Is Google+ the Ultimate Content Marketing Platform?

Is Google+ the Ultimate Content Marketing Platform?

Reader Comments (125)

  1. Google definitely has many advantages that other social media (“content sharing”) sites didn’t have. It already has a very well established brand. It’s learned from the mistakes of the first few social media success stories.

    If/when Google+ takes off to be bigger than Facebook, do you think Google will begin to be seen as Google the social sharing site, or still remain Google the search engine site?

    • I think that Google will always be the Search Engine site, that is their core. They seem to have so many different brands under their one name, that they can easily morph into whatever new dimension they want to.

      • Agreed. Google’s core business is delivering search results. Their secondary business is throwing expensive mud pies at the wall, and hoping some will stick.

        • I think this mud pie will stick. My friends and family are wide range of geeks, business peoples, and a few philosophers (armchair, most likely). Across the board, they like Google+. There’s just something about it…the features, the concept behind circles, the clean look…I think it’s here to stay.

          • I also like it better than Facebook, and moreover I think competition is always a healthy thing, so I hope it does stick! I seriously doubt it will ever threaten Facebook, though… and that’s regardless of whether it gets a respectable user base. Different markets, different demographics, different users, IMO. Plenty of room for both G+ and FB.

          • I agree. As long as more and more people continue to create profiles and get involved. The only reason I’m not using Google+ more is not all of my friends are on it yet. Also I don’t think either Facebook or Google+ necessarily has to “win” rather I think they can coexist and each be successful.

    • Facebook has accomplished a lot and I am sure Google+ is not created to be like Facebook or any other social networking site. It is unique in its own way and I am sure it will be know and appreciated.

  2. It takes so much time to build a following on these sharing platforms. With all that time spent, how do you prevent becoming a digital sharecropper?

    • That’s always the question you have to keep asking. In keeping with Marlene’s comment below, maybe I’ll do a post. 🙂

      I think the answer is that you have a certain standard for yourself about what you’ll do for your primary asset(s). So let’s say you commit to two posts a week on your blog and one piece of content for your email list. I’d create those first, and then fit in the sharing sites and other platforms in the space that’s left over.

      Somehow we always seem to make time to hop onto twitter or Google+. And you can use little scraps of time for that, as opposed to the longer focus periods you need to create a piece of useful original content.

  3. I think that the Google PLUS definitely has potential to be huge. It easily syncs both social media and SEO in a seamless pair. Also, it is even more unintrusive than Facebook and does not have as many of the privacy sharing concerns. Many people trying to get away from Facebook might turn to Google + as a better option.

  4. Brian, I’d like you to expand on what you mean by digital share cropping, maybe in another post. I want to make sure I’m not doing it. Your Tweet that you linked to didn’t really tell me much, except to control my own content, which I do.

    • Marlene, we did a radio show on it, but I suspect you’re right, it would be a good topic for a regular post.

      Digital sharecropping is building your *entire* business or marketing on a platform or via a tool you can’t control, such as Facebook or Google. So a business that gets customers only through Google Adwords (or even through natural search), or a business that does all of its marketing on Facebook. When Google or Facebook change the rules, which they do a lot, your business can evaporate overnight.

      Those are excellent tools to *help* your marketing, but you need to have assets you own and control (your blog or website, and to some extent your email list) where you put your primary effort.

      Does that make sense?

      • Yes, totally makes sense! Thanks Sonia.

        I think I knew this on some level, but never really heard it called digital sharecropping before. I’ll have a listen to that radio show on my lunch break!

  5. Is it just me, or does anyone else think Google+ is a little over-rated? Yes, it’s a cool concept, but it really doesn’t stand out in my mind from anything that Facebook or Twitter does, rather it’s just a new place to share your stuff.

    • I don’t think at this point we know the answer to that. It’s got some promising elements, for the reason Brian mentioned — Google was able to see what didn’t work with Twitter & Facebook so they could create something better.

      But there’s no way to really know what it’s going to turn into. All we can do is pay attention and stay nimble.

