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Why the talk about a 60% traffic loss to Google+ is (probably) alarmist nonsense

Google PlusLet’s see now. Where to begin? It’s been reported elsewhere that traffic to Google+ has dropped off by as much as 60% when compared to the huge boost the social network got in the days after it went public on September 20 (reportedly a 1,200% traffic boost). The basic problem now is that some are flinging this number around as some kind of proof that Google+ is doomed to fail and can’t retain users. So, time to for a reality check.

First of all, that Google+ would receive a huge but temporary boost around that time was a given. Remember this worldwide Google+ promo that Google ran on all its search pages, including

Google Plus promo on

If you do that on one of the world’s most trafficked sites, of course it’s going to have a huge effect. And conversely, of course most of those people will not stick around. It was like a huge, wide shotgun blast. Who didn’t want to check out what that huge blue arrow on was pointing at, regardless of what it was? It was begging, even pleading, for attention. Then add to this all the media buzz that surrounded it all, producing even more curiosity in this new Google initiative.

So let’s keep things in perspective. After a huge, artificially introduced peak there is bound to be a slope. Instead, we should be comparing Google+ traffic now with what it was like before that huge promotion, i.e. before Google+ went public and was showcased on

We’re mixing data sources here so take this with a grain of salt, but if that 60% drop after the big boost is accurate, that just means the rise in traffic to Google+ has been reduced to a “mere” 500%. Oh, the horror.

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