Yes. This is True and below you can find a fully detailed explanation of the current situation. Check this in their our search results here. As a Google Plus user I first noticed this 6 months ago and thought it was a glitch. Problem is it wasn’t, and nothing changed since then.

I call this: the “Google +” Branding Bug.

Let me explain.

Each brand may be searched, in a search engine, by various brand name variations. In our case the most important are:

  • Google+
  • Google +
  • Googleplus
  • Google plus
  • + a lot of typos

Just search for “google +” and you will see that the Google Plus site is nowhere to be found in the first 10 results.

These variations are sending a huge amount of traffic and represent a large segment of their branded traffic (if not the largest).

Just to get an idea on the volume for the broken query “google +”, here is a snapshot from Google’s Trends.

The “Google +” site is nowhere to be found in the top 10 results so users are forced to do another query. It’s natural for people to search for keywords using  spaces (even for brand names). The same is for cognitiveSEO. It is both searched by “cognitiveseo” , “cognitive seo” and “seo cognitive”.

The problem here is that the + sign is a reserved operator for Google queries. The biggest problem here is that the user doesn’t care. This forces the user to do another search using another keyword that might or might not lead him to the correct site.

Another interesting fact is that the Google Suggest Box doesn’t care about the “+” character as a reserved character and it shows the “google +” search as the top suggestion for this keyword variation.

Also the related searches suggested for the “google +” query are “google plus” and “google + login”. Searching for “google + login” will not give a direct link to the Google Plus site.(as you might have hoped for)

It’s like a Cat & Mouse game between Google and the User …

Yahoo/Bing Ranks it Better …

Just like that. Yahoo and Bing rank it in the top 10. Bing is kind of volatile giving various results depending on your location but Yahoo is more straightforward and positions Google + on the 7th position.

Other Brands

The same is happening to Nike +, another brand with the + sign in their brand name. This is the good search.

Conclusion

It is just super annoying to double search each time for such brand names.

Maybe Google should address this issue in one of the next algorithm updates or simply correct the bug. It would just simplify the life of their own users and improve the traffic to the web properties that are really searched for.

or stay away from using punctuation in your brand name. Bad luck if you already did that …

Hopefully Google will find a way to sort this out.