    • Rob, I agree with you that it is over-rated. I’ve had a discussion with this with others who already are feeling their social media plate is overcrowded. Maybe it has some features that facebook and twitter lack but with those platforms being established I don’t see a mass exodus over to google plus.

      • I agree with both of you. Also, if you’re not logged into google while you’re surfing, what’s the purpose of G+ then?

  6. It seems to me that this is yet another way to share content. Is it more noise?

    Does it really give us a bigger reach?

    Possibly, since it IS using Google’s Tools to do it.

    So, are we all partners with Google again?


  7. What fascinates me is if I go to Google’s main page, I see nothing about Google+. If I didn’t use Twitter, I never would have heard of it. So, I’m putting myself into the mind of a complete search/social media beginner and wondering how I’d ever find out about Google+ and how I even get to it. I’m assuming at some point Google will roll out their Google+ to everyone and provide a link on their main Google page to sign up for it. For weeks, I’ve seen people discuss how Google+ works, why it’s good or bad, but your “add me to one of your circles” link is the first time I’ve actually see a url to it.

  8. Let me tell you, the Turkish Prison was pretty uncomfortable, but now that I’m out I’ve just started tinkering with G+.

    I heard the iOS app came out for it today (G+, not my Turkish cell), which I’ll have to check out when I get home.

    Circles handles a problem I’ve had sometime now with FB and Twitter. With one account, I can broadcast, network and socialize with different groups of people.

    For example, my online publishing people do not want to hear about stuff I write for my gaming people, and my gaming people do not want to know about my 13 wedding anniversary last night (with no parole, it looks like).

    Circles lets me segment fairly easily.

    Also just played with Sparks. I get better results from Google Alerts, but it could be just my lack of Sparks-fu.

    Büyük yazı için teşekkür ederiz!

  9. Great article. I jumped on to G+ and immediately added you to a circle. I notice that the Tweets to Facebook Likes, to Plus Ones are 77, 24 and 14 respectively.

    I wonder how long it will take for those numbers to be significantly altered!

  10. I give a maybe 2-3 years and Google+ will edge out Twitter, doubt it will ever eclipse Facebook but it will definitely be a major player. Now they have an iPhone app so things are really going to take off for Google+

      • Ok, I’ll say within the next year, 2-3 months doesn’t seem like enough time andd 2-3 years may be too long. Whatever the time period is, Twitter needs to be concerned.

  11. Google+ is off to such a great start because Google has the ULTIMATE MAILING LIST. How can you not hit a home run with a list like that? To top it off, the folks at Google learned from Twitter and Facebook mistakes (mentioned in this post), and they rock at product development anyway.

    It will be interesting to see where this goes. With that said, I wonder how long it will be before Google+ isn’t the only thing that social media types are talking about. At least it gives us something else to talk about besides Lebron James…

    • For all that great mailing list (they also have the ultimate budget, which is handy), they do have their share of flops. I don’t think this will be one, though.

  12. Nice evaluation, Brian. I think your spot on with the search part, but not sure how Google will know I’m putting out quality stuff on Google+. Are you saying we’re actually putting quality stuff on FB/Twitter? Or that Google will now read the links people share to your site [which used to happen before Twitter/FB a whole lot]? If so, that makes sense and makes me very happy. It would be nice to return to the days of the wholesome incoming link fest.

    • Demian, that’s right. Remember the good ol’ days when social media and conversation meant linking between blogs? Google knew it was losing the thread on relevancy when social sharing replaced (to some degree) linking.

      Facebook hates Google, and is rumored to be launching its own search product. Twitter is open on the web, so Google started factoring in the sharing there.

      Google+ is just another (potentially huge) way for them to get data. Think about the acquisition of Feedburner, and the data they get from Gmail. Search rankings are becoming more and more about actual usage data, which makes gaming it harder and valuable content more crucial than ever.

  13. That makes sense, Brian. I wonder if the amount of shares on Google + will outweigh those of Twitter in the algorithm. I’m not sure where Google is headed with it, but it’s a possibility. I’m still confused about how to use it. I’ll be following along with your insights.

