It seems, the rumors of Google+’s death have been greatly exaggerated. According to new data from Hitwise, Google just recorded its 3rd biggest week since launch. Traffic is up 25% from last month and 5% from last week. Unsurprisingly, Google+’s best weeks with regard to overall visits came right after the site opened up its door to all users at the end of September.
The growth in traffic over the last week is likely due to the launch of the Google+ Pages for brands and publishers. This clearly drove renewed interest in the service. Maybe even more importantly, though, Hitwise also found that Google+ users are now sticking around, as the number of returning visitors increased by 18% in the first two weeks of November compared to the same timeframe in October. Indeed, Hitwise found that almost three quarters (74%) of all traffic to Google+ came from returning visitors.
Hitwise also found that Google+ profits greatly from being promoted on other Google properties. Gmail and YouTube, for example, account for 16% and 5.5% of all referral traffic to the site, while Google itself accounts for a bit more than 45.5%.
That’s Not What a Dying Service Looks Like
Ever since its launch, the Google+ team had to deal with numerous reports that traffic to the site was slowing down and that the service was basically dead already (something I never saw on my own stream, which seems to be active 24×7 and which gets more reactions than anything I post on Twitter). While Google would probably like to see a faster influx of new users to the service, this new data from Hitwise clearly shows that things are actually looking up for Google+ right now.