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Google+ traffic drops 60% after public launch

google-plusThe Google+ roller coaster has decided to take yet another plunge in traffic. Reports from data analytics company Chitika are saying that Google+ traffic has dropped 60 percent after its public launch on September 20. Traffic for the site has settled back down to its pre-launch level, and makes us wonder if traffic will ever really increase.

As soon as Google+ was open to the public on September 20 traffic skyrocketed, on September 26 we reported that traffic was up1269 percent. Unfortunately for Google+ this was the start of the decline for the sites traffic, as it has been in a steady decline since September 22.

It is clear that Google was able to attract people to the service, but why aren’t people continuing to use the service? Chitika believes that one of the reasons traffic dropped so drastically is because of the fact that Google+ really doesn’t offer users anything that Facebook doesn’t, and because everyone already uses Facebook. Google+ has not done anything to really distance its service from Facebook’s, and that is why it is able to attract people to the service, but can’t keep them coming back.

Google is trying to lure users to keep coming back by offering some of Facebook’s top games like CityVille, but it appears that even games aren’t helping. Facebook users only spend about 10 percent of their time in apps so even if games catch on at Google+ it might not have as big an impact as Google would like.

It seems as though the huge spike in Google+ traffic was a perfect storm. Not only was the private service finally opened to the public, but it came out right as Facebook users were unhappy with the new design, and that most likely caused the huge rush of traffic. Google will have to find a way to drive people to the site between Facebook redesigns if it wants the service to be successful.

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Mike Dunn
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Mike graduated from University of Arizona with a degree in poetry, and made his big break by writing love sonnets to the…
Google engineer who publicly bashed Google+: ‘Nothing bad happened’

Last week, Google engineer Steve Yegge accidentally posted an epic 4,500-word manifesto publicly on Google+, in which he lambasted his employer's handling of its new social network – he called it a “pathetic afterthought” – and painted Amazon's chief executive, Jeff Bezos, as a tyrannical, micro-managing evil genius who doesn't care about his employees. The well-written diatribe, which was intended to be a private memo only viewable by other Googlers, quickly made headlines across the web. Because of its harshly honest nature, many declared Yegge a goner at Google. It seems, however, that everything went better than expected.
Early this morning, Yegge published another post on Googe+ – intentionally public this time – as a follow up to his previous post, and to apologize for the “uncharacteristically unprofessional” criticisms he made of Amazon, where he worked for six years prior to his move to Google.
“Last week I accidentally posted an internal rant about service platforms to my public Google+ account (i.e. this one),” wrote Yegge. “It somehow went viral, which is nothing short of stupefying given that it was a massive Wall of Text. The whole thing still feels surreal.
“Amazingly, nothing bad happened to me at Google. Everyone just laughed at me a lot, all the way up to the top, for having committed what must be the great-granddaddy of all Reply-All screwups in tech history.”
According to Yegge, Google is “already figuring out how to deal with some of the issues I raised.” This, he says, shouldn't be a surprise, as Google consistently manages to fix its shortcomings quickly and effectively.
“When they’re faced with any problem at all, whether it’s technical or organizational or cultural, they set out to solve it in a first-class way,” he wrote.
Yegge then continues to try to right his wrongs against Amazon by lavishing praise on Jeff Bezos.
Talking about presenting ideas to Bezos, based on his own success at doing so, Yegge writes: “Bezos is so goddamned smart that you have to turn it into a game for him or he’ll be bored and annoyed with you. That was my first realization about him. Who knows how smart he was before he became a billionaire -- let’s just assume it was 'really frigging smart', since he did build Amazon from scratch.”
As with the original post, Yegge's follow-up is a great read, and gives some rarely-seen insight into the behind-the-scenes worlds of two of the world's most influential technology companies. I highly recommend reading the posts in full.

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Google+ traffic continues to drop, down as much as 70%

On Monday we reported that Google+ traffic had dipped 60 percent since its public launch on September 20, but traffic might be even lower than first reported. Chitika Insights, the research arm of online ad service Chitika, just released some updated traffic numbers that show Google+ traffic down as much as 70 percent since September 20. Google just announced that Google+ has 40 million users, and that, “People are flocking to Google+ at an incredible rate”. It seems that people might be flocking to the site, but they aren’t nesting.
The report states, “we saw a prolonged and sustained downward trend in overall activity coming from the site. At its greatest, the gap between peak and trough measured over a 70% decline in traffic. No one can know for sure why Google+ isn’t able to keep people coming back to the site, but there are plenty of people who think they know why traffic is slipping.
Unfortunately for Google one person who weighed in on the subject was one of their own engineers, Steve Yegge. Yegge’s blog post outlines the key reasons he feels that Google+ isn’t meeting expectations. The main reasons Yegge cites is that Google+ wasn’t launched with an API, and because Google+ does not have enough ways for users to waste their time on the site. Facebook has all sorts of applications that draw people to the site, and even if people do not want to be social they will still come to Facebook to check on their farm in Farmville. It seems as though Google+ is slowly adding the features that Yegge would like to see, and hopefully over time Google+ will see an increase in return visitors.
With 40 million users Google+ is clearly on the right track, and we all know Google isn’t going to give up on the product so it will keep growing. The real question becomes how long will it take before it really starts to rival Facebook?

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Google engineer: Google+ is ‘a pathetic afterthought’

Google engineer and well-known blogger Steve Yegge last night published a poignant 4,550-word rant lambasting his employer for mishandling Google+ (and a variety of other things, as well). Thing is, the epic screed, which was actually published on Google+, was only meant to be seen by other Google employees, but Yegge forgot to disable the “public” sharing option, and released it for everyone to see. (Face, meet palm.) He later deleted the post, but it has been re-published, with permission from Yegge, here.
While the first chunk of the rant focuses on how Amazon (where Yegge worked for six years) became the platform powerhouse that it is today, the primary gist of Yegge's well-written and informative manifesto is that Google+ will not succeed because it is not a platform for which third-party developers can create products; it's simply the product itself.
It is because Facebook is that kind of platform that has helped make it so successful; Facebook got a bunch of other people to think of good ideas, do the hard programming work, and implement them in the site. Google, on the other hand, is trying to control every aspect of Google+, and that will be what kills the company's first sudo-successful attempt at social networking
We highly recommend reading through the full post, but here are the most damning bits, in case you're short for time:

“The Google+ platform is a pathetic afterthought. We had no API at all at launch, and last I checked, we had one measly API call."

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