Thursday, March 5, 2015

Google Plus Tip of the Week at #GrowingCirclesHop & an Announcement

Our hosts at Growing Circles Hop are Google+ advocates, because we realize the power it can have for SEO - both for bloggers and small businesses.

This week we answer the question:
What is the importance of Circles?

Your circles are your network. 

You can create categories for groups of people so you have different "circles." For example, I have one circle dedicated to #GrowingCirclesHop participants. I also have circles for other groups, like: mommy blogs, giveaways, eco-friendly, etc. It helps me keep everyone that I follow organized. 

If I want to share something with the public, then my G+ post will be available for everyone to see. If I want to share a fun mom quote with my Mommy Blogs Circle, then I can choose to share with just that circle of mine.

The great thing is that the more people you have in your circles, the better your reach. The more people have YOU in their circles, the better your reach. It's another great way of information sharing. When someone in your circle shares something with you, you might get an email notification. As always, you can adjust your notifications in the settings. 

What's more, these circles have a direct impact on SEO (search engine optimization) as well. If you do a google search for a product, someone in your circles might have information that will help you in your search. If they do, then google puts that in your search results. Let me show you an example.

I did a search for natural skin care products. Look what popped up for me on Page 1:

Further down the list, still on Page 1, was this one (I clicked on the link from my search to show you that it gives the G+ post, and it shows this author is also in my circles). If I see this and want to learn more, all I have to do is click on the link within the G+ post:

More towards the bottom of the page, there was another one - also from my circles. That's THREE Google Plus posts, showing up for me on PAGE 1 of my google search results. It's a direct result of having these people in my circles.

Think about it. Say you're looking for a great chicken recipe. You know you saw it before, but you can't seem to find it. You do a quick google search and, because of your circle networks, you might just have that exact recipe pop up for you on Page 1. 

Google's reasoning behind this is simple: Increased reach for content that will be of interest to YOU. Not random posts solely based off of your web browsing history, but search results based on key words entered, factoring in your network of circles, making search results even more relevant for you.

How awesome is that? How powerful is that? As a blogger, as a small business owner - how amazing could this be for you? But...

Sadly, we learned of breaking news just this week (on Monday) that Google+ as we know it will be altered, and eventually phased out. Google is taking its social network in a new direction and splitting G+ into two new platforms: Google Photos & Google Streams.

Because we do not yet know the future of G+ and how it will transfer over to these two new Google Products, this will be our last G+ Party until further notice. We will wait to see what the new Google Photos & Streams offers, and keep up-to-date to examine and identify how it can work to our benefit as bloggers and small business owners. 

The end of Google Plus has been rumored before, but this time it's for real. Last spring google ended the forced integration of G+ for Gmail users. This spring, they're finding that Google+ still isn't as popular as they would like. A new direction was needed, because google just arrived to the social networking party a little late and wasn't able to catch up with the giants of facebook and twitter.

The new Google Streams will probably be what we transfer to for our future hop, because Streams is sounding like it will be the new sharing tool (a G+ post turned into Google Stream "update"). Our hope is that Circles will remain intact and transfer to the new platform, but no information has been given so far.

Just because our party will be ending for now, doesn't mean you should stop using your Google Plus! The benefits are real, and they will remain so until the new Streams is live. No date has been given for the official launch. Please keep using Google Plus, as all the G+ posts might even transfer over when Streams takes over. I'm sure that google has a plan in action for it. 

If you would like to stay updated by our #GrowingCirclesHop Team, please be sure to sign up for the Newsletter at the very bottom of the page. As we get updates and learn more, we'll share it with you (not more than once a month) - and also let you know when the new party begins.

Now for the final #GrowingCirclesHop party!!! Let's go out with a bang.


To make the most of this link party, please follow the rules below.
1. You MUST add your hosts and co-hosts to one of your circles before linking up. 
2. Link up your personal Google+ profile, blog or business G+ pagesOR -- you can link up a specific G+ post of yours - but NOT your blog URL. 
3. Publicly share a post - (new or old) on G+ and use the party hashtag #GrowingCirclesHop
4. Connect with others by clicking on your #growingcircleshop hashtag, or enter "growingcircleshop" in the search box at the top. Engage with at least 2-3 others by a Share, +1 and/or Comment. 
5. Add new friends to your circles! Be social. 
6. Grab a button for your blog, if you'd like. Help us spread the word so we can keep trending on Google Plus each week! (You can edit size to fit your blog in the code).
Throughout the next 12 hours, check back on G+ and +1 posts with the hashtag #growingcircleshop.

Help spread the word and invite your friends to our last Party for #GrowingCirclesHop!
LINK UP below!!! You can now link up your G+ profile page -OR- you can link up a specific G+ post that you've already publicly shared using our party hashtag!  

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Candace Creates said...

I had no idea about this happening with G+! Thanks for the info and party, Kim. I can't wait to see what it turns into!

Miss Val's Creations said...

Oh no! I didn't realize there are going to be changes to G+. Another thing to figure out online! My friends and family don't use G+ so it is always been strictly a fun business tool for me. I love its SEO exposure too.

Natalia Khon said...

Thank you for the information, Kim!

I think they are trying to simplify things. If it is so, I will probably like it more. I am a G+ user, but still have not figured out all buttons and settings. It is probably not difficult, but who has the time? I need it to be absolutely obvious!

L-A said...

This is a really useful post, I had no idea about how it can affect SEO like this.

Elephant's Child said...

Sigh. Google is far too quick to 'fix' things that only it thinks are broken.

Lana L. said...

Thanks for the great info. I love using G+, so I hope the new platforms will at least be similar.

April Grant said...

I'm going to have to pay more attention to G+ especially since I get almost no traffic from Facebook these days.

Stephanie said...

Great post ... will be interested to see what things look like when Google rolls out these changes to G+. (And thanks Kim for stopping by!)