Get Over Yourself and Get On Google+

Image of Google+ Logo

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • That’s just dumb.
  • No one’s over there.
  • Who needs another social network?

Yep, many people, including me, were saying that about Twitter in 2008. Seems we were wrong.

Now, some people are saying the same things about Google+. Some of those people owe their current careers to being Twitter early adopters.

Threatened much?

Here’s the deal. Google+ in early 2013 is way ahead of Twitter circa 2008. And it’s much more important for content creators and marketers than Twitter … and that’s saying a lot.

Let’s look at why Google+ is more inevitable than ever for content marketers.

Google+ Passes Up Twitter

Google+ is now the second largest social network in terms of active users, passing Twitter and ranking only second to Facebook. So much for the “ghost town” theory, huh?

Where did all that ghost town talk come from, anyway? How about Facebook’s PR department and snarky bloggers who’ve invested too heavily in other platforms?

Be careful who you listen to.

The Possibilities of Google Authorship

We’ve told you how to set up Google authorship on your WordPress site. But is it really that important?

Being active and authoritative on Google+ has already proven to positively affect your rankings. But it could go much further than that in the future.

Authorship is the way Google knows who the creator of a piece of content is (via a Google+ profile), no matter which site that content resides on. And it has benefits all by itself, such as higher click-through rates from search engine results.

Author Rank is the idea – supported by patents filed by Google – that who creates a page of content (and links out from that page), based on their historical reputation for creating content people actually like, would become one of the signals Google relies on when ranking relevant results of a particular topic.

The combination of Google+, authorship and Author Rank will give people who create great content an unfair advantage. And it’s about time.

It’s All About Content

Facebook is downright hostile to content marketers unless you want to pay to reach your own audience. Twitter looks like it wants to be a content player itself.

Google+ isn’t a typical social network. It’s a topical network, organized around content, not who you went to high school with.

When an organization’s stated purpose is to organize the world’s information, it makes sense that Google+ has developed as a topical network. And instead of resisting, any content creator should be sprinting over to Google+ and building an audience there.

Let Us Help

We’re going to do our best to drag you over to Google+ for your own good.

  • First, head over there and add me to your circles. I’ll give you smart online marketing content and groovy 80s music videos.
  • We’ll also be doing live Hangouts (video presentations) including question and answer sessions.
  • We’ll be starting up online communities about content creation for everyone to participate in.

Cool?

About the author

Brian Clark


Brian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, and uncompromising evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on .

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  1. Just like you, I had been hesitant to get on Google+ for all the same reasons. Once I got there, I found so many great communities to interact with based on interests (topics). For someone running a business, in my case I’m a fiction author, this opens up a new, easy way to find great people to network with. I’ve been able to meet people I would have never been able to find anywhere else.
    Further evidence about how strong Google+ is come from Guy Kawasaki. He doesn’t even run a blog anymore. He just shares his content on Google+. I’m not saying we should all do it that way but it shows how powerful the platform is.
    Thanks for the article, as always.

  2. I’m still hanging in there. It may have more active users than Twitter but, for me at least, the traction, engagement and traffic are still superior at Facebook and Twitter.

    What’s more people joined Facebook and Twitter because they wanted to, whereas some people are on Google+ because they think they should.

    • Hashim Warren :

      That hasn’t been my experience. My friends on Facebook see being there as a chore, because it’s the only way to get the latest baby pictures of your nieces and nephews.

      My circles on Google+ are filled with people who are passionate about topics. I do Hangouts with Giants fans, talk shop with TV professionals, and support the projects of other Black geeks.

      I’ve been on Twitter since 2007, yet I have half as many followers there, despite posting the same type of content.

      • Like Hashim, I’ve virtually met lots of people who are passionate about what they do, or about specifics topics. I’ve had some marvelous conversations, found lots of new books to read, and made business connections I never would have made otherwise. I even got to meet some of them in real life.

