IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Google+ interest on the wane, say search statistics

When Google put out its annual zeitgeist list, it bragged that "Google+" was the No. 2 fastest-growing search term of the year. But that label may be a bit deceiving.

As TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld points out, it's no surprise that "Google+" was such a popular search term in 2011. It didn't even exist prior to this year and people wanted to know what it's about. "On a percentage basis the growth in the number of searches for the term was astronomical," explains Schonfeld.

But that's not where the story ends, folks. You see, apparently searches for "Google+" aren't as common as they used to be at this point.

By using the Google Insights for Search tool — a feature which allows people to track search trends and patterns — it is possible to see (in the chart above) that after an initial spike around the social network's launch and small bumps around other announcements, searches for the term "Google+" started dropping.

When you look at the embedded chart to the right, the picture becomes far more clear: Rival social networks such as Facebook and Twitter command far more ongoing interest in Google's own search engine, and that's in the U.S. alone, where Google+ has had more reach.

And according to Schonfeld, this is a problem:

Searches are an indication of pure intent. People search for what they intend to do. [...] If fewer and fewer people are searching for “Google+”, it makes you wonder if anyone is actually using it. Remember, just because Google+ has tens of millions of registered users, that doesn’t mean those people ever came back after Google made them click to register. 

Related stories:

Want more tech news, silly puns or amusing links? You'll get plenty of all three if you keep up with Rosa Golijan, the writer of this post, by following her on Twitter, subscribing to her Facebook posts, or circling her on Google+.