Is Google+ Where You Should Be?

Google+ for VisibilityIt’s been awhile since we’ve talked about Google+. As Facebook loses the interest of many users, Google+ appears to keep growing. For me, the visibility value of time spent on Google+ is far better than the same keystrokes or time on Facebook. From a pure business perspective, you might find that Google+ is the place to be.

Think about your interactions on both platforms. Most people tend to spend a lot of time “talking” to the same people or groups of people on Facebook. What do you do on Google+? It’s not the same is it? Typically, you’re not sharing pictures of your kids and pets. Maybe that’s the secret to increasing your visibility. Go where people don’t know you!

Many of you have developed your Google+ pages but have never really used them. Think about the potential when you interact on a social platform that’s connected to the world’s largest search engine (Google) and the world’s second largest search engine (YouTube). Here’s some tips on how you can build your presence on this interconnected social platform:

Contributor to Links in you Google+ Profile
Contributor to Links in you Google+ Profile
  • Determine your objective – build your personal profile (build trust and authority) or develop and promote a brand page. There is quite a bit of overlap with the two, because you can’t do one without the other.
  • Take a month to develop relationships. Engage with others, share and +1 posts and build those individuals into Circles. It’s tough, but refrain from posting your own content too soon.
  • Claim your Google Authorship in your profile page. This important step connects you to the sites where you contribute. You can see more about this in a previous post on Indies Unlimited.
  • When you set up your profile picture of yourself, make sure you tag it!

The potential for Circles on Google+ is enormous. As you build relationships, you have the ability to create content/event related Circles. For example, if you have two covers that you’re trying to decide between, we typically will go to our favorite Facebook group and ask them what they like the best. You’ll get lots of helpful advice from a closed group of “friends” that we always converse with. It’s not a bad method, and we usually get great feedback.

What if you took the same question to Google+? You can tap into a huge number of people through Google groups. Maybe you’re down to your final two science fiction book covers and you want to see what kind of input you would get from a science community. Bam, you can instantly feed your post to thousands of people in that group and get far different feedback than you would from a “book” group on Facebook. You could test your book covers in any number of communities and develop feedback—science fiction, space, astronomy—you get the picture. Now, you have Circle power at your fingertips!

Here’s the way to leverage Circles—as people respond, you place them in a newly created Circle (name it whatever you like) and now you can communicate directly to those folks. Send a message out to them when you have your final product thanking them for their help.

If you need more info on Circles and the basics of Google+, you can see Rich Meyer’s post here or my earlier post here. As the commercialization of Facebook continues, Google+ keeps growing in popularity and impact. Now might be a good time to shift some of your keystrokes to this platform.

Author: Jim Devitt

Jim Devitt’s debut YA novel, The Card, hit #1 in three separate categories on the Kindle Bestseller list in early January and was a finalist in the Guys Can Read Indie Author Contest this past summer. Devitt currently lives in Miami, FL with his wife Melissa and their children. Learn more about Jim at his blog and his Amazon author page.

52 thoughts on “Is Google+ Where You Should Be?”

    1. Great question, Yvonne. I’ll try to answer this here, if I don’t do a good job, email me and we’ll walk through it …

      Go to your Google+ profile page and find the drop down menu located under the Google+ logo on the upper left hand side, it should say “Home”.

      Click the dropdown and scroll to “Photo” and click it.

      Now scroll down through the pictures until you see the category “Profile Photo” and you’ll see your profile pic.

      On the right side of the page you’ll find “Tag People”, click and type in your name. It should give you options of how Google views you, just select one and click the “Done Tagging” button.

      Hope this helps!

        1. In short, it helps for brand recognition and SEO purposes. The more ways you can identify yourself (YouTube, Blog, G+, images, etc.) the greater the priority the search engines give you. Tagging on Facebook is fairly useless for Google search, so you have to look for ways to get your name out there on Google and tagging your picture is one.

        2. It doesn’t exactly attach to everything you put on Google, it associates your name with the picture. As with most things Google, its all about stuff behind the scenes. The more ways Google can identify you and the more relevant the Search engine thinks you are … the more relevant the search engine thinks you are, the higher up it will rank you when people search keywords that are related to you and what you post.

