Chitika Insights has been monitoring user engagement and the performance of Google+ since its inception. Our initial studies have indicated that following a brief surge of activity after its public debut, traffic from the site has waned. Chitika wanted to continue observing the site to see if any recent tweaks have increased user interest.

To quantify whether the level of activity coming out of Google+ has improved, Chitika Insights looked at the level of referrals from the site, detailed further in this post concerning our methodology. Below is a graph showing Google+ referrals from September 17th until October 26th.

As indicated in the above graph, since the initial peak that can clearly be seen between September 30th and October 26th, traffic has fallen off and settled into a regular pattern, neither increasing nor decreasing significantly. That being said, Google is rarely found standing idle. Over the past weeks, Google has dedicated a large portion of its resources to support increased user engagement, accessibility, and the further development of Google+ as a platform. But what exactly have they done?

  • Google has continued the process of integrating its vast network of services into Google+ to support the growth of its user base (Reader, Buzz, Android, Search)
  • On October 27th, Google+ became available for Google Apps and Google Apps Business, with a migration tool in development to help users move over
  • They have demonstrated the ability to rapidly evolve their product offering to match consumer demand and fill perceived holes in the existing social network ecosystem

Amidst all of these new features, Google recently reported impressive figures at the Web 2.0 conference related to Google+. Over 2.3 Billion images have been posted in the first 100 days by a reported 40 Million users, although a large portion of these images were uploaded automatically through frictionless sharing. Unfortunately, Google has yet to release any “hard” metrics concerning the level of activity on their newest social network.

Continued integration of Google’s wide range of services will certainly drive user engagement, although by changing too many products too quickly, they risk alienating some of their most vocal and loyal customers in favor of swelling the ranks of Google+ with artificial numbers. However, Google has proven many times in the past that their knack for innovation, analytical rigor, and their ability to iterate will lead them to success (think back to Google Chrome). Will Google+ go the way of Chrome or the way of Buzz? Chitika Insights will be with you every step of the way as we monitor their progress.

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