        I virtually know someone who met his fiancée there, now gets a large chunk of business there, and is having his wedding officiated by someone he met on Google+.

      • This is encouraging, and what I am hoping my experience will be as I transition more of my time over to Google+. I’ve already seen it somewhat in a few Health and Fitness circles that are active, with engaged people who definitely seem like they want to be there. As I’ve discussed with other people, one of the biggest issues is just learning about all of the capabilities G+ has. The communities, the hangouts, etc., it can be a bit intimidating for some folks used to Twitter’s simplicity and to Facebook’s layout (even if it’s more complicated, people are used to it). I’m really looking forward to spending more time on G+ and less on the other two. They’ve become more time sucks than anything, whereas I always find value from my time at G+.

  3. Brian, Google+ may be the next thing but it will take a bit. Especially if people keep treating it as another Twitter type outlet, just sharing links. On Twitter you can easily scroll past hundreds of uninteresting links. Google+ takes more screen space per post (longer to get past all the links) and requires more work for the user to manage their circles. With many lazy users, that’s not fun.

    Other than that, Google+ has some great people, conversations, and the communities feature is fantastic.

  4. You’re right, Brian.

    I am getting more involved in the entire Google ecosystem more and more from Hangouts to Communities and the integration into the Google email platform. It just makes sense.

    Calling it a ghost town is just parroting very old ‘wisdom’. Google+ is simply what you want it to be and not what is forced on you to be. That’s the brilliance. Could it be that people are just too lazy to actually learn what it does?

    Would love to learn more about it myself so will check out your materials which I am sure are top notch. Want to talk to the Marketing Pilgrim crowd about your thoughts?

  5. Hey Brian,

    I’m surprised you don’t have a +YourName type Google+ account. (e.g. http://google.com/+BrianClark)

    You’d think Google would have given you one… for sure (all popular accounts seemed to be getting one).

    Great article, and yes, it certainly isn’t a “ghost town” here.

  6. I am looking for a broadcast app that will post my twitter comments to both Google+ and Facebook. Any suggestion?

  7. You know, it’s funny. Google+ is where I’ve seen the most growth as far as social networks are concerned, and it’s required the least amount of effort because it is so topical.

    Perhaps they’re on to something when it comes to organizing people by their interests.

  8. Hmmmm

    I was actually an early Adopter of Twitter back in 2008

    I have been Avoiding Google + for just the reason you mentioned .. Who needs another social network?

    Guess i gotta revisit this

    Jack Bastide

  9. It always helps build your numbers when you threaten people with a loss of search ranking if you don’t use their product then force users of your other products to use your new one whether they want to or not.

    Google epitomizes the stereotype that marketers are a slimy step above used car salesmen.

    • That’s one way to look at it. On the other hand, one could say that the world’s most popular search engine is getting smarter by tying search results to actual authors as a way to reflect true authority. Just like it works offline.

      • That’s based on the false premise that having a Google account makes you more authoritative than someone with an account anywhere else. Will they weigh an About.me page, a Facebook page, or a Twitter account the same as their proprietary accounts? I seriously doubt it.

        It’s not about providing better search results; it’s about nothing more than forcing people to use their service. Which, by the way, seemed to be floundering until the threats started flying.

        As a voracious consumer of web content, whether someone has a Google account makes precisely zero difference to me as to how authoritative I think their content is. Why would it? Anyone can get one for free. How “authoritative is that”?

        • It’s not the account that makes you authoritative, it’s your content. The account is just a way to claim your content.

          Anyway, I guess it all comes down to the fact that you are not entitled to rank well in Google unless you play by their rules. It’s always been that way, and no one is forcing you to get search traffic. ;)

          • I think the visitors are entitled to get relevant search results. With this latest trick, Google practically says straight out that the actual content is losing importance relative to who wrote it and what network they’re subscribed to.

