Google Plus And The Public

I know what you’re thinking. I just spent more than 1,200 words talking bad about Google and now I’m writing about them again. Well, not quite. Strange as it seems, I can separate Google Plus, or G+ from this point on, from the other monster, even if there are some connections that are fairly sneaky. To me, G+ is a social media site, and thus I see it differently than Evil Empire #2 (after the New York Yankees).

I’ve started to gain a new appreciation for G+ over the last few days or so. And it’s all come from a fluke that I didn’t know about, that I’d perceived meant something else, and it’s actually been working pretty well for me in one way, and it’ll take time before I notice if it’s working for me in other ways.

Whenever I had been posting anything on G+, I was selecting specific circles of people to allow to see it. Suddenly though, I started getting messages whenever certain people were posting content, and I realized I was getting notifications because I’d been included in a specific circle of someone who wanted me to see what they were posting. What I thought happened is if those people signed on and checked that particular circle they’d see what I’d posted; it never occurred to me that anyone might be getting notified by email that I had included them in on something.

I wanted to stop doing that because, well, I was now getting irritated by having things always being sent to me, especially by people I didn’t really know all that well, but knew well enough to include in a G+ circle. But try as I might, I couldn’t figure out how to get it done without having to select a circle.

What did I do? I went to Twitter of course, and I threw out the issue there. The only response I got was from a local guy who said he never had any problems posting anything without having to select a circle first. So I tried a few more times without success and it was driving me nuts.

That is, until I noticed the setting “Public”. I’d never noticed it before, and strangely, after I did notice it I thought I’d be blasting anything I posted out to the masses. Instead, what I learned is that if you select public, it puts out the message for anyone that has you in their circles to see. You’re not sending it to anyone in particular, and that’s exactly what I wanted to do.

And then a curious thing happened. I started having people commenting on some of my posts and sharing them, even +1’ing them (who ever thought that would become a verb?). And some of these people I didn’t know, as they had me in one of their circles but I hadn’t added them for my own reasons, but this was something new, something I hadn’t expected. G+ really hadn’t been all that social before; now it seems to be more social than ever, so much so that I added a G+ follow button underneath the Twitter bird to the left.

Over the last few days I’ve added anyone who’s +1’d something I put up or shared or said something to me to a circle. And get this; G+ has moved into the top 10 referrer list as far as driving traffic to this blog, whereas they were nonexistent in the month previous. It’s also become the #4 referral for my business blog; stunned.

Now it seems I may need to come up with a strategy for working on G+ as opposed to the random things I’ve been doing there. At least it’s finally in the conversation stage. Maybe you should think about it as well; I know our buddy Ileane has been talking about it a lot lately, especially when it comes to a new feature called Google Hangout Live, and it seems she knows what she’s been talking about.

Well of course she does! 😉

36 thoughts on “Google Plus And The Public”

  1. I’m using G+ but not very active, never really learn their features. That’s why I was not very familiar with it either and was getting all the annoying notifications until a friend helped me to fix it 🙂

  2. I haven’t been back on there in months. All the features I learned before are no doubt changed by now so I know I’ll have a lot of catch-up to do once I get back into it.

    Ileane’s site is one of the first places I will go when I need to bone up on all the tricks of the trade on G+. She always knows the game when it comes to this stuff.

    G+ doesn’t really even rank on the board when it comes to traffic on my site, but I don’t expect it to since I hardly frequent there, and I think I only shared a few of my own posts back in the day in prehistoric G+ times.

    Ahhh memories…

    1. John, it can’t hurt to check it out again, at least based on what I’m now seeing. I think some folks have to be checking out my profile here and there, and that’s not depressing since that’s the reason I made sure it was completed.

  3. Oh Mitch, you should have given me a shout or a hangout. I would have gladly explained the settings and the circles.

    There are times when you DO want to use the option to send to a circle or just a few people, if it is more a “private/group” message post and isn’t for the world to see.

    I love me some Google Plus!

    1. Sheryl, I didn’t even think to ask anyone specifically. At least I got the answer though. And you’re right, there will be times when you want to limit exposure, if you will. But otherwise, it’s amazing how well this new thing is working out for me right now.

  4. Mitch, I’ve been on G+ since the early days and love it. It took a while to get used to how it works, and I doubt I’ve got it completely under control even now. It’s a great place to share information and passions with like minded people. Someone described it to me as being like Twitter when you make a public statement or share, like FB when you want to connect with family or only post to a specific circle and like blogging when you make a long post.

    I mostly post public, and find the interaction much more satisfying than either FB or my blog.

    1. Sue, I have to admit that I wasn’t initially sold on G+, but I’m starting to see how it offers a different kind of benefit and interaction than Twitter. Still, there’s a lot more interaction on Twitter right now.

  5. I’m going to have to start using it soon, I thought I would let it settle down first and as I understand it they have kind of merged G+ with G Places.

