Online Marketing Competition Increases with Introduction of Google+

Earlier this summer, tech giant Google launched Google+ as a tool to maintain its competitive position in the online industry. The way Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO, sees it,  he ‘screwed up’ by not taking Facebook seriously enough. The company hopes Google+ will put a dent in the Facebook marketplace and some analysts believe the service will attract consumers and marketing dollars.

So far, consumers are showing interest in the new service. A YouGov survey indicates that 13% of U.S. adult Internet users have a Google+ account. Another 9% plan to create an account within a year. These users indicate they are reading and creating content at a high rate – over 40%. And Google+ users have some unique demographics:

  •  3 men for every 2 women
  • Ages 18–29: 43%
  • College degree: 59%
  • Single: 48%

These statistics show that Google+ is appealing to well-​educated young men. By comparison, the Facebook crowd is more female, trending toward older and less well-​educated users. Analysts point out that if the steep growth trajectory continues for the next year, Google+ could have a higher penetration than Twitter and become the second most popular social network.

In addition, a study carried out by Eye Track Shop indicates that user behavior on Google+ is nearly the same as on Facebook when attention to ads is measured. While Google hasn’t yet announced plans to sell advertising on its new service, we can imagine that strategy as a logical next step. For now, the jury is still out on Google+, but the tech giant isn’t likely to give up easily. The ‘gang of four’  ‑Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon —  is well positioned to control how consumers buy services and products online. This gang of four will also have a big say in how the online marketing sector proceeds.

[Sources: Liedtke, Michael. Former Google CEO ‘Screwed Up’ on Facebook Threat. Newsfactor​.com. 2 Jun. 2011. Web. 24 Aug. 2011; Nardis, Michale. Google+ on target to be 2nd largest social networking site. Yougov​.com. 5 Aug. 2011. Web. 18 Aug. 2011; Young, Rob. Users Respond to Google+ and Facebook Interfaces Nearly Identically. Searchenginewatch​.com. 15 Aug. 2011. Web. 23 Aug. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.