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Is Google Plus Actually Better Than Facebook?

Posted by on Dec 10, 2012
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I know, you’re probably asking yourself if someone else has already written a post comparing Google Plus to Facebook. I haven’t read any of them, but I wondered myself. So I went to Google, of course, and put in “Google Plus versus Facebook” and I came up with 30,200 results; ouch!


Since I see 50 links on page one I did a quick scan to see what I might be up against. Turns out that out of the top 50, 39 of those articles were written in 2011, and of those remaining articles only 3 have been written after September 1st. That makes me feel pretty good in thinking that my post will be fairly original, even if it ends up covering some themes others have touched upon.

Besides, this really isn’t a “versus” post as much as a comparison of the two at this point. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve written a bunch of posts lately about Facebook, but it turns out the last post I wrote about Google Plus was back in June; wow. Thus, it’s time to bring them back into the discussion and ask if maybe they’re better than Facebook.

The first question brings the wimpiest answer; what’s the criteria for determining which is best. The answer is “it depends on what you’re looking to do.” Isn’t that a horrible response? And yet, it’s the most accurate response.

Are you looking for the best one to use for business?

This is now a tougher one to respond to than in the past. With Edgerank, you’re going to have to work harder to get people to see your content on your business pages. Not only that, but your initial reach is limited to the people who have decided to “like” your page. Sure, if they like something you write it might show up in their stream, but once again that Edgerank will limit how many people actually get to see it. So those billions of people on Facebook… they ain’t seeing nothing!

What about Google Plus? Turns out you have a better opportunity to have your stuff seen by more people there than on Facebook, even if you don’t have as many people following you. There’s a setting called “public”, which I talked about in that link above, which means that if you haven’t set your privacy settings so that only people in your circles can see what you share then it’s possible for anyone to see your post. And if anyone likes your stuff, not only will it show up in some of the circles those people have, but it highlights your posts in Google’s search for those who are signed in and have any kind of connection to you or the person who +1’d your post. Whoa, talk about reach!

Are you looking to use it for personal stuff?

This one is and isn’t so easy to respond to. Facebook is presently killing it when it comes to personal use. Grandparents are signing up in droves (the fastest growing user is between 55 and 62) because they can check in on what’s happening with the family, see pictures, and connect with old friends, especially high school friends and acquaintances. It’s also easier to sign up on Facebook. And the games… tons of games to keep people entertained all day long.

Google Plus has over 100 million users, and yet it’s not the place where families have decided to sign up just yet. I don’t have a single family member using Google Plus, whereas I’m connected to at least 20 of them on Facebook. They now have some games, and you can store images on there via Picasa, but overall it’s limited in images. You can’t even say circles is a strong motivator anymore since Facebook created Lists, where a person can group all their family members and thus keep up with each other.

Having said that, I find Google Plus is a better place to share news items than Facebook, though still not as convenient as Twitter is. There are some things that I don’t necessarily want to share with friends and family only, who are more apt to see what I post than anyone else, and I don’t have that issue on Google Plus. I don’t have a place on Facebook where I’d feel comfortable posting even a link to this blog post but on Google Plus, it would go over really well and possibly find new audiences that want to comment on it. The strange thing about Google Plus is that I have 3 times more people who’ve got me in a circle than I’ve included, which is what it’s like on Twitter for me, but it doesn’t quite work that way on Facebook as easily. Just because someone’s connected with me on Facebook doesn’t mean they’ll ever see a thing, whether I’m connected back with them or they’re just following me (Stalking me? Can’t remember the real term lol).

So, is Google Plus better than Facebook? You’ll have to decide that one for yourself based on what you’re looking to do. In my opinion, I’m thinking it’s time to look at Google Plus a bit more than I have to date and possibly give it a bit more of my business time. That would be the best way to evaluate things for sure.
 

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35 Comments »

Cool post Mitch – I agree that G+ is looking more interesting, and same with me in that my family don’t use it yet – it seems to be useful for business – and worked well for our Hangouts!
On facebook, I separate my business onto my page to keep it away from my profile so I can select different content for each, or share the same depending on relevency.
I like the new feature allowing your cafe :)
Jacs
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Jacs, and that’s why I had created the business page on Facebook, so I could separate stuff and only share some stuff with people who’d asked for it. However, with Edgerank limiting who’s seeing it, G+ becomes more attractive.

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Olawale Daniel Reply:

I have noticed from the first day I started using Google+ that it is going to end up becoming an important part of our social life as a blogger. Now, Google+ is a must for rankings, author ranking is there as well. So many features have been introduced into the Google+ system rendering Facebook useless in so many ways.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Olawale, it’s definitely becoming an important player in search, at least on Google, and since they’re the big dog, that works just fine.

