In one of his recent interviews, the Google+ VP Bradley Horowitz mentioned that if FaceBook had 1 billion users then Google+ too had 1 billion users or more if the users of all Google products were put together. According to him unlike FaceBook, Google Plus is not only a social media platform but an attempt by Google to weave all the Google products together to offer more value to users and brands.
Google plus is the foundation layer and not a parallel product which exists individually. It is the identity and relationships system for Google which is woven in all the Google products. As per their statistics 400 million users have signed up for Google Plus but 100 million of them are active as per their strictest definition of an “ Active Google+ User” and the numbers are growing on a regular basis.
The Google+ VP Bradley Horowitz also mentioned that Google+ is not like the social networks of the past. It had a completely different edge and was following a different path. It was clearly indicated by him that they considered FaceBook was a social network of the past. He further added that they want Google+ to work the way the real world works and the advertisements and Sponsored links on social networks is annoying the users and they want to add the commercial aspect to Google+ but in a very holistic way. All the examples given by him clearly indicated that Google+ signals enhanced and added value to search Ads. by offering recommendations from users in your circle.
Hence, the search and social are supplementing each other rather than having independent individual existence for Google. He also added that in 5 – 10 years from now Google is aiming Google+ to be a platform for uncluttered meaningful communication where context is also in the picture along with the connections.
As a SEO I get the message clear and loud that Google+ signals will get more and more integrated in search results and if brands adopt and adapt to Google+ as soon as possible then they are going to grow alongside with the growth of Google+ as they have an opportunity to create footprints on social and get topically correlated ASAP. As mentioned above all the Google products are being woven into Google+ and Google+ as a social media platform converges to diverge and diverges to converge.