By leveraging privacy and analytic capability other social media platforms lack, the public sector could find a proverbial breath of fresh air with Google Plus.

Leading authorities on social media marketing and search engine optimization discussed the pros and cons of the newest platform in the pack during a Social Media Today webinar Tuesday that drew more than 200 attendees.

In a conversation moderated by Social Media Group CEO Maggie Fox, panelists Debra Ellis and David Amerland said they don’t see Google Plus as a replacement for or threat to Facebook or any other platform. Rather, both said it will continue to drive positive change in the social media landscape.

Both also agree search capability and increased privacy give Google Plus an edge with some audiences, even while the latter has caused problems and debate over a requirement to use real names.

“They haven’t really carefully thought that out,” said Amerland, a blogger and best-selling author of books on online marketing, SEO and the social media revolution. “This adoption has broken every record in the book, so every stumbling block is elevated. They will work it out.”

Launched in June to a limited, invitation-only population of social media mavens, Google Plus initially racked up more than 25 million users. In recent weeks, many commentators have argued that Google Plus could become a viable competitor to Facebook, as well as Twitter, Flickr and other second tier social media platforms.

Amerland and Ellis, of Debra Ellis, Wilson & Ellis Consulting and author of the Multichannel Magic blog, said the new kid on the block comes with some advantages that make it worth adding to overall time spent on social media to drive business.

They praise the platform’s ability to compartmentalize networks in order to have more space between business and personal interaction and better marketing targets.

For example, Ellis said, if you want to post the cutest picture of your puppy dog, you can do that and just send it to your friends. Or, as Maggie pointed out, you can set up a Circle called “Frenemies” and no one will know it and you can post information accordingly.

“The privacy with Google is one of the bigger selling points,” said Ellis. “But part of that hurts Google Plus. (Facebook) is a little more social and personal.”

But what it lacks in social flair, Google Plus makes up for with marketing analysis and search ability, they said.

“Google Plus is crucial in terms of real-time search,” Amerland said. “Google has the power of search and it will always work in its favor.”

That said, data shows traffic is already declining among a mostly young, male audience who work in the tech industry. And both experts essentially agreed that success with a population beyond techies depends on social engagement features that continue to allow greater levels of privacy and separation of networking groups.