Google+ Counter

This was a site built to introduce everyone to Ralf Rottman's Google+ Counter. You know that Google+ is a place to connect with friends and family, and explore all of your interests. Now Ralf Rottman, founder of largest German app dev studio & AMAZE describes himself as a former the next web editor, an open web addict and developer at heart. While playing with some advanced web technologies, he ended up developing the Google+ Counter. This is one of the sites he created to discuss this nifty bit of code. For some unknown reason he abandoned the site. When I saw the domain to available I swooped and and scooped it up. I really am in awe of Ralf Rottmann and what he does, so I decided to rebuild the site from its archived content. This is a stroll down memory lane circa 2011.

So what exactly is Google+ Counter?

First and foremost it’s Ralf Rottmann's personal proof of concept for a couple of technologies he had planned to play with for quite some time.

"I’ve been intrigued by the technological challenges of creating services that scale for almost my entire professional life. " Ralf Rottman

The only visible part is the Hall of Fame. This is a nice collection of the top followed people on Google+. You can hover over an image with your cursor and you'll get some details. Click on the image and you’re taken to the member profile. The Hall of Fame is updated hourly and it always incorporates the latest available data.
A number of technologies are used with the Google+ Counter, from compressing data, to map reduce allowing the worker scripts to scale beautifully. There have been thousands of listed profiles. Creating the Google+ Counter has been a fun experience.

NEW FEATURE: You can now log into Google+ Counter with your Google+ account! 

Grow your Google+ network

Become a featured user on Google+ Counter, expand your reach.

More than 90.000 users per day visit the Google+ Counter, which has been featured by popular technology blogs around the globe.

The Next Web about Google+ Counter "The site has the potential to become the ultimate directory of Google+ users, used in much the same way as WeFollow has been used for Twitter."
Get one of our limited slots and become featured user:

  • Expose your profile to all our visitors
  • Gain more followers
  • Grow your social reach


The limited number of promoted users is displayed on all our pages.
Your Name:  
Your Email Address:  
Your Google+ Profile Address:  

Select a Plan:

  • $9.99/day for 3 days (approx. 150.000 views) 
  • $5.99/day for 7 days (approx. 350.000 views)  
  • $4.99/day for 14 days (approx. 700.000 views) 
  • $3.99/day for 14 days for a minimum of 3 months in a row (approx. 700.000 monthly views)

As Ralf Rottmann said on twitter September 21,2011

To all the new Google+ users: Don't forget to add your profile to Google+ Counter and find new people!

Examples of Popular Lists on Google+ Counter

A selection of popular user curated lists.

Top Photographers
Members: 79 | Created: 2011-07-26
Curated by: Ralf Rottmann

Journalists on Google+
Excellent list of journalists on G+. Follow the folks and stay up to date and sometimes get amazing inside perspectives.
Members: 134 | Created: 2011-08-05
Curated by: Ralf Rottmann

Members: 143 | Created: 2011-08-15
Curated by: Sara Ataie

Game Designers on Google+
A list of people who create, develop or design games.
Members: 58 | Created: 2011-08-23
Curated by: Undisclosed owner

Verified Celebs on G+
A list of only verified celebrities on G+- no imposter’s profiles or fan pages
Members: 83 | Created: 2011-08-24
Curated by: Lilly Calandrello

Models on Google Plus
Members: 206 | Created: 2011-09-05
Curated by: Steve Valdez

Japan Photographers
Photograpers (professional or amateur) who are based in Japan or mainly published photographs from Japan
Members: 80 | Created: 2011-09-22
Curated by: David La Spina

Baby Boomers on Google+
Only add yourself if born between 1945-1964. Definition of the Baby Boomer Generation from the US Census Bureau
Members: 105 | Created: 2011-10-04
Curated by: Tom Rolfson

Cartoonists (Webcomics/Web Cartoonists)
Cartoonists with a web comic or Cartoonists who regularly post non freelance work on the web
Members: 555 | Created: 2011-09-21
Curated by: Bearman Cartoons


Frequently asked Questions Answered by Ralf Rottmann Creator of Google+ Counter

What is Google+ Counter?
An independent project, Google+ Counter focuses on helping users find interesting people on Google+, the Social Network started by Google in June 2011.  Ralf Rottmann started the site in July 2011. When Ralf first posted the background story about Google+ Counter on his blog, the only feature the site had was the Hall of Fame. Amazingly more than 30.000 people added their profiles within days. Based on feedback, Rottmann developed user curated lists, which now constitute the heart of the project. Rottmann is currently planning additional features. Each feature will focus on making Google+ Counter even easier to find great profiles.

What are the Halls of Fame and how do I get on?
The Hall of Fame is a primary feature that actually started everything that followed. Getting updated hourly, it displays a horizontal banner of the top most followed people on Google. To be considered for the Halls of Fame one must submit a request to our index.

