In a blog post released today, Google’s SVP of engineering Vic Gundotra described Google+ as “the fastest growing network thingy ever.” The social media platform has passed 500 million members, and 135 million of these members are Google + users, which shows the growth of Google +. Google most recently released numbers in September that it had passed 400 million members and 100 million active users, so the number of members is up roughly 20% and the active Google + users have increased over 35% in less than 3 months.
Bottom Line: The growth of Google + is impressive, though still ranking below social media giants Facebook, which now has 1 billion monthly active users, and Twitter, with over 140 million active users. Google has closely tied use of social media, with an emphasis on Google +, to local search results through establishing Google + Places, Google + Authorship, and the measurement of social sharing metrics as a factor in search rankings. For the small to medium sized business that relies on local search results, or a firm marketing to a national SEO audience, including Google + in both SEO and SMO strategies.