Travelers Worldwide Look to Google+ as a Research Tool
Google’s integration of user-driven information into its search results is especially apparent in the travel space. Though much maligned stateside, Google+ has a growing worldwide footprint, and research shows the network’s rising influence during the travel planning phase.
According to TripAdvisor’s “TripBarometer,” which surveyed more than 15,000 travelers worldwide in January 2013, 40% of respondents that had used social media sites to research and plan their last trip looked to Google+, making it the second most popular social network after Facebook for travel research.
In addition, 22% of respondents to TripAdvisor’s survey said they found Google+ to be the most useful social network for travel planning. By comparison, only 6% of travelers combined said they found Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram the most useful social networks for this activity.
Many marketers and digital industry pundits contend that the Google+ user base—some 343 million internet users worldwide in Q4 2012, according to GlobalWebIndex—is smoke and mirrors, and that many people are not engaging the site like a traditional social network.