How do I get on the lists? Who creates and maintains them?
All lists on Google+ Counter are exclusively user curated. In other words, they are created and maintained by regular visitors. If you want to share a set of profiles with your peers, just start a list.
Getting on a List:
Depending on how the list owner has configured her/ his list, will determine how you can get on it. You will find that some lists are open, allowing anybody to add profiles to it. Note that only the owner is able to remove entries. Other lists are moderated. Monitored lists require you getting in touch with the list owner and asking to be added. And there are also closed lists. A closed list is one in which the owner has decided not to disclose his / her contact. So unless you know the owner or someone who is on the closed list who get help you contact the owner, it is almost impossible to join.

Does Google endorse Google+ Counter?
Google+ Counter is NOT associated or affiliated with Google Inc. Therefor, the copy rights of all logos, photos and design elements displayed on the website belong to their respective organizations and individuals. All content displayed is solely based on the publicly available data on Google+. However, Bradley Horowitz, Google's VP Products responsible for their Social Network publicly said: "I'm a big fan of Ralf Rottmann's work and of user-generated content in general!"

The follower count does not seem to be up to date.
+ Counter indexes more than 150.000 Google+ profiles every day. Our crawlers run 24/7 to keep up with the many changes that a constantly occurring. Because there is so much data, it might take up to 24 hours until a specific follower count gets updated. Likewise it may take up to 24 hours for changes to other parts of the profile, like the Occupation or Places to also show.

What exactly does Google+ Counter have access to?
Only our crawlers see the publicly available data of your profile. To Google+ they appear exactly like an anonymous, logged out user. You don’t need to worry regarding your privacy. In addition, when you limit content to specific circles or people, Google+ Counter will no longer see it, either.

Is Google+ Counter free?

What are featured users?
Google+ has grown into a pretty popular site, visited by thousands of people every day. To keep the service up (hosting, bandwidth, adding features, etc.) as well as keeping it ads free, Rottmann decided to allow people to support the project by becoming featured users. The idea is simple and helps generate money to pay for the hosting etc. For people willing to pay money to expand their social reach and promote their profile / business, Google+ Counter project encourages you to purchase a featured user slot.

What does it mean to log into Google+ Counter?
Initially, Google did not offer any official way to integrate Google+ Counter since it’s entire functionality was based on crawling and parsing the raw HTML. However in September 2011, Google announced the availability of an Application Programing Interface (API).  The API allowed a deeper coupling between external sites and Google+. Although it's still very limited Rottmann is integrating whatever is possible between Google and his Google+ Count. Right now when you log into Google+ Counter, you basically grant us the temporary right to verify your account with Google+. Upon verification, we can then provide a more streamlined experience, e.g. a user no longer needs a password to manager his / her lists.

I've lost the owner's password for my list, how can I recover it?
When Ralf Rottmann designed Google+ Counter, he decided not to add yet another sign-up-create-a-user thingy. As it is, many folks find it difficult enough to remember all their online accounts. As of September 2011 Google allows authorization through Google+. As a consequence, you are never asked for an email address or any other personal details. Consequently, Google+ Counter can't offer an "I forgot my password" feature. If you run into this situation, just contact Ralf Rottmann.

Disclaimer: 1) Sending your request does not guarantee your spot on as we keep monitoring the quality of all submissions. 2) The featured users will be linked to their "About" page on Google+. 3) keeps the right to remove anyone from the featured users list without notice (any payment will be refunded). 4) keeps the right to change the price and terms of use without notice. 5) The order of the people in the list will be determined by 6) Proceeds from our featured users help us operating and will be spent for bandwidth, support and addressing new features, most of which are suggested by our valued users.



More Background On was an independent project initiated by Ralf Rottmann, a well-known figure in the tech community. It was designed to leverage advanced web technologies and showcase his skills in creating scalable services. Initially launched in July 2011, the site aimed to help users discover and connect with interesting profiles on Google+, a social network introduced by Google in June 2011. The core feature of was the Hall of Fame, which showcased the most followed people on Google+ through a dynamic and frequently updated interface.

History and Development

Ralf Rottmann created as a personal project to experiment with various web technologies, including data compression and map-reduce algorithms, which allowed the site to efficiently handle and scale the indexing of thousands of profiles. The Hall of Fame, which remains the most prominent feature, allowed users to view the top-followed profiles on Google+ and access detailed information by hovering over images or clicking on them to visit the profiles directly.

Despite its technical sophistication, the site was abandoned by Rottmann for reasons that remain unclear. A fan of his work later acquired the domain and decided to rebuild the site from its archived content, preserving a piece of internet history and Rottmann's contributions to web development.