    Can you tell me this: Is the +1 button the sharing button for Google +? Or are those 2 separate things?

  14. Just last night, I was deeply agonizing whether to include you in my circle of Googlemania.

    Earlier, I was invited by a friend to join her circle of Google friends, and I spent the whole night horsing around with this latest shinning toy du jour. My agony was simply a reflection of cautious approach to all social media: what am I getting in return for a loss of freedom and erosion of privacy?

    I was also concerned about limiting my effusive admiration for you and CopyBlogger to purely business. Since I didn’t know you personally, I feared that seeking your friendship in Google circle might come off the wrong way.

    So, I went to bed with sorrows in my heart, and felt once again betrayed by my inadequate and twisted cowardice. But I woke up this morning to a beautiful day, a great blog post at CopyBlogger and an invitation to fulfill my ambitious leap to join the circle of a trusted content provider, Brian Clark.

    It was only a mirage just a few hours ago. What a difference? A few hours can make.

    As for this latest social media du jour, it promises better content integration, working hands-in-gloves with a powerful distributor, Google.

    But is a better marketing strategy to name it Google+ and will it not amount to too much loss of freedom to a mega company whose data collection on consumers is unrivaled in history? Do you share this concern at all or am I just being paranoid as usual?

    Anyway thanks a million, Brian.

  15. Plus is a superior product. From here on out, it’s a numbers game. May the best cheese rise to the top. I’d love to see Mark have to return to his Harvard degree.

    This is my last chance saloon with Copyblogger. The title is “The Johnny Depp Guide to Attracting a Raving, Lucrative Audience.” James Chartrand rejected it with luster, but at my request she kindly sent a detailed critique.

    Hours of labor later, I’m sitting on 430 words of dynamite.

    You’ll get to read it at Problogger.

    Unless you’d rather read it here.

  16. I think once more folks come on board with Google+, it’ll be all that AND a bag of chips. Right now, it’s just all that. 😀 Which means already, I see usefulness and best of all EASE OF USE married with that utility. I worry how much Stuff we solo biz types on the web or out on Main Street can actually take, though. What digital must-have is gonna be the proverbial straw on the metaphorical camels out there trying to build a biz? The real question’s going to be how it all flows together – of course, that’s kind of ALWAYS the question, I guess. What do we share on Twitter? (Answer: 140 character stuff.) What do we share on Google+, then, as opposed to Twitter & our biz FB pages? (Answer: uh, still thinking about that one..)

  17. Copyblogger Readers: Surely, you don’t mean we have engage within *yet another* social media tool?

    Brain Clark: Yes, good content will reap it’s just rewards. And don’t call me Shirley.

    P. S.
    Thanks for also reminding us that it’s a good idea to create a post on a hot trend.

  18. Hey Brian,
    Great article and lots of crunchy comments. Hoooooooooooever, for Turkish prison cell read SCOTLAND and the rest of non-London UK. It appears you have to be invited to this here Google + Malarkey, so how do we in the global boonies acquire such an invitation my American wizzo???

    Have been a copyblogger across the pond for all of two weeks, and already addicted, so keep it coming Amigo’s,

    James of Scotland,

    JMC Ltd

  19. It’s too early to tell as Brian correctly pointed out. However, I believe the value increases with time. Google will definitely catch up. At least with people who are frustrated by Facebook

  20. I’m dying to try out Google+! Anyone willing to send me an invite?

    I definitely think Google waited on purpose to release Google+ so they can sit back and watch to offer improved features. Curious to see how it develops. I think right now marketers are all over it, but will others (those friends and family members on Facebook) eventually start using it too?

  21. I really agree that good content is vital and is the only way to get people talking and sharing. I’ve just started using Google+ but it’s another platform that needs my attention, does anyone else feel that there’s only so much time and way too choice. Just a quick q – does Google+ link directly to Twitter like Facebook does?

  22. Dude, what an excellent article, I am always guilty of not sharing enough, this I have shared on Twt, FB and G+, good stuff, seriously!

