As G+ steps into the spotlight, Google is working to refine the data it gives to users.

One of the most exciting marketing tools around isn’t something a startup just developed and released – it’s a tech giant’s three-year-old social network. As Brafton reported, Google+ isn’t the ghost town many believed it would become when adoption rates grew sluggishly. In fact, engagement and use figures for the platform are becoming comparable to Twitter, which is widely accepted as an ideal social marketing channel.

Google is taking note and refining the data it offers to users – and it’s particularly helpful for brands who have embraced the channel as a social media marketing platform. Earlier this year. Pages Dashboards were made available so businesses could get a better grasp on their followers, engagement and overall G+ activity. More recently, the network seemingly took a page out of Facebook and Twitter’s books by making it apparent how many followers and views Google+ pages had netted.

Tidying social data

However, it seems Google needs to shore up its public social information. Research by Marketing Land reveals brand pages are seeing some fluctuations in follower data. At first, it seemed as if this was Google’s attempt to root out spam accounts that didn’t correlate with real people or businesses.

Now it seems as if Google was just drilling down and refining its figures. For example, it seems as if the company previously combined +1s and follows into one metric, and they’re now understandably being separated. Therefore, when brands check their G+ profiles, they can now trust that the figures (Followers and Views) are more accurate representations of their social engagement.

Google+ for social and search

There might soon be a perfect storm of evidence Google+ is a premier social media marketing channel. Consider that Google crawls G+ posts almost immediately, Facebook organic News Feed visibility is rapidly disappearing and more users are active on G+ than ever before. Brands should really consider spending at least some of their social capital on the network, even if it’s just a matter of hedging their bets that Google+ activity will one day be essential for marketing on the web.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.