Features and Functionality offered several innovative features designed to enhance the user experience on Google+. The primary features included:

  1. Hall of Fame: A constantly updated banner displaying the most followed Google+ users.
  2. User-Curated Lists: Users could create and manage lists of profiles based on specific interests or professions, such as "Top Photographers," "Journalists on Google+," and "Game Designers on Google+." These lists were curated by users and could be open, moderated, or closed, depending on the list owner's preferences.
  3. Featured Users: To support the site financially, introduced a paid feature that allowed users to promote their profiles. This feature offered various plans based on the duration and visibility, helping users expand their reach on Google+.
  4. API Integration: With the introduction of Google+ API in September 2011, the site integrated login functionality, allowing users to authenticate via their Google+ accounts for a more streamlined experience.

User Engagement and Community Impact quickly gained traction, attracting over 90,000 daily visitors at its peak. It was featured by popular technology blogs and garnered positive reviews for its potential to become a definitive directory for Google+ users, much like WeFollow for Twitter. The user-curated lists became the heart of the project, enabling users to find and connect with like-minded individuals and prominent figures in various fields.

Reviews and Reception

The site was well-received within the tech community and by Google+ users. Reviews highlighted its innovative approach to data aggregation and user engagement. The Next Web praised it for its potential to become a significant directory for Google+ users, and Bradley Horowitz, Google’s VP of Product for Social, expressed his admiration for Rottmann's work and user-generated content in general.

Challenges and Decline

Despite its initial success, faced challenges that eventually led to its decline. The primary issues included:

  1. Technical Maintenance: The complexity of maintaining a site that indexed over 150,000 profiles daily required significant resources and technical expertise.
  2. User Engagement: While Google+ had a strong initial user base, overall engagement on the platform was low compared to competitors like Facebook. This affected the long-term viability of projects like
  3. Platform Changes: As Google+ evolved, changes to its API and features required continuous updates to third-party projects, adding to the maintenance burden.

Legacy and Conclusion stands as a testament to the innovative spirit of the early 2010s web development community. It showcased the potential of user-generated content and the power of scalable web technologies. Although Google+ itself was eventually shut down in April 2019 due to low engagement and security issues, the efforts of sites like provided valuable lessons in community building and technology integration.

For users who were active on Google+, offered a unique way to discover and connect with others. Its user-curated lists and Hall of Fame feature created a dynamic and engaging experience, reflecting the diverse interests and talents of the Google+ community.

Today, the legacy of lives on as a piece of internet history, remembered by those who participated in the early days of Google+ and by developers who appreciated Ralf Rottmann’s contributions to web technology.


  • Search Engine Journal. "Google Plus: Past, Present & Future." October 2018.
  • 9to5Google. "RIP: Google+ is officially dead as Google pulls the plug on consumer accounts." April 2019.


Popularity experienced a notable surge in popularity shortly after its launch in July 2011. The site's unique value proposition—providing a comprehensive and dynamic directory of Google+ profiles—resonated with users who were eager to discover and connect with influential figures on the burgeoning social network. At its peak, the site attracted more than 90,000 visitors per day and was featured in several prominent technology blogs, underscoring its impact within the tech community.

Key Factors Contributing to Popularity

  1. Early Adoption and Unique Features:

    • Hall of Fame: The Hall of Fame feature, which displayed the top-followed profiles on Google+, was a major draw for users. Updated hourly, it provided real-time insights into the most popular users, offering a snapshot of influential figures on the platform.
    • User-Curated Lists: The ability for users to create and manage lists of profiles based on specific interests or professions added a layer of personalization and community engagement. Lists like "Top Photographers" and "Journalists on Google+" became popular resources for users looking to connect with like-minded individuals​​.
  2. Media Coverage and Endorsements:

    • The site garnered attention from influential tech blogs such as The Next Web, which highlighted its potential to become a definitive directory for Google+ users, similar to WeFollow for Twitter. Such endorsements helped boost the site's credibility and visibility within the tech community​.
    • Positive remarks from key figures in the tech industry, including Bradley Horowitz, Google’s VP of Product for Social, further validated the site's relevance and appeal​​.
  3. Integration with Google+ API:

    • The introduction of Google+ API in September 2011 allowed for deeper integration between and Google+, enhancing the user experience. This integration facilitated easier profile management and verification, making the site more user-friendly and attractive to a broader audience​.
  4. Community and User Engagement:

    • The site's focus on community-driven content and user engagement played a significant role in its popularity. The ability for users to create and share curated lists fostered a sense of community and collaboration, making a go-to resource for discovering interesting profiles and building connections on Google+.