  23. Okay, so riddle me this: in between marketing for my clients, marketing for my friends and family, volunteer marketing for my non-profit, and actually having a semblance of a life, who has time for content marketing besides Brian?

    I guess I haven’t reached that level of freedom yet…

  24. This might be the opportunity I’ve been looking for to dump all my “Fakebook” friends that are clogging up my Facebook page with crap I don’t really care about and people that I’m not really friends with…

    It really felt good to get that off my chest! 🙂

  25. I agree with this post for the most part. G+ has shown itself (so far) to be a place to discover, share, and interact with valuable content, but right now, it’s tailored to a very specific audience.

    Most of what we see posted is about G+ itself (everyone’s in the same boat figuring things out), and some of the data I’ve seen says that G+ is 88% male/primarily techies. It’s an interesting network if your content fits in with this crowd, but we’ll have to see how it evolves once it becomes open to the public. Facebook is mostly female and your Grandma is on there. G+ might not attract the same audience and I think to some degree, that’s going to have a lot to do with how it “works”.

    Same thing goes for entity pages. Once those get released, it can present a whole new opportunity for the creation, sharing, and interaction with content. It’s an exciting time for social media, but I think – as Brian said – it’s still pretty early 🙂

  26. I’m really enjoying Google+ so far for much of the same reasons Brian mentioned. I think #2 is dead on. Google+ isn’t a Facebook or Twitter replacement, instead it’s a mashup of the best of both of those worlds. Time will tell if it is a “killer” of either of those platforms. In the meantime, it makes a lot of sense to get in there and test the waters and get a feel for what works.

    Also, it will be interesting to see how the environment changes once Google opens this up to the public at large. Right now, it’s filled with geeks and early adopters. Although I’m really digging that, the true test will be when the pool of users is larger and the topics go beyond talking about Google+ itself.

    All that said, I think the platform has a ton of potential and I already find myself going there regularly to see what’s going on. It’s definitely a great way to find amazing content and start great conversations!

  27. Agreed, Google + seems to be a new kind of social media that’s different to Facebook and Twitter in a number of ways. It looks cleaner, and up till now I’ve thought of Twitter as my primary business / promotion social media. Having got the early version of Google + and still discovering new areas to the site, I’m inclined to think that in future I’ll keep Facebook on a more personal level and use Google + for my business orientated social media.

  28. I have a question for everyone about how they are approaching their circles. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

    Something about Google+ that excites me most is the ability to choose who I share my content with. But for those of you who are spread out between multiple niches, how you are “approaching” Google+?

    For example, I have a ukulele blog and a guitar blog. I’d love for both of my audiences to connect with me on Google+. I’ve hesitated though because if anyone in my audience were to “circle” or “follow” me, I wouldn’t know what content they would be interested in hearing about — ukulele or guitar. They would get both, unless I added them to a specific circle, but that would be nearly impossible because there isn’t a good way to know if they are a ukulele or guitar player.

    Currently, for my different websites and blogs, I have multiple Twitter and Facebook page accounts. I’d like to try to get away from the multiple account thing with Google+. It would almost be nice if when people circle me they could subscribe to a circle of mine.

    All to say, I know for myself I hate getting news and information on my stream/feed that I’m not interested in, so if people are following me, I want to provide value. I want to connect with my audience on Google+ but I hesitate for these reasons.

    For those of you in multiple niches, what are you doing? Am I overthinking this?

    • Hi Brett, maybe that is why Google + has been taking down business associated accounts until they can come back and offer them properly. I know what you mean about the newfeed. On my main Facebook feed I do not even look at it anymore. I just deal with the fanpages which are more targeted.

  29. Well put, Brian. I couldn’t agree more. Google + is starting big for sure and yes, they major Twitter and Facebook pitfalls. In fact, some people see that G+ has LinkedIn potential as well. According to poll conducted by mashable on G+ users opinion, one of the answers was: “It could be like a LinkedIn and Facebook in one place…but..where is the farmville?”
    The framville part shows that users are emotionally attached to Facebook. I predict that we will see interesting developments in the future as I’m sure that Facebook will not standstill and let G+ steal the rug from underