Google Plus has been met, at best, by a wave of indifference. The search giant’s latest bid to take on the king of social networking Facebook at its own game had a stuttering start, but according to figures released by market research group Experian Hitwise, the social side of Google’s many online offerings is beginning to pick up pace.

Experian Hitwise say that Google+ traffic surged by over 1,200% last week alone moving the site up from 54th to 8th in their social networking category. With 15 million visitors, Google+ clearly has some way to go before it reaches the lofty heights of Facebook’s 1.8 billion visits.

Plus has only been live for just over a week and the service was initially only taken up by college students – early adopters of social networking and online communication tools in general. However, It is now gaining greater credence in other circles too as businesspeople turn to the site as a means of communicating and partially to see whether it holds any networking opportunities.

Many people have Google accounts of one sort or another and marketers and website owners use Gmail, Google Docs, Adsense, Analytics, and Webmaster Tools which means that making the progression to using Plus is a simple move. One that a lot of analysts believe is simply the next step in the process.

As the site continues to increase in popularity, users will almost certainly look for ways in which to use it for social media marketing. Those looking for a means of developing an effective link building service may be able to find some gain from Google Plus links although at the moment it’s difficult to measure exactly how much benefit it will offer an SEO campaign. It’s better sticking with quality content writing and authority link building, at least for now.

It’s unlikely that Google will manage to catch Facebook in the social arena. The social network has amassed more than three quarters of a billion members which means there are only three countries in the world that can boast a larger population and there are more than twice as many Facebook members as there are US citizens.