Are Small Businesses Gaming Google Plus? Big Data Research Using SEMrush
SEMrush Sr. Account Manager Eric Van Buskirk looked at a large data-set of the searches that drove the most traffic in Google Search to Google’s other product pages. Focusing on Google Plus in this data-set, he found a noteworthy, overwhelming occurrence of branded and proper name search words.
The first 20 highest traffic drivers to Google Plus contained the word “Google” (in one case g was part of the search). Using 60 random search phrases within the next 300 highest traffic drivers to Google Plus, he found all contained proper names or brands.
It is well-documented that many black hat techniques are used to rank on Local. For example, fake reviews. Could unscrupulous businesses game Google Plus by creating fake brand names to rank? That was the theory in proceeding.
You can read Eric's original research in "Gaming Google Plus: Analysis From 170k SERPs."