            As a user of search engines I want results to be chosen only by the content. That’s what made search engines great in the first place. You weren’t influenced by geographic restrictions, by whom you hung out with or what newspapers are published at your local store.
            Now Google is bringing back the days of information-village mentality and actually selling it to us as something new.

    • But Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and all the others do this to some degree as well, wouldn’t you say? To play in their “walls,” they make a “deal” with you… trade your information, content, whatever… make you join their related services etc… in exchange for using their free services.

      If the particular service (e.g. Google) happens to become a dominant player in their industry, and you can leverage that for your business in some fashion, AND you’re OK with the “deal” you signed up for when using their service(s)… why wouldn’t you use the resulting leverage (e.g. authority within the biggest and most powerful search engine online) for your business?

      If you don’t like their “deal”… don’t use the service, I suppose. And I can personally attest that each of the “deals” out their being offered by various services have their positive and negative parts.

      I personally like Google’s “deal,” but I can also see where some don’t.

  10. I’m curious how they define an “active user.” I log in to Facebook 4 or 5 times a day, but because I am always logged into my Google account (for Gmail), I am also logged into Google+, even though I never use it. Do my actions on other Google tools make me an “active user?”

  11. Well said…I too believe Google Plus is in early stage and our current theory about Google Plus might prove wrong on a long run.With new features like “Communities” Google Plus surpassed the Facebook Groups feature and works well for bloggers.

  12. Guilty.

    I’ve been using Google+, but only because I have to, just as you mentioned. Yes, it’s very much a chore. No, none of my real friends are there. I get no value from it other than authorship. It’s redundant social media at this point. That’s not to say that it won’t provide real benefit some day, but that day has yet to come for me. I look forward to the day a real person responds to a Google + post of mine.

  13. I have been persuing google + lately and I have noticed the same thing. People seem to be more passionate about certain topics over there and it’s easier to find the niches that fit you than on facebook. It seems you get more nuggets of gold over on google +. It’s easier to network with people in my field of either work or interest than it is on facebook. I am going to reignite my presence on google + and leave facebook for nonchalant socializing. The time for google + is now… Especially with it surpassing twitter.

  14. Regina Gilbert :

    Thank you for this article! Until last week the light bulb did not go on for me about Google+. I had an account but did nothing with it. That will soon change because the defining moment came when I listen to a Webinar that explained Google+ and the benefits of building Communities. I definitely see the advantage of being able to segment content within Communities . I look forward to seeing what Copyblogger has in store over at Google+.

    • Hey Regina, Do you possibly have a link to that webinar you listened to? Or, can anyone recommend videos/webinars that show the benefit of Google+?

  15. I want to use Google+ but I can’t figure it out! I’ve watched several tutorials and read a bunch of articles but it’s beyond me. I am trying, though, and I just added you to my circle. So let’s see how it goes!

  16. Been on Google+ a few months now and slowly seeing results. More and more people adding to their circles. The Communities feature is really powerful. Good read!

  17. Brian stated that G+ is more of a “topical network”. I totally agree with this viewpoint. Facebook is the “who do you know?” network while G+ has become the “what do you know/what are your interests” network. If I want to see Pic’s of the latest family reunion, graduation, etc. I’ll check my FB page but if I want to know what’s in the works to improve the user experience in the WordPress plugin repository or the design and development directions for 2013 I turn to to the WordPress Dev or Genesis Dev communities on G+ where I can be a part of the conversation by talking with thought leaders or viewing a Hangout.

  18. Brian, this is one of the best “why you should not ignore Google+ posts I’ve seen anywhere.” Be certain I will be sharing this with my 30,000+ followers on G+.

