The Buzz about Google+ Do You Love it or Hate it?

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By the number of comments on my last post, “Google+ Social Network – Part of Your Business Strategy?”, I can see that love it or hate it, people are talking about Google Plus. Some bloggers are getting passionate about this topic and if you’re on any of the popular social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, you can’t avoid seeing post after post about it. What is it about Google+ that has everyone talking?

When it comes to Google+, would you consider yourself an “early adopter”, have plans to be a “fast follower” or are you part of the “resistance party” (or maybe somewhere in between). Here are my thoughts but I’m really more interested in hearing from you! 

Early Adopters (or what “Beta” really means to you)

Any of us who have been around for a while, know what an early adopter is. Being around in the days of “DOS”, (IBM’s disk-operating-system – precursor to Windows –Remember the old C:> screen prompt?) myself, being a beta software tester can be a bit  like being a crash test dummy. (Okay, that’s a little dramatic but you get the idea.) Before software is released to the public, it goes through three release phases: Pre-Alpha, Alpha and Beta. As I’m writing this post, Google+ is still in the beta phase. So, if you choose to join now, be prepared for what could be a bumpy ride.

Fast Followers (not quite ready to be on the “cutting edge”)

There are lots of people who are cautiously watching and waiting for the dust to settle before joining this new social networking site. After all, there is a bigger picture. It may make sense for you to wait to join and it may make sense for you to never join. The decision needs to be part of your overall marketing strategy.

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What are your marketing tactics now? What’s working for you? Do you know where your referral traffic is coming from? Do you use the Social Interaction Tracking feature of Google Analytics? (I confess to not having installed this yet but it’s high on my “to-do” list!)

The Resistance Party (not joining – not now – not ever)

I don’t know if there even is a resistance party but I do know that some people are insisting that Google+ is trying to be a replacement for Facebook and they are refusing to defect. (Some people are really getting emotional about this!) Whatever their reasons, I sincerely hope that everyone is looking at the big picture and weighing their options.

Factors to Weigh in to Your Decision to Join or Not Join

What are your thoughts? If you’ve already joined, what was your main motivation? Is it meeting your expectations or is it too early to tell? What do you see as the biggest potential?

Personally, I’m in the process of weaning out social networking sites that have not met my expectations. I’m redirecting the time I spent there to Google+.  I’m tweaking my profile on Google Plus (because it scores well for SEO) and I’m listening to what the social “experts” are saying and doing. I’m also defining my “circlesand starting to share. (Hard to believe but some of those “experts” are actually open to including some of us lesser known bloggers in their circles too – making this a good time to join.)

If you are a member or thinking about joining, be aware that this is beta and if you’re worried about privacy, keep in mind that Google Plus is very public but there are things that you can do to tweak the settings. Check out Kimberly Castleberry’s post “How To Make A Private Google+ Circle” for starters. So, what do you think?

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Published by Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

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42 Comments

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  1. I’m sure Google Plus is just another great product from Google, but it is still at an early stage of development, as it grows I’m sure we will start to see the real benefits of it. Google has been running the show on the World Wide Web and the way SEO works in the last decade, so I’m sure Google Plus will be great for SEO. I think it will be great for businesses, but in terms of staying connected with friends, I don’t think it will be all that great as most people have already been on Facebook for years and have hundreds of connections, they will either be reluctant to try another social network, or can’t see any point in switching.

    By the way, I only just came across this website and I think it’s great that you are encouraging readers to interact. Also you actually take the time to reply to every comment. Keep up the good work Sherryl!

    Cheers

    Felix

    1. Hi Felix,
      Thanks for joining the conversation! I’m glad you like my blog. This is such a diverse group of readers and I think everyone’s comments really adds to the conversation. I’m a huge advocate of helping and learning from each other.

      I feel the same way that you do about Google Plus and SEO. I agree it will be good for businesses. I do believe that for B2C businesses, there’s a very good chance that their target market will remain on Facebook. My approach is to maintain a presence on both as well as other social networking sites.

      1. Although I currently don’t personally use social networks to market myself, I totally agree that maintaining a presence on both social networks is very important, although as you say for B2C businesses Facebook will most likely remain their best way of reaching their target niche.

        I haven’t yet dived into Google Plus enough to comment properly, I love what they’ve done with rel=”author” and will be utilising that on my websites from now on. I think it’s a great way to encourage authors to work hard to create quality content, and build up their reputation.

        Kind regards,

        Hodaka

        1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I have to admit that I have not spent enough time yet on Google Plus but I intend to develop a strategy. So far, I’ve just slowly been building my circles. When I figure out more about it, I’ll write another post. 🙂

          1. Please do Sherryl, I look forward to reading it!It’d be great to find out your experiences with it, maybe that’ll motivate me enough to stop being so lazy and start using Google Plus! 🙂

            Hodaka

  2. hen i first heard of Google buzz i thought “here we go again, google jumping on the facebook bandwagon too late”. I had a similar cynical vies when the google plus button arrived, another band wagon they’ve jumped on just so they can say ‘”look we’ve got a like button too!”. I take claims that it will one day be a ranking factor with a pinch of salt as it’s something which will be quickly spammed and then discounted, like the keywords meta tag, keyword dense URL’s, forum posts and so on. I’m not feeling the google buzz.

