New data suggests Google+ visits are slowing down, but the network's potential as a social and content marketing channel is still growing.

After meteoric growth in its first few weeks weeks on the market, it seems traffic to Google’s social network Google+ is slowing down. Hitwise figures reported by Bloomberg indicate that Google+ visits dropped 3 percent during the week ending July 23, but content marketing seems to be continuously rewarded among the site’s users.

The Hitwise figures show that Google+ received 1.79 million unique U.S. visits last week. This demonstrates a slight decline in visits compared to the previous week; Google+ visits had risen 283 percent during the week ending July 16.

Brafton had reported that Hitwise found time spent on the social site had also risen significantly in the seven days ending July 19. At that time, users were spending five minutes and 50 seconds on average on the site. Now, Bloomberg reports the research firm says the average time spent on Google+ is down to five minutes and 15 seconds.

Of course, Hitwise doesn’t take mobile Google+ visits into consideration. Perhaps visits are not declining, but rather users are connecting to Google+ on the go. Indeed, Brafton reported that Apple recently released a Google+ iPhone app, and the Android app has gotten an “above average” rating from Droid users.

Regardless of slight shifts in the number of weekly visitors, Google CEO Larry Page seems satisfied with activity on the site. During Google’s recent announcement that it earned $9.03 billion in revenue last quarter, Page said, “We are seeing over 1 billion items shared and received [on Google+] in a single day.”

This means content marketing efforts might be rewarded by shares (and +1’s) among the site’s 20 million users. Search marketers should especially take the channel’s content distribution potential into consideration as many speculate that +1’s could become an SEO ranking signal.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.