    I’ve been interacting quite a bit with the members of my Google Authorship and Author Rank Community on G+ about the meaning of the Eric Schmidt quote. Here is my detailed post with my conclusions about what we can and can’t know from what Scmidt has said: http://www.virante.org/blog/2013/02/06/google-author-rank-has-google-chairman-eric-schmidt-now-confirmed-it/

  19. Oh, forgot to mention in my previous comment that I recommended and linked to this post in my blog post!

  20. I like Twitter, but it’s like being in a high school hallway. Facebook is like an overcrowded community center. Google+ is like a living room with a more personal touch of interaction. On Facebook, you have to sift through thousands of comments (many are trolls or spammers) on one status. In Google+ we have less distraction from trolls and users can easily and quickly get into conversations. If you want to have your voice heard, use Google+ instead. You’re more likely to get your name seen and message heard. And besides that, G+ isn’t hiding your statuses from your audience’s news feed then asking you to pay to get it back.

  21. I like Google+ it’s so clean and has cool features. I just always forget to share on Google+.

  22. Is there an easier way to automatically upload blog post links to Google+? I have Genesis Framework, and Google+ (personal & pages). Thank you in advance!

    I’ve recently added Google Authorship to my pages, and can see my profile next to some of my content in Google search results. It’s really neat to see! But, I’ve noticed the (same queried keyword) results look different when I’m not actually signed into my Gmail account. Hmm…

  23. Thanks for the motivation to start actively using Google+. I’ve been slow using Google+ but I think the idea of AuthorRank is great.

    I’m running Genesis and also running Yoast SEO and both have inputs for Google+ page addresses. I’m guessing my site is defaulting to Yoast for its settings, but instead of adding a , it’s adding . Are author and publisher tags synonymous here?

  24. Actually, it looks like the Yoast plugin is adding the rel “publisher” tag to only my home page and the rel “author” tag to individual post pages. Does anyone know the differences between publisher and author tags? Thanks!

  25. I signed up when it started, was completely and utterly baffled by it and not gone back since. I personally don’t know ANYONE who uses it either, from 100′s of FB and Twitter users… I think if it hadn’t have been ‘Google’ it would have died long ago.

  26. Great post. I’m on G+…in fact, over the past 3 days I’ve spent more time there than I have before.
    And, I’m already following you!
    But, I still need to learn about circles and the true power of the platform.
    So far so good, and, like I heard yesterday…again courtesy of content from Brian Clark…’the machines have already taken over’!

  27. As more and more content creators join Google+ the more valuable it will be to content consumers, obviously. I think they have a great long term strategy. I just got tired of the inanity of Facebook and left. Google+ here I come.

  28. “Google+ Passes Up Twitter”

    If active users = people who were prompted to ‘upgrade’ when they log into their gmail accounts then sure.

  29. I keep joining all the networks as they come up and have been on Google + while it was still in testing phase but like any social media, just being there is not enough. you need to do something once you are there and that means investing the time to build your network and interact with people. Google + is still my smallest network but I know it is important – after all it is Google. I have gone over and added you to a couple of circles. Now to use those smarter too.

  30. I like to think of G+ as a hair metal band from the 80s. Bands like Cinderella and Ratt came out with a bang, then everyone lost interest. But they made a comeback and now folks are celebrating this genre all over again. (Probably due to the sad state of music currently.) In other words, go back and discover the cool things that make G+ a stand out and enjoy it for what it is today, a force to be reckoned with and a vital part of your social and SEO strategy.

    Jason Miller – Marketo

  31. Hi Brian,

    thanks for the great post. Have to say it is taking me some time to get into Google+, especially hanging out. Again thanks for this and all the other great information you guys provide.

  32. Hello,

    “Google+ isn’t a typical social network. It’s a topical network, organized around content, not who you went to high school with.” This is why I think Google+ is breath of fresh air. There are enough social media networks where you can connect with family, friends, and former high school and college friends and cause drama-rama, if you want to do so. I like the professionalism of Google+ and LinkedIn.

    *My publisher likes to use Google Hangouts instead of Skype. I liked it and found it easy to use.

    Google is convenient because almost everyone has a Google account.

  33. I’m very active on G+ – it’s my preferred choice of social network as I’m a photographer and the community over there is so passionate about the subject.