  3. I am absolutely loving the Google Plus waves for a different reason than just their social networking site;)

    It is a wordpress plugin I made for business owners who want to install the Google +1 share button on their blog with premium options to point and tweak the appearance of the button and to install the button without getting their hands dirty with code. The plugin alone is fetching me an extra ~500 of traffic from various sources and keywords related to google plus and some decent amount of cash in donations 🙂

    Directly or indirectly Google Plus brought me more traffic and brought more business my way.

    So I would really say I am in love with Google Plus atm !

    1. Rohan, That’s great to hear that you’ve already found a way to benefit from Google Plus. I’m starting to see a lot of new products that teach people how to use it as well as products to enhance our general experience on Google+. Thanks for letting us know about your plugin. Your experience may inspire someone.

  4. I think google + coming into the market is a great encouragement on development. Nobody likes a monopoly and facebook has it’s monopoly on social networking. Although I won’t be leaving facebook anytime soon, I like the idea of competition that can actually compete appearing to keep them on their toes and force them not to completely ruin their site like myspace did.

    1. Hi Ryan, I won’t be leaving Facebook either. Competition is good and I think there are a lot of people who are very happy on FB. They don’t plan on leaving. For me, it makes sense to be on multiple social networking sites.

  5. I read an interesting article today that was talking about the reasons for joining Google+ and the reasons for maintaining your business presence on Facebook. Bottom line, the blogger maintained that it comes down to basically two things. The first thing is where are your target customers/clients. If you’re a B2C business, you probably should maintain a strong presence on FB. If you’re a B2B business, G+ may be a better fit (based on who is joining now). Her second point was that for those of us who are looking to be a resource for businesses, it would behoove us to establish and maintain a presence on Google Plus.

    Should/when you decide to join Google, please look for me . 🙂

  6. I’ve got an invitation few days ago, but I haven’t got the time to try it yet. I guess I’ll start to try using the Google+ this weekend. I prefer google+ rather than facebook. Its simple and easy to use. Thanks for sharing this article.

    1. Thanks for joining the conversation Shilpa. I confess that I am getting a slow star on Google+. I did heed the advice to set up my profile and I’m growing my circles but I definitely need to engage in more conversations and share more.

  7. So far, I am liking (a lot) G+ and I would definitely fit in the category of “early adopters” in this case. The reason why I like to be in this group is because not only can I have the chance to making all kinds of mistakes :), but also because it allows me to “evaluate” everything on an early stage. This way, I can be in a position to say for myself if I like it or not. Although I do “trust” many of what other people say about it, thing is, it may work for them but not for me 🙂 Waiting is “procrastinating” in my view and if I jump in later, it may be too late… We’ll see how this plays along

    1. Hi DiTesco,
      I think your mindset is very similar to mine. Being and “early adopter” has advantages. For one thing, I’m hearing that Google is very receptive now to feedback. This makes sense because that is what Beta is supposed to be about. By testing it now, we actually can help shape the final product. Since it seems to be mainly business minded participants, hopefully the end product will be geared to meet our needs. Time will tell.

  8. I think of myself as a Slow Follower. I like to wait to see what concrete benefits people are seeing before devoting any time to it. I guess it might be holding my business back taking this attitude but sometimes I actually find it difficult to see what the benefits are going to be.

    1. Hi Lauren,
      Being a “slow follower” makes sense for a lot of people. Google+ is very public and the fact that it’s still in Beta means that it is constantly changing. It’s probably not holding your business back at all to wait. Each of us needs to develop our own marketing strategy and keep a close eye on what is working for us. Before I joined Google+, I took a good look at my Google Analytics and I identified sites that were not performing for me. It doesn’t make sense for everyone to join every new social networking site that launches.

  9. I hate it and I havent even looked at it, I dont really know what it is or does but I dont like social networks at all. I am not on facebook/myspace/twitter/anything else that makes it easy for people to keep an eye on me!

    1. Hi Danika,
      You are definitely not alone when it comes to not wanting to join social networking sites. The flip side is that by joining some of these sites, you can build awareness of your website. I drive a significant amount of traffic to my blog through these sites. My #1 source of referral traffic is Twitter. Part of my strategy is to build a keyword rich profile for the search engines. Plus, I am always mindful that anything I post anywhere online could be there forever and could potentially be seen by anyone.

  10. Well I am still confused that what it is all about.. I have read reviews but it is little slow comparing to facebook . Image takes little more time to upload but lets see how far this project will go. Google wave was vanished in just few weeks.

  11. Great thoughts Sherryl.

    For me as a business the most important factor to look at it is that Google controls over 70% of the search not Facebook or twitter. Therefore, its worth giving a go and I am already getting a huge traffic from G+ to my blog

    One more thing, people enjoy the smooth ride most who experienced the bumpy ride. 🙂

    1. Hi Rana,
      Thanks for coming by and weighing in on Google+. I’ve been reading your posts on our LinkedIn group. I believe you and I are of a similar mindset when it comes to this.