    The problem with these things is you spend time getting used to something new then they make big changes. It seems to me that G is going hell for leather to take their piece of the pie in the social media space which they have failed to do up until now.

    1. That’s true Peter. Initially I think they were just going for the numbers and now it seems they’re doing all sorts of things with it. Lots of it is the interaction with the updates I figure.

  6. G+ offer really good options, in addition to circles similar to Facebook pages, G+ can be used as page and this offer some great benefits. There are quite a lot of similarities, but it seems that it work very well if the circle is large enough, as this amend Google top 10 results for people in your circle.

      1. I think this is a good strategy, but for me it doesn’t matter much, as I have only one circle at G+. Only targeted contacts.

  7. I just joined G+ like a month before but I must admit that I haven’t grasped how it works completely. According to me, it is a bit complex compared to facebook and twitter, but generally it is a good social media.

    1. Jenna, it can take some getting used to. But don’t worry about it; I’ve been on longer than a year and I’m just getting into the groove.

  8. Well, if to be honest, then I don’t use my account on Google+ at all… Maybe the reason of it is that there are other social networks that I usually use, or maybe because I don’t see so great benefits or advantages of G+… But still thanks a lot for sharing this information

  9. Yeah FB is old now ha?

    G+ is like starting fresh from scratch. It is in a good position because it brings the best of fb and twitter together in my opinion.

    Have you considered creating a google plus page?

    1. FJ, I have thought about it but just haven’t been ready to pull the trigger because I’d have to create a bunch of pages since I’m not exactly sure which one I’d really want to highlight.

  10. I’m reading up as much as possible about Google+ as it’s proving the most difficult, especially compared to Twitter which seems to flow a lot more with interactions and mentions. Great to hear there’s hope though 🙂

    1. Flo, initially I wasn’t a big fan of G+, but I’m having a new appreciation for it. It moves a little bit slower than Twitter does, but it’s opened things up for conversations on links and videos shared, which you won’t get as often on Twitter. So yes, there’s hope.

  11. Don’t you love it Mitch when you figure these things out! It takes time so I’m with you there. But it’s a great platform and whether we like it or not, we want our content to be noticed by others so if this is one place that will accomplish that then so be it.

    See, I noticed that you answered one that I shared the other day about your post. Oh yeah, definitely worth sharing so happy to do that.

    Thanks for letting everyone else know Mitch because I have a feeling you aren’t the only one who ran across this issue. I certainly did early on.


    1. Thanks Adrienne. I just had to open my mind some and give it a shot, and I have to be truthful, without some early feedback I might still think it wasn’t worth all the trouble. I think I’ve found something else to enjoy though, and it might even send some traffic my way, which could turn into business. Why be mad at that?

  12. I also have been using the G+. Sometimes it can be difficult to comprehend it, yet it is very simple to use. Plus it always feels nice to figure out things by ourselves.

  13. I think that Google+ has not so much popularity as Facebook or even Twitter. Maybe because users are a little bit tired of social networks

    1. To be fair Melissa, it’s only been around a year, whereas Twitter’s been around at least 6 years and Facebook, what, 7 or 8 years? So it’s going to take time.

  14. Woot!! Thanks for mentioning me in this post but even more importantly, I’m so glad to see that you are learning more about Google+ and getting traffic from there too. Another tip I have for you is – start using hashtags every now and then for terms you want to rank for. It’s working for me and I hope it helps you too.

    Btw – the link on my name is wrong but if you want you can change it to my Google+ profile.


    1. Ileane, I didn’t know they’d gone to a hashtag kind of thing; good tip. At a certain point all these sites are going to start looking the same & doing the same thing. The link has been corrected!

  15. Mitch, one thing I like appreciate in Google+ is, you can mention whoever you want to mention in that certain post, even if you’re s/he’s in your circles.

    For instance, I saw a picture that’s share by anyone publicly and when I G1 commented in the post an I want to mention him directly, I can do mention him/her in that certain post where s/he commented. Unlike FB that only limits you from doing that.

  16. You should have asked me about it. G+ is very social. Also, follow some of the Google accounts for tips and such. I usually post everything to Public first and then a select circle or two depending on the subject.

    I wondered why you suddenly started posting more there. LOL

    1. Scott, I wouldn’t have even known to ask you about it because I really hadn’t thought much about G+ until I started doing my thing. There is this recognition that different information works in different places depending on what it is, and G+ really works well for visuals, not as well if there’s nothing to see.

      And if I can reach my audience, it’s all good.

  17. I like Google+, because this is a great way to stay connected to bloggers and some online friends in a different way.

    This also makes sharing my new blog post with easy.

    1. Kharim, it does offer something different, that’s for sure. Those posts work well when you have an image to go along with it also. But in this case I’m talking about posting your articles to the public instead of to your individual circles, which widens your potential audience and stops irritating those people who keep getting your specific message that might not want to see it every time.

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