Google+ has been in the wild for a few weeks now, and the reviews–like with any new product, especially from a major tech company–have been a mix of glowing praise and healthy skepticism. But whatever the reactions have been from the technorati, there’s no doubt the public has been excited to try out the new social network.
According to a new report out today by Experian Hitwise, Google+ is growing in multiples. Last week, traffic to the site shot up 283% versus the week prior, and 821% versus the week prior to that. The fledgling social network received more than 1.8 million visits last week, and is now ranked as the 42nd most visited social network and the 638th most visited website in the US.
Hitwise points out that 56% of upstream traffic to the service has come from Google properties, including Google.com, which accounted for 34% of that traffic. It’s almost surprising that Google’s properties aren’t supplying even more of the traffic. The other drivers of traffic were other search engines (37%) and email (21%).
As with any new web toy, these numbers could indicate the novelty of the service more than its long-term viability. According to one calculation, Google+ surpassed 10 million users recently, and could be on its way to hitting 18 million users soon. But if the site received just 1.8 million visits last week, that means a tremendous number of +’ers have not returned to the site since registering.