    I see a lot of people just posting links to their latest blog post and quite frankly most people on G+ rarely click on those links as they want to see content on your G+ post and discover more about you. If you’ve built up a following over there eventually they will click on a blog post link if you give them a good teaser in the G+ post .

  34. Hashim Warren :

    Arguing about how big or small or active Google+ is wastes your time.

    Just do a search there for people talking about your topic. If there are more than 10 conversations there a day about whatever you create content about. Then that’s more than enough to keep you busy every day engagingwith people.

  35. I know I need to do more with G+. I’ve got my authorship set up and everything, but I haven’t done much more than post links to my blogs. Maybe the communities thing will provide more opportunities for engagement?

  36. Active users are measured as people who sign up for a Google Account (Gmail, Picasa, YouTube, etc), as well as people who have signed into those services. Google is cooking the books.

    Not buying the popularity of G+, sorry. There is still way more engagement on Twitter and FB (and even LinkedIn, in some instances).

    • Stephen (RE: “Active Users”)

      You statement is simply not accurate. In recent figures for Google+, Google has been careful to distinguish “active users” from “people with accounts.” The latter fits your definition. At the latest numbers announcement, on 6 December 2012, Google+ head Vic Gundotra said, ““Today Google+ is the fastest-growing network thingy ever. More than 500 million people have upgraded, 235 million are active across Google (+1′ing apps in Google Play, hanging out in Gmail, connecting with friends in Search…), and 135 million are active in just the stream,” (Source: http://www.webpronews.com/ghost-town-google-boasts-135-million-active-users-2012-12)

      The last number he later clarified to Danny Sullivan at the SMX Social Media Las Vegas keynote, at which I was in attendance, as “active monthly users.” That means any user who has done something on plus.google.com in the past 30 days. And that is the SAME standard Twitter and Facebook use to report “active users.”

      The “second largest global network” stat comes from an independent firm that surveys a large number of social media users from across the world, and is not an official Google figure.

  37. Let’s be real. Google is trying to strong arm people into using everything they create. They say use this… or they toss up veiled threats to bury you in SERPs. Eric Schmidt said he wanted to rank big G verified accounts over people who choose not to use their service. In addition, he also threw in that he wanted every user account to be in a government database. Paging Mr. Orwell.

    I understand that G+ may take off, so people might want to begin developing a presence on G+ because I guess you can’t fight city hall. But whatever happened to the market? I guess I am old fashioned, but I thought it was up to the business to create a product or service that users want. I mean…I read that all the time on blogs like this when giving advice to new bloggers. I suppose that doesn’t apply to big G.

    Yeah. I have to live in the real world, so I understand the implications of using Google products. That doesn’t mean they aren’t starting to creep me out a little

  38. I’ve been on Google+ for a month because my work filters every other site ever that I care about. I love + now.

  39. A holdback was not knowing you can merge accounts: http://google.com/takeout for those that may want it.

    I’mma be on here and making the bestest content.

  40. Top 10 guide to what Google+ is good for:

    1) Talking about how great Google is.
    2) Talking about how great Google+ is.
    3) Talking about how great Android is.
    4) Talking about how to use Google+.
    5) Bashing Facebook (or anyone that uses it.)
    6) Bashing Twitter (or anyone that uses it.)
    7) Bashing anything made by Apple (or anyone that uses it.)
    8) Talking about how to use Google+.
    9) Telling people to “Get over yourself and get on Google+.”
    10) Limited Hangouts (because all the public hangouts went the way of the dodo due to creepers and trolls.)

    • Says the guy digital sharecropping at Etsy.

      • It asked for a website. I filled one in. :)

        Should I have put my Google+ profile in there instead?

        • Ideally, you would have put in your website. :)

        • The point being, you’re not a real online publisher if you’re publishing on someone else’s land and trusting them with your future. And people who think it’s okay to publish on other people’s land generally aren’t interested in Google+, because Google+ can only help people who have their own websites.

