Where’s The G+ Beef?

Recently, on Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan wrote the following about G+:

Google’s held nothing back in trying to make Google+ successful. The company, which used to never advertise on television, now routinely seems to have commercials pushing its social network.

That surprised me, I was commenting just the other day I hardly see anything on prime time TV about G+.  The person I was chatting with (who lives in Arizona) said he hadn’t either.  Even before Danny’s article I have been noticing a lack of G+ branding on ads and such, even in cities like San Jose which is home to Google:

That image was taken in the middle of the San Jose California airport in February.  San Jose = home to Google.  How bizarre!  But the airport isn’t the only San Jose business not hosting G+ icons, take a look at the front page of their newspaper the Mercury News:

No Google logos in sight.

The NBC affiliate in San Francisco gets a gold plus, they do have  a G+ logo on the front page and after every story.  But it’s not all rosey here, of the 10 sports related articles I looked at, only one showed any number counts on the G+ icon and the highest number was 2.

Two!  Dang.  Most looked like this:

as you can see here, Facebook 152, Google zip.  Facebook clearly scores with the NBC sports crowd.

My kids LOVE Chipotle so when they played this awesome commercial during SuperBowl, they wanted to share it with their friends.

Now, if I wanted to share it on G+ I couldn’t because they only offer Facebook, Twitter, Digg and Reddit options.  After a little searching I found most of our favorite national restaurants don’t offer a G+ icon:

Olive Garden
McDonalds (still the best fries)
P.F. Changs

Ironically, Wendy’s does display the G+ icon on their home page, but unlike other sites, it’s not a share option.  The icon takes you to their G+ home page.


If I bounce back across the USA to small town Williamsburg Virginia, I find the local Rita’s promoting Facebook but nothing else:

And back home in Washington DC, our local paper doesn’t offer the G+ icon on the front or interior pages:

You’d think one of the biggest political rags in our nation would have a Google + icon to share news stories especially since Google recently hired former Republican Rep. Susan Molinari as the head of its D.C. office.  In addition, they recently scored as the official social platform and live stream provider of the Republican National Convention.   Politicans and the news go hand in hand, you’d think they’d have the G+ all over that one.

But…. they don’t.   Thing is, the Washington Post isn’t the only high-profile online media outlet not hosting the G+ icon.  They are also noticeably absent from the front and interior pages of:

  • CNN
  • NPR
  • US News & World Report
  • People Magazine
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Miami Herald
  • PBS

Heck, a couple of them showcased MySpace and Tumblr but no Google +.  What is up with that?

There might be 100 million registered Google+ users but if the business and news community are not embracing the platform, it makes it hard to get involved. I’m not going to run to my G+ page and push a link every time I find something cool, the manual effort it takes to participate is not worth my time at this point.

As an online marketer who routinely uses the media as a way to build links and who also understands the algorithmic and marketing importance of social signals, not being able to click that G+ icon to either share a page or follow a company  –  sucks.

Google might have the users but they definitely don’t have the outlets supporting their platform.