  1. The best is still to come:
    Posting on Google’+ means being DIRECTLY in Google’s Search Engine and spiders don’t need to find you. Since I am on Google+ I am finding my posts constantly on Google’s search results – on the first page, often on the first place. And my blog visitors at SavvyBookWriterscom/blog come to 40% from Google’s search engines. So if you want to have your website or blog easily found, posting on Google+ is a no-brain-er.

      1. My experience too. One day, thought, I’m going to make sure that I’m not seeing the search results because Google knows I’m the searcher. Paranoid a little?

        1. you do need to click ‘hide personal results’ or search Incognito – before you can say I am on Page 1. Google serves us each personalised results, unless we say no. Or use DuckDuckGo to get a neutral view of what your readers might find when searching.

    1. Here’s the scoop on connecting G+ to Twitter, you can’t do it organically through G+, there are several third party apps that will do the trick for you, probably the best and easiest to manage is

      Personally, I don’t do that, I believe that the platforms are unique enough that people on Twitter don’t necessarily want my G+ content and such. I do post similar content on each, but not by pushing content from one to the other. I hope that just made sense!

  2. Thanks for the run-down, Jim. I’ve resisted this one. Partly because I kind of hit a “I’m not going to be on every social medium in the universe” point, partly because of not really “getting” how it works, and partly because Google keeps pretending I’m on it in my other programs, like gMail. They bug me with the way they seem to want to own the whole world.
    Who do they think are, Amazon?

    1. You make a good point Linton. There are so many different social media systems out there, all requiring different inputs and operating mechanisms, that one can easily get confused, especially if you have a a few years under your belt and are not a child of the cyber generation.
      It takes so long to learn all that is necessary to get the best out of each system that by the time you do, it’s old hat and has been replaced by something new.
      I suppose it keeps the cyber geeks in employment, but it leaves me cold. I’m going back to my quill and parchment!

    2. You’re right about Google getting into everything. However, Google+ is not the ad universe that FB has become, and as far as I know, they aren’t using “like” factories to fabricate results and get you to pay more money.

      However, my main reasons for G+ are SEO and SERP. You’ll notice a nice bump if you start to post and interact regularly. BTW, regularly doesn’t have to be all the time, even once per week and it will help, 3x per week is even better.

  3. Thanks for posting this, Jim. I’ve taken a bit of a wishy washy approach to Google+, partially because I haven’t taken the time to figure it out. Looks like it’s time I did.

    1. That’s been me to a tee, J.P. It’s there, I’ve mucked about on it without any strategy. So, Jim’s post has been tremendously helpful. I do agree with a lot of what he says about Facebook, which has been my main medium of choice.

      1. Thanks JP and Karen, I really believe that G+ gives you more bang per keystroke. I’m not saying that you should scrap FB, it has its place and we have wonderful relationships there, but for marketing, SEO and SERP, you can’t beat G+.

  4. In 2012 Google controlled 73.48% of the search engine market share and pointed to over 40 billion pages… surely more by now. Bing had 11.89% and Yahoo 12.47% only leaving bread crumbs for anyone else out there. Yes – bigger than Amazon 🙂

  5. Thanks for posting this, Jim. I’ve yet to set up a G+ page. I guess I need to get on that, because I’m getting pretty tired of Facebook’s “improvements”.

    1. You’re absolutely right. Also, get your Google Authorship set up, it really adds to the SERP, the link to “how to” is above in the post. Google also considers Circle size in their algorithm. Thanks, Jeri!

  6. I’m sold! Well done, Jim. I’ve been on Google+ for a while and not been using it properly. This has changed my view of it.

  7. Great post! I’m just starting to utilize Google+ and I’m loving it! Lots of great information and it’s driving traffic to my website. YAY!

    1. Nice to hear, Elke. Fantastic way to drive traffic to your website. Thanks for you comment.

  8. Thank you, Jim, for this great article.

    Very useful information, especially on the management of circles. Google is a major powerhouse, and I agree, it definitely makes sense to spend some time on G+, especially for connecting with others and SEO purposes.