          So thank you for your top 10 list. But you’re not ready to enter this discussion.

          • Brian and Sonia,

            I’m not sure if either of you looked at the number of sales I’ve had through Etsy or if you’ve looked up who I am on Google+. I’m also not sure how I am “vulnerable.” Etsy is a highly reputable site that gives my artwork great exposure, handles transactions for me, provides the ability to print out mailing labels and tracks all my stats and lends credibility to my shop by handling the collecting of feedback. Yes, I do pay for these services, but everything is offered at a relatively low rate.

            I’d have to say I am very ready to enter your discussion due my experience on Google+. I’ve been posting since the beta, I am experienced with hangouts, I have over 200,000 followers, I have experience on the SUL, and I am the writer and creator of top content.

            Here’s a link to my G+ profile: https://plus.google.com/114468593663912084118/posts

            Should we discuss this in a hangout? Give me a time and a date and I’ll try to be there.

          • Sorry Aaron, I was being a bit grumpy. Good luck with everything. :)

  41. Yes Author Rank will make Google search more like ebay or craigslist.

    No image = low chance of getting clicked.

    I wonder how the other search engines will deal with this.

    Do you think they will adopt Google’s standard or create their own?

  42. Fascinating how passionate we all are about this. Our social spaces matter a lot to us.

    I, for one, like G+ but don’t spend enough time there to get the most out of it. It’s one of my Groundhog Day resolutions. :)

  43. Willing to try and looking forward to your guidance. Thanks!

  44. Hi, I am studying Social Media Theory & Practice with @dr4ward at @NewhouseSU and I have recently subscribed to your blog. I found this particular entry to be very interesting because we are beginning to explore G+ in class and while I am still figuring it out I find it assuring that enough people are using it that it is now the second most-used social media outlet behind Facebook but before Twitter and Instagram, which I use on a frequent basis. While I find myself coming around to G+, this post will surely push me to keep exploring what the social media outlet has to offer. #NewhouseSM4

  45. Right now, my use of G+ is not at all the same as my use of other social networks. I’m learning to write fiction, and needed the feedback of others pursuing similar goals. I searched for an online class, but nothing was quite right. Through G+ I found several others interested in a seminar style “class”. We used shared Google docs to develop a list of topics, and members volunteered to research and present on topics from the list.

    We meet via Hangouts once a week, go over that week’s topic, and talk about any obstacles or stumbling blocks we are dealing with in our own writing. During the week we share our writing, again using Google docs, leave comments for one another, and generally lend each other support. Recently we have been giving each other challenges that encourage consistency or hitting a certain word count or whatever.

    The point of all this is to say: Google+ brings together all sorts of functionality that allows users to try new things. Sure, we could have done the same thing with some combination of Facebook, Skype, Twitter, and email, but using G+ makes it easy and convenient.

  46. I’ve been using G+ for quite a while now and let me admit, I still find FB and twitter much easy to use. Even after using publisher tag for my bog, traffic on my site hasn’t improved much. I hope more people will join G+ in near future and make it a strong social community.

  47. Hi Brian,

    Good post! Loved reading it. Yes no doubt that G+ is a largest social network with huge number of active users and which is lot of effective. Thanks for the useful information.

  48. I have been using Google+ since the day after it was launched. I was tired of the incessant chatter and voyeurism on Facebook and Twitter – people posting every detail of what they were up to- so much that for most people the thought of the reaction on Facebook was more important than their enjoying what they were doing at the moment. Google+, thankfully, has fewer people than Facebook but they are a passionate bunch. Everything is interest-based. It has even started replacing Google Reader as my source of daily reading material. I do not care about knowing every detail of the lives of all the people I have ever known. It is superior, and way ahead in ease of use, aesthetics and design of both the web and the mobile applications. Love it.

