It’s been a little over 3 weeks since I declared my official move from Facebook to G+ as a blogger.
Here are my findings
1. Google+ IS NOT like Facebook - There is a learning curve, a certain etiquette that people follow on G+ that is not anything like it is on Facebook. Communicating on G+ is more about engaging and networking vs. self promotion. I don’t speak for all bloggers when I say this, but for me, my Facebook page was a lot about trying to get people to visit my site so that we could connect there vs. on Facebook itself.
G+ is about making connections, having conversations, sharing other content that interests you and might be of interest to your followers. G+ users follow the 80/20 rule. Which basically means – Give more, take less. For every post of yours you share, make sure to share and engage with at least 3-5 others. Engaging means +1′s, commenting and sharing. If you do this, others will continue to engage with you and your posts.
2. Different platform - Although there are the same concepts – Groups vs. Communities, +1′s vs. likes, the platform itself is different and can take a little while to get used to. It’s enough to make an experienced blogger feel like a newbie again. The feeling doesn’t last long though, and it’s easy to get the hang of, so if this is the only reason holding you back from G+, don’t let it deter you.
3. Using your Personal Profile vs. Page – On Facebook we were pages with fans. On G+, most bloggers use their personal profile and not their G+ pages. I have heard various reasons for this. The first being that Google cannot verify you as an author as a page but you can be verified on your personal profile. More on this below.
Also, G+ users are more likely to engage with an actual person with a pictu re than a brand. You can see more about this below in the video from Dennis Littley and Jean Layton. They talk about how your personal profile picture is so important. I don’t question a lot with them. Dennis Littley has over 400,000 followers. I think he knows what he’s doing.
4. People who WANT to see my content, actually get to see it. Unlike Facebook where my content might be seen by hundreds, and maybe only half of them or less find it relevant to their own lives, G+ has the potential to be seen by over 2,000 of my followers and more, including anyone who searches for something I have posted on G+.
By being able to use hashtags with your posts and the G+ search, it gives others the opportunity to find you even if they don’t circle you.
5. G+ posts are searchable in the Google search engine. This is probably the MOST important feature of G+ I found. Not only that, but Google also gives priority to the articles written by the people that you circle.
Here’s an example of what I mean. I’m using Jenny Melrose as an example because she has been my go-to G+ guru since I made the move. Her posts on G+ have helped me learn so much.
I Googled sugar scrub recipe. Jenny Melrose’s post on sugar scrubs came up on page 1 of my search results. That’s because she is in my circles, so Google knows that her content might be something I want to see over someone else’s.
The more people that circle me, the more of a chance my articles will appear in their top search results.
Also, notice how her picture appears next to her article? It makes it stand out and is recognizable to me. So most likely that is the article I am going to click on.
The picture means that you have your G+ authorship verified. I have mine too.
The last week in December was my first official week leaving Facebook and the start of me fully engaging on G+. So it’s been a little over 3 weeks and my blog traffic has increased overall. I have seen a 44% increase in traffic and the highest rise has been from both G+ and from Google. Which means that my posts are coming up in more search results. This might be due to the example above.
I don’t like to reinvent the wheel in writing a bunch of how-to’s, so I compiled a list of articles and videos that have helped me below.
I know there are many bloggers who have put their time into Facebook and can’t leave because they have such a huge following, but for the newer bloggers who don’t have much to lose by spending less time on Facebook, G+ is the way to go.
I’m by no means a G+ expert but if you have questions leave a comment or find me on G+ and I will be happy to try to help.
Google Plus Basics: Maximizing Your Profile by Jenny Melrose
Testing for Authorship by Jenny Melrose
The Bloggers Guide to Using Google+ Effectively – Hovercards - Google Hangout VIDEO with Dennis Littley & Jean Layton
How to use Google Plus as a Blogger by Kelly Dixon