How do we calculate the number of Google+ accounts?
Before November 15, 2012, we use the numbers Google provided publicly. After that date, we began calculating the number on our own.
To achieve a tally, we first download the Google+ Sitemap :
This file itself does not contain any profile data, but it does have links to the 50,000 sub-sitemap files that do.
For each of these sub-sitemap files, we download, parse, and count the number of Google+ and Google- profiles links.
Tallying the data from all 50,000 files together gives us two numbers: the number of Google+ accounts and the number of Google- accounts.
A Google- account is a Google+ account where the G+ feature has been disabled.
We do this once a day.
At certain times however, the Google+ sitemap has been known to be unavailable or 404
to put it more technically.
You can see this in terms of data point sparsity during certain periods, for example: mid April 2013 until July 2013.
Google+ Communities as a feature was launched on December 6, 2012; therefore we assume that the number of communities was 0 on and
before this date. We did not begin collecting data on this metric until January 22, 2015 (when it was discovered to be a
part of the sitemap). From that date on we began counting the number of communities from the sitemap just as we have always done for
Google+ accounts. However, from the date we began counting communities until August 6, 2015 the number of communities was static at 1,605,258
each and every day of our data gathering. But on August 7, 2015 this number began to increase and on August 13, 2015 the frequency of its updating
became daily. Read into this as you will, but we assume this means that Google is placing more emphasis on Google+ communities.
If you would like to plug our data into another app, please use one of our 3 api endpoints:
G+ accounts data
G+ community data
G- accounts data