  49. I’m dreading the days when search results all have a face staring back at me.
    Not all content is about the author you know. When I want to know about, say, theory of evolution, I don’t want some pop-author’s opinion on it. It’s like Google is reducing the internet to just bloggers. Worse, to just big popular bloggers. As if popularity=authority and therefore guaranteed quality. And now it’ll get even worse because the “big guys” will be even more safe to publish crap than they were before.

    Yesterday I wanted some non-mainstream opinions on a current scandal in my country because the mainstream opinion is well known and the same in every publication. And every search result on the first 3 pages was by a big magazine/newspaper. Not one individual page by somebody who isn’t tied to pleasing some big entity.

    You blogging experts may know what’s best for bloggers, but you sure as hell don’t know what’s best for users. Ask yourselves this as search engine users: What is the greater evil, having the best possible results with a few spam results or having no spam results but also not seeing some of the best results?

    Google has chosen the latter as their philosophy.

    • If you’re looking for more results from individuals vs. big organizations like magazines and newspapers, AuthorRank will help the search results see more of those. That’s what AuthorRank does.

      Right now “theory of evolution” is dominated by organizations, with Wikipedia at the top. With AuthorRank, there will be more opportunity for a well-respected writer (maybe someone like Neil deGrasse Tyson) to start showing up on page one. And because Google weighs links from places like universities more heavily, the writers who attract those links — which probably won’t be the “pop author” writers — will be more likely to win out.

      If you’re worried that Copyblogger is going to start ranking for “theory of evolution,” don’t — a writer’s authority depends on the topic. It’s the writers who have a consistently good reputation on a given topic who will start to have an advantage.

      It’s *always* worth challenging the idea that Google gets everything right. They certainly don’t. But from everything I’m seeing, I think this step is a wise one to improve user results, and I think that in the examples you’ve chosen, it makes it more likely that you’ll see a quality result.

  50. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Google+.
    I’ve found the audience their to be far more engaging than Twitter and the Communities are incredibly active too.
    In some instances I’ve begun sharing content regularly with G+ Communities over my Followers because the audience is bigger and the response rate higher. Although this seems to earn me even more Followers in turn.

    It’s brilliant!

  51. I’ve been on Google+ for a month but i dont have single follower on it. i dont think its better than twitter ..

    • You do tend to get followers showing up right away on twitter, but most if not all of them are spam robot accounts.

      Circle people who write about your topic. Get into conversations. You can’t expect to just open an account and start attracting followers.

  52. I was in here in Beta but left because no one came. I’m back, primarily because Facebook has made so many boneheaded decisions that pushed me away – I HAD to try something else. But G+ has to work harder to convince ‘the masses’ that there are reasons to be in here. Hangouts ARE a big plus, but most of my non G+ friends don’t know about them. They should promote the ‘all in one’ functions. But they need to stop promoting them to G+ers, and promote them to FB users.

  53. Funnily enough I have actively avoided FB, Twitter and Google+ but I have had to give in recently. I have managed to get FB and Twitter up and running but like another commenter here, I have really struggled to get to grips with Google+, but it looks like I will have to revisit it. It still looks like the jury is out looking at the mix of comments here though.

  54. Brian, you are spot on. I’ve been saying these same things for quite some time now, and it’s great to have a voice as powerful as yours to direct people towards. There are more than a few people with significant “Platform” who still don’t get it. While they may not listen to me, maybe your voice will give them the eye-opening they need!

  55. For all those who say, “I got on Google+ but left because no one was there (or my friends weren’t there or no one followed me)…

    You’ve seen in this comment thread plenty of people saying those things…and plenty of us who are having exactly the opposite experience. You ought to be asking yourself why that is.

    Here’s the truth: Google+ is different from every other social network you’ve joined, and it won’t do the heavy lifting for you. But if you get a few concepts down and begin to work them, the rewards will be richer than you get anywhere else.