  12. Sherryl, thank you for sharing this informative post.

    I am in the midst of evaluating my current market strategy…so I cannot offer a definite yes or no at this time.

    1. Thanks for dropping by Catherine. I sounds like it makes sense for you to hold off deciding whether or not to join if you’re in the process of evaluating your marketing strategy. If you do decide to join, let’s connect.

  13. Good post, as always Sherryl! Got an invitation recently but still haven’t made up my mind if I want to join or not.

    The following two arguments you are making actually makes me think maybe I should:

    “I’m tweaking my profile on Google Plus (because it scores well for SEO) and I’m listening to what the social “experts” are saying and doing. I’m also defining my “circles” and starting to share. (Hard to believe but some of those “experts” are actually open to including some of us lesser known bloggers in their circles too – making this a good time to join.)”

    1. Hi Catarina,
      There’s so much to learn about Google Plus but the SEO benefits of having a profile is a definite plus as is the fact that some of the “experts” are still open to including bloggers that they wouldn’t normally pay attention to. If you do decide to join, I’ll definitely include you in my circles. 🙂

  14. I jumped on the Google+ bandwagon a few days after it started. I think it will be especially useful for people who use social media a lot and also depend on marketing on the Internet to promote their businesses.

    I have about three hours total into it and have connected with nearly 300 high-quality people.

    “80 percent of success is just showing up.” — Woody Allen

  15. Hi, Sherryl.

    I joined Google+ because it looked like fun. The marketing part was just second to me. 🙂 But, I am still learning the ropes so, I can’t really say if I love it or hate it. All I can say is I am more of an avid blog commentator than a Twitterer, Facebooker or Google+er. 😀

    1. H i Kim, I think I already have you in my circles. We’ll have to see what happens. As for the other social networking sites, Twitter is by far my number one source of referral traffic. Of course, it’s also the site that I’m directing most of my networking efforts to but I believe it’s well worth the time I invest.

  16. I can’t keep up with all this social networking and other trends. You got to get this, or join this site type of thing. I can barely handle what I have and some of that is pretty sparse. Like I mentioned in a previous comment I haven’t got an invite, nor do I know if I have time to mess with it right now. Not that I won’t, but got a to do list a mile long right now. Any idea when this Google plus is expected to go public, open or free for all?

    1. I’d be glad to send you an invitation if you’re interested Ray. (Just send me your gmail address using the contact form here.) As I mentioned in my reply to Heather, a Google+ profile is good for SEO. So, if you think there’s the possibility that you’ll join at some point, I don’t believe it would hurt you to create a presence. Just keep in mind how public it is. (Although, I want to be public to build awareness. I’m just careful what I post online.)

      Google had opened Plus to the public but sometimes they close it. If you need an invitation, send me your gmail account using my contact form.

  17. Hi Sherryl,

    I have a confession. I never have an emotional attachment to any marketing tactic. You make good points about considering your strategy first. For those who offer services around this area I can see the need to get up to speed.

    I am not sure I would call people who haven’t jumped in cautious or not ready to be on the cutting edge. If small business owners who are already busy jumped into learning every new tactic that may or may not be appropriate they could very well overlook other elements that need their attention. I remember the early days of Twitter and similar conversations were held.

    1. Hi Susan,
      I don’t get emotionally attached to tactics or strategies either. I always have Donald Trump’s voice echoing “It’s not personal. – It’s business” echoing in my head. 🙂

      I totally agree that everyone should not jump into G+ and it may never be appropriate for everyone. Some small business owners are doing extremely well marketing on platforms such as Facebook. They absolutely should build on the tactics that are working for them. I agree.

  18. I’m not sure what to think of Google plus. I went to check it out and it looks interesting, but I find that most of Google’s applications are really difficult to understand and use (feedburner, reader and friend connect are all sources of irritation for me.) So I’m hesitant to jump onto their newest thing for fear of getting really confused! Right now I’m mostly using twitter for business networking, and facebook for friends. I’m using facebook less and less actually. I find twitter more fun and interactive. I’ll see how google plus works when it’s finished and ready for the world! Thanks for the great article though.

    Heather

    1. Hi Heather,
      Google Feedburner is not the easiest to set up (and it does involve tweaking your .htaccess file to avoid your posts being perceived as duplicates) but it does work extremely well. If I were you, I might wait for the dust to settle. Lots of bloggers are figuring G+ out and creating tutorials. Another thought would be to join now, set up your profile and create a few circles. People will find you and start adding you to their circles. Google+ profiles are good for SEO. So, that one step alone has value.

  19. I really like it so far. Google has created something similar yet more simple and organized. I was never a big facebook fan, and really loathe the “every move” status updates. Google has eliminated that for me.

    1. I’ve never been a big Facebook fan as far as my business goes. I like it for connecting with old friends but I’ve never directed a lot of energy to it as far as my “fan” page goes. I certainly won’t bail from FB. I really think there’s a place for both. I’ll try to find you on G+.