  9. Thanks for the Post, and it generated great comments. Question; do you have an opinion about the value of a business page vs a personal profile (for authors, specifically)?

    1. Thanks Michael. Good question.

      The business page on Google is designed better for physical location businesses and domain named businesses. What I mean by that is you must have a domain name URL in order to establish and “claim” a business for a Google page. Many authors don’t have that and use gmail or yahoo email systems, so they would have a harder time establishing their G+ business page.

      Having said that, it’s not impossible. In addition, I would consider how you present yourself, for example if your business page is Kelberer Publishing but you spend most of your time connecting as Michael, you might not be getting the best use of your business page.

      With the power of Circles, you can leverage your presence on G+ quite nicely from the personal side. Regardless, if you were to establish your business page, you would want to make sure the connection to your personal page exists.

      Come back for my post tonight, I’ll be talking more about how you can use G+ Circles to more effectively develop relationships and leverage groups of people.

      1. Thanks, Jim, for the long reply. Two follow ups: by “designed better” do you mean works better, or just that it doesn’t work well without a domain name URL (which I have). Second, is there any material difference (if you were starting from scratch) from having your G+ presence be a business page vs a personal one? (Thinking here of the business advantages of having a Facebook business/fan page vs your personal one.)

        1. Let’s touch on a couple of differences and you can decide which would be better.

          Personal pages will only allow you to use your real name, I’ve seen accounts deleted that tried to use the business name on a personal account. It might not be a big problem for most authors as we tend you use our real name on both sides of the coin.

          If you’ve established Google Authorship (rel=auth tags), you’ll see that your articles, posts etc are always tied to personal accounts (not business pages)

          Personally, if you can, it’s probably best to have both. Just like with FB, you have to have your personal G+ account first, then you can establish your business page. If you do, make sure that you link them together.

          Another reason to consider a business page is to give you an exit strategy. What if you wanted to get out of the business and you’ve used your personal profile. You can’t separate the two. You can have only one real name personal account but you can have several business pages if you want.

          Think of it as this, your business page will help you grow your domain, while the personal page will help your personal profile grow. Put another way, your personal page builds your reputation/expertise in your field and the business page builds your brand.

          Ideally, you would use your personal page to posts your blogs and engage in conversation. Your business page will be more +1ing and sharing other content with a smattering of what you do. And you can always cross post from your personal to your business page, but I wouldn’t do it too much the other direction. Hope this helps!

          1. Nicely explained, Jim, thanks. I’ll probably go with both. I think the point about eventually separating your personal Google + life from a particular brand is particularly compelling.
            I don’t believe I’ve seen anyone explain this before. I think a separate post on this topic would get you a lot of attention. I would certainly promote it 🙂

  10. Google+ is a great resource that authors aren’t using enough. Mainly I think it’s because they don’t know about it and are too lazy to learn. That’s a mistake.

    1. I agree with you completely, Greg. It is underutilized and it has great potential. At least it’s not saturated with authors!

  11. Well, I followed the directions and I don’t see a photo that says profile pic. I have a blogger pic? I tagged it, just to be safe. Any reason why I would have a profile pic in this section? Thanks

    1. That’s interesting, Tam. At the top menu under the “photos’ tab you should have categories like “Highlights” and “All Photos”. The Highlights category should break down any photos that you have posted, including a category for “profile picture”.

      Try clicking all photo’s and see if you find you pic in that list. As for the blogger pic, that will do the trick as well, if you use Blogger (owned by Google) it will make the connection for you if you’ve tagged that picture. Hope this helps!

      1. I didn’t have a profile picture either, Jim – I think because I had a Google profile through my email account long before G+ existed. 🙂

  12. Is there an *easy* way to cross-post from my self-hosted WordPress blog to Google+? (and by “easy” I mean a simple-to-use WordPress plug-in [wry g]). The only things I can find on the subject either cost money or insist on using separate apps.

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