Google dominated buzz on the internet this week thanks to strong social media marketing adoption of Google+ Pages, as well as a new iPad search app.

In the first two weeks of Google+ Pages, marketers waited to make their move. Many looked at stagnant traffic rates and figured there was no rush. However, there were some announcements and studies released this week that demonstrated the legitimacy of Google+ as a viable player in social media marketing.

On Monday, Brafton reported that 61 percent of the top 100 global brands have launched Google+ Pages accounts in the two-plus weeks since the feature went live. While 93 percent of these same companies already have Facebook accounts, the rapid adoption of Google+ demonstrates the ultimate value the platform could have.

Still, Facebook is far and a way the leader in both social media marketing and general consumer social use. In fact, of the top 100 brands, the only company to have a Google+ account and not a Facebook account was Google.

The only company entirely absent from the list was Marlboro.

Facebook’s dominance in social media was given further perspective on Monday, when Brafton reported Facebook users and brands using the platform are typically connected by only 4.7 degrees of separation.

This figure factors all Facebook users around the world into it. However, for businesses of any size dealing with one country mostly, the figure is actually closer to three.

Social media marketing campaigns have been wildly successful because users often share content from their favorite brands with friends or followers. This report demonstrates that successful social campaigns are likely available to most Facebook users at some point following their initial share.

Faceook’s continued rise led the data team behind the numbers to predict this figure will continue to fall, as the website’s membership and addition of active users continues to grow steadily. Even as Twitter and newcomer Google+ look to make names for themselves, Facebook remains the undisputed No. 1.

Despite their continued struggle against Facebook in terms of social media, Google’s dominance in search has grown at the same rate as Facebook’s in social. Consistent innovation from Google has allowed it to remain the leader without much resistance from Microsoft’s Bing.

On Tuesday, Brafton reported the latest addition to Google’s search repertoire – an iPad search app – is now available.

The iPad app allows users of the popular tablet to enjoy a search experience customized entirely for the device.

For those using content marketing campaigns, it’s critical that websites be entirely available to mobile users to ensure that their visits are strong opportunities for conversion. Brafton reported last week that most consumers and prospects going to mobile websites will not wait more than five seconds for a page to load. Therefore, mobile sites must be optimized as well as those designed for desktop use to ensure conversion.

At the moment, effective website design and performance are as important as ever. On Wednesday, Brafton reported that ecommerce spending during the holiday shopping season will rise 15 percent this year compared to 2010.

Consumers have already spent $9 billion online and market research firm comScore expects this figure to reach $37.6 billion by the end of the season. With Cyber Monday just days away, the figures will likely see a major push at the beginning of next week, throughout the remainder of November and into December.

Social media marketing plays an equally major role in the success of holiday marketing, both in-store and online. The key to successful campaigns on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ is prospect engagement. Brafton reported on Tuesday that Walmart’s Facebook marketing campaign is considered one of the most successful, not because of total fans, but due to its strong engagement rate.

While the figure may seem low, Walmart’s engagement rate is 0.05 percent, which is the same as competitor Target. However, Walmart’s 10.4 million total fans mean that the 0.05 percent who have engaged with the company is substantially higher than the 0.05 percent of 6.4 million engaging with Target.

Effective social campaigns that link back to informative news content marketing can be the difference between a sale and lost dollars for a business this holiday season.

As we approach the meat of the holiday shopping season, the next few weeks should demonstrate the effect social and content marketing has on businesses’ sales.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.