    1) Your Google+ experience is only as good as the people you follow there. Be thoughtful and intentional about who you add to your circles. The people who claim they only see spam and marketing posts have only themselves to blame. Google+ doesn’t show you anything from people you don’t follow (with the exception of What’s Hot, which you can block from your main stream by going to the Explore tab and moving the slider at top all the way to the left).

    2) Google+ isn’t about chatting with the same old people you already talk with on FB and Twitter (why would you need to talk to the same people in yet another network?). Google+ is about discovering new, interesting people who you would never meet on those other platforms. It’s powerful search (learn and use the filters in the dropdown after you hit “return” for a search keyword) enables you to find people, pages and communities talking about your interests.

    3) Google+ rewards the interesting, the innovative, the givers, the helpers, the useful ones. Be those in the conversations you enter into. You’ll get a following if you do.

    • Mark, what should you do with the same people who keep interacting with you on your posts? Should you dump them and start over? After all, it isn’t Facebook, right? How long does it take to become a “friend” with someone on G+ and then you’d probably have to not talk to them anymore because they’re just a “same old person?”

      How often do you actively go out and search for new, interesting people to interact with? Or do you find yourself waiting for people to comment on YOUR content and then you strike up a conversation with them?

      What “rewards” are you getting from G+? Getting on “What’s Hot?” New followers that don’t interact with you, but circle you because of a shared circle?

      • Hi Aaron,

        I’m trying to grasp what you’re after from me in your questions. You asked me what I “should you do with the same people who keep interacting with you on your posts?” Is that supposed to be a problem? I happen to enjoy that I’m part of a community of people who regularly comment on each other’s posts. Why would I “dump them and start again”?

        My advice above was intended for new users of Google+, people who don’t know how to get jump started. I now have over 30,000 followers there; nowhere near what you got to before you quit, but still enough that I don’t need to any longer go out and seek new followers. My reputation and influence for the things I write about is well-established enough there that now my network grows itself, as people recommend me to their friends.

        And what are my rewards? That’s a great question. I’m a ham at heart, so I love having an audience; I’ll certainly admit to that! But more tangibly, I’ve been able to connect and build relationship with influential people in my industry who I might never have gotten to otherwise. And those have turned into real-world, tangible benefits. Because of my reputation on G+ I’m now getting invited to speak at major national conferences in my field. My company’s name is getting better known, and my reputation on G+ is resulting in people calling us to do business with us. My G+ network has been our single biggest source of leads in the past year. And now I’m writing a book that will be endorsed by and have the preface written by a huge name in my business, someone I met through G+. That’s what it’s doing for me

  56. Brian,

    Thanks so much for posting this. Although I have a Google+ profile that I use occasionally, I hadn’t noticed I didn’t link the profile to my WordPress. I added you to the my circles, and will definitely use it a lot more. Next step is to get on a responsive framework!

  57. OIK, i will trust you and give it a try :) I added you to my circles too!

  58. Brian, as I understood, Google+ is a must for bloggers and people who generally post something online. Should it only be limited to writers and bloggers? How Can B2B company owners use it to increase their sales, for example? Thank you for the ingihts!

  59. Great post. I admit that I’ve been slow to getting around on Google+. I do view it as more of a “Tier 2″ network behind Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest. There are only so many social networks you can really use, you know? But it certainly can’t hurt. If you can automatically blast out your updates/posts onto G+, there’s really no harm in it.

  60. Unless and until Google alters its tax policy in USA and Europe, and pays corporate taxes which reflect where its software is being developed and where its customers are located, I will continue to minimise the business I do with Google. So no Google plus for me.

  61. You’re right as always; thanks.

  62. Getting up and running as an individual on Google+ seems like it’s easy to do. But, what about a Company Page? I write for a company’s blog and shouldn’t we be able to participate in circles, et all like individuals do? As a page?

    I’d love any ideas anyone may have!

  63. I never thought about it. It seems Google+ has more potentials than any other social sites like Facebook and Twitter. I’ll certainly consider using it from now on.

    Thanks for the heads-up, Brian!

    Anup