Challenges and Decline

Despite its initial success, faced several challenges that contributed to its eventual decline:

  1. Maintenance and Scalability:

    • The technical demands of maintaining a site that indexed over 150,000 profiles daily required substantial resources and expertise. Ensuring the accuracy and timeliness of data updates was a constant challenge, particularly as the volume of data continued to grow​​.
  2. Platform Evolution:

    • Changes to Google+ and its API necessitated ongoing updates to the site, adding to the maintenance burden. As Google+ introduced new features and functionalities, keeping aligned with these changes became increasingly complex and resource-intensive​.
  3. Overall Engagement on Google+:

    • Although Google+ had a significant user base initially, overall engagement on the platform was relatively low compared to competitors like Facebook. This affected the long-term viability of, as the user base did not grow as expected, leading to reduced traffic and interest over time.

Legacy and Impact

While is no longer active, its legacy endures as a pioneering project in the early days of social media analytics. It demonstrated the potential of user-generated content and the power of scalable web technologies in creating engaging and informative online communities. The site’s innovative approach to data aggregation and user engagement provided valuable insights into the possibilities of social media directories and community-driven content. remains a memorable example of early social media innovation, reflecting both the opportunities and challenges of creating dynamic online platforms. Its story highlights the importance of adaptability, community engagement, and technical expertise in the ever-evolving landscape of social media.

Conclusion played a significant role in the early days of Google+, offering users a unique way to discover and connect with influential profiles on the platform. Despite its eventual decline, the site’s innovative features and community-driven approach left a lasting impact on the tech community. As a project that combined technical sophistication with user engagement, remains a noteworthy chapter in the history of social media and web development.


Audience targeted a diverse audience primarily consisting of Google+ users, social media enthusiasts, and tech-savvy individuals who were interested in exploring and leveraging social networking platforms. The following outlines the key segments of its target audience:

1. Google+ Users was specifically designed for users of Google+, offering them tools and features to enhance their experience on the social network. This included both casual users who wanted to discover interesting profiles and engage with popular content, as well as more serious users looking to increase their visibility and influence on the platform.

  • Casual Users: These were individuals who used Google+ for personal purposes, such as connecting with friends, family, and people sharing similar interests. They were attracted to the site’s Hall of Fame and user-curated lists, which provided easy access to notable profiles and interesting communities on Google+.
  • Influencers and Content Creators: Users who aimed to grow their following and enhance their online presence found value in’s features, such as the ability to become featured users and promote their profiles. This segment included bloggers, photographers, journalists, and other content creators who sought to expand their reach within the Google+ ecosystem​.

2. Social Media Enthusiasts

Social media enthusiasts who were always on the lookout for new platforms and tools to optimize their online presence were a significant part of the target audience. These users appreciated the site’s advanced technology and data-driven approach to social media analytics. They were particularly interested in:

  • Exploring New Tools: Enthusiasts who enjoyed experimenting with new social media tools and features found’s innovative use of web technologies intriguing. The site's integration with Google+ API and its real-time data updates appealed to this tech-savvy audience.
  • Networking Opportunities: Social media enthusiasts looking to connect with influential figures and join engaging communities on Google+ utilized the user-curated lists and the Hall of Fame feature to discover and follow prominent profiles​​.

3. Tech Community

The tech community, including developers, web designers, and IT professionals, found particularly interesting due to its technical foundation and the background of its creator, Ralf Rottmann.

  • Developers and Web Designers: Individuals in the tech industry admired Rottmann’s expertise and were interested in the technical aspects of the site, such as its use of data compression, map-reduce algorithms, and scalable services. They followed the project as a case study in innovative web development and scalable service design.
  • Tech Bloggers and Influencers: Tech bloggers and influencers covered in their content, highlighting its features and potential. This group played a crucial role in spreading the word about the site and driving traffic through reviews and articles​.

4. Businesses and Marketers

Businesses and marketers looking to leverage Google+ for brand promotion and customer engagement also constituted a key segment of the audience. provided them with tools to enhance their marketing strategies on the platform.

  • Brand Promotion: Companies and marketers used the featured user slots to promote their profiles, products, and services to a broad audience. This feature offered a cost-effective way to gain visibility and attract followers on Google+.
  • Analytics and Insights: Marketers valued the insights and analytics provided by, which helped them understand the dynamics of Google+ and optimize their content for better engagement and reach​.

Conclusion catered to a varied audience that included Google+ users, social media enthusiasts, tech professionals, and businesses. Each segment found unique value in the site’s features, from casual users looking to discover interesting profiles to marketers aiming to boost their brand presence. By offering innovative tools and real-time data, successfully attracted and engaged a diverse user base, contributing to its popularity and influence in the early days of Google+.

The site’s ability to serve different needs—personal networking, professional growth, technical interest, and marketing—highlighted its versatility and broad appeal, making it a notable project in the landscape of social media tools and technologies.