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December 10th, 2012 | 12:33 PM

Yes.

Or maybe I just don’t “get” facebook. I started over on googleplus so far so good and its improving.

It’s definitely my favorite place to #BlogSoHard
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Jacko, my favorite place to blog is on my blog. :-) However, I know what you mean; the audience for sharing your post, even though it should be larger on Facebook, is truly larger on G+.

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December 10th, 2012 | 12:43 PM

I’ve never really tried to compare Facebook and Google Plus. Using both for the same reason – marketing. Actually I have different followers on both. Mainly from USA and EU in Google Plug and mostly Asians in Facebook, so both cover pretty much the whole world. I also use another social network which is not a major player, but seems to be very active in South-East Asia.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

You are now Carl, since you started a community on Google+ the other day. It’s amazing how many people joined my community in such a short time while it took more than 2 months to get that many people on Facebook. I think you’ll see a major difference in how each can and will be used.

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Carl Reply:

This isn’t exactly the same, I have group on Facebook with about 500 members, this is similar to community. The point is that I’ve created my group on Facebook when group was announced, same as I created my community on Google Plus the same day as option became available. On the other hand invitation for business pages on Facebook was much different that it is now. 3 years ago, you just need to import list of emails and here we go, all your customers, subscribers or follower on other social network are already fans of your business page.

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December 10th, 2012 | 9:12 PM

Interesting Mitch, it seems as Facebook is going down for a way for people to see your links, Google + is going up in the opposite direction. I really can’t say I’ve seen people come from Google+ unless Google.com as a referral is it. I just want back to check on my analytics. I do see Google plus as #14 for my inspire blog. (For all traffic) Interesting, It’s below Facebook for now which came in at #5. I’ll have to keep my eyes out on this one. Thanks for sharing.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Lisa, Google+ is my 9th biggest referrer, and truthfully I’m just starting to use it more. What’s funny is that Pinterest is #10 and I don’t even have an account there. lol However, I’ve already noticed that not only do I seem to get more juice on my posts on G+, even if they don’t come to the site, but I’m hearing from people I’m not even connected to by circles, something that would never happen on Facebook. It opens interesting possibilities; just have to figure out how to use it better I figure.

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December 11th, 2012 | 6:52 AM

I’ve seen the same as others, in that G+ has the “business” and blogging types whereas all my family and friends are over on Facebook.

But seeing as how I’m trying to escape my family I should kick more on Google Plus! LOL just kidding (somewhat…)

Anyway, my posts are not seen very much on Facebook, so it does make sense to give Google Plus another go and check the results. I kind of abandoned it because it was pretty much all social media all the time (at least in my feed) and I got burned out on it.

But I think it’s time to log back in and see what’s been going on since I last checked in.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

John, on G+ you get to determine the feeds you want to see via circles. I have 9 different circles so I could break people up and thus look at what I want to look at when I want to see it. Of course there’s the general discussion area as well which is always kind of interesting.

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December 11th, 2012 | 12:22 PM

In my opinion, is getting better as it’s not that spammed with hundred of fake accounts and etc. Plus that, the quality of the users is better than on FB due to the lack of popularity.

I consider that FB is for ordinary people while G+ is for more educated people.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Not sure I’d go that far Radu. lol And at 535 million members, it’s not quite the bastion of being unpopular. I think there will be a need to worry about spam at some point, and I noticed already with my new community there that Google sometimes highlights certain posts as spam, which haven’t been but it’s easy to overcome. It’s something that adds a new dimension to it all.

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December 11th, 2012 | 3:26 PM

Such a great comparison! I really like your point on the importance of the art of use, I totally agree that Facebook is pretty much better for personal use. For professional use, I think that LinkedIn is the best. That’s why I’ve resisted to create a Google+ account yet…
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Nora, for pure business purposes LinkedIn is great, but as a place to share your stuff and get great feedback… it’s definitely lacking. After all, there you have to join a group, and only the people in that group can see what you share, whereas on G+ if you put your content out to the masses everyone has the potential to see it. It’s at least worth a look.

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December 11th, 2012 | 3:59 PM

I felt like Google plus is nothing in front of facebook. For both personal and business stuff facebook will be a good choice.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I hope that works out for you vipul.

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December 12th, 2012 | 6:09 AM

Whoa! Seriously, I never thought the connections provided by Google+ can be more than Facebook. After reading your post, I honestly think that Google+ will come out on top near the middle of 2013 and that’s the fact. Google+ has earned more users right now possibly 250,000,000 million right now (as per my research) and I think people will slowly move from Facebook to Google+. Nice Post Mitch!

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Actually Alex, Google says they have more than 500 million on the site now so it’s even a bigger deal.

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December 12th, 2012 | 6:30 AM

Great article, nice advice for early adopters. And you’re right with point 1. No ads so far.
Since Google is media company now, ads are it’s main source of revenue. So it’s a no brainer ads will start rolling out soon in G+. Let’s hope they don’t force-feed us like some of those other companies.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I’m with you on that one Santosh. However, it’s possible that since Google has a revenue stream already that pays the bills they might leave it alone. Only time will tell.

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December 13th, 2012 | 12:55 AM

There is always a contradict opinions about Facebook, Twitter and Google+. I believe all of them have their own motto to reach audience for some purpose. As people are more used to Facebook and many use it for business purposes too, it is definitely better than G+. Most of the people are not so aware about G+ usage and therefore they land up using Facebook for promoting their business. But if my opinion is concerned, I would rather be bias and say that Facebook has a huge head start in social networking compared to Google, but G+ users tend to be fiercely loyal because, honestly, it is a great – albeit very different – product. Facebook is more inclined towards promoting social talks whereas G+ wants a hold on reaching as many audiences as possible to hit the business. Mitch enjoyed reading your post!

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Joseph. True, Facebook does have a jump, but with Edgerank we see little of what shows up there, whereas the potential reach on G+ is limitless unless you decide to set limits. What I’ve found amazing is that I created a community on G+ just days ago and I have nearly 75 people that have joined, whereas it took me almost a month to get 26 people to join my Facebook group. That’s kind of powerful for business purposes if you ask me.

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December 13th, 2012 | 4:21 AM

Unfortunately for Google + they weren’t the first one on the block and because of that I’m afraid they’re always going to be playing 2nd fiddle to FaceBook. Having said that I still prefer Google + even though I don’t log in all that much, but then I’ve never really been a social person.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

It’ll be interesting to see if they remain 2nd Sire. After all, they still control search while Facebook doesn’t so one never knows.

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December 13th, 2012 | 8:16 PM
Kim:

Yes, Facebook likes are better than G+ these days because of traffic and connectivity between people is better than G+. But in future, it will be hard to manage different service using different application and Google is in the way to provide all services using single ID & password and you know the Gmail users count so, I can say that Google plus is the future.

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Kim, I also believe Google+ is the future, at least for business. My hope is that they don’t try to become Facebook, as it seems LinkedIn has, and as Facebook seems to try to morph what almost every other site offers.

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December 14th, 2012 | 7:02 AM

I am already planning to switch my business to G+. Lately, after reading your post, I made some more research on both of this social networks and I found investing on G+ is worth every penny. First of all, G+ has all the features like Facebook (in case of contacting people and going social) apart from this it is integrated with Google services which makes everything lot easier, “Circles” feature in G+ is awesome, G+ mobile app loads fast and works even better if you’re an Android user. Google’s got something that Facebook and Twitter don’t- their own browser, Chrome. Also, tracking the hottest topics on G+ is cool. Secondly, G+ will be launching ads soon which is expected to better than any other sites. Well, I am not going to eliminate Facebook completely, but definitely Google can expect my main business account in their site.

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Nice comment James. There are a lot of good things about G+ for business and it works well for me. However, I’m also noticing that participation in the G+ communities is a little slow so far, but I think it’ll pick up.

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December 17th, 2012 | 8:18 AM

Well distinguish between Facebook and Google plus! I use and like G+. I used to have a Facebook account but I didn’t like the changes or the privacy settings. The idea that everyone can see what someone posted to my page or tagged me in irked me. With that said, G+ will never ever develop the critical mass of Facebook. That’s obvious now. People will eventually get tired of Facebook and log on less and less. I doubt they have a billion active users. They may have a billion accounts (everyone has more than one) but not active users. I enjoyed reading your post. Nice share!
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks for your comment Jack. I think the same on both accounts; G+ will never reach Facebook’s numbers and there’s lots of FB accounts with no activity. I hate admitting this but even the new Google+ communities seem to have fizzled some, and that’s disappointing because it does offer something much different than what Facebook can give us.

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January 2nd, 2013 | 2:53 AM

I don’t think that google plus is better than Facebook. As these days almost every person is addicted to facebook. Google plus is good for bloggers as it is Google’s product so it will be beneficial somehow for bloggers.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Not a bad thought Prakash. After further evaluation I’d have to say that each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

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April 20th, 2013 | 1:44 PM
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