, SEO expert, said the growth in Google+ participation by both consumers and brands indicates a shift in the social landscape.

"However there is still much higher adoption on Facebook and Twitter, whose offerings some feel include deeper engagement models which they have built and matured over time, thanks to their earlier start and sustained investment," Yu said. "Brands need to continue to assess and adjust how they leverage all of the social signals to capture the digital engagement and sales they're looking for."

Future moves by Google
According to Sociable, Google+ is continually updating its SEO benefits for companies of all sizes. For example, Google is planning to integrate the popular Gmail video chat feature into Google+'s Hangouts program to increase discussion and interactivity within brands and between companies and consumers. By engaging in regular social activity and linking back to a company website, brands can significantly increase their SEO with organic activity and posts. The video integration will come with improved reliability and quality of calls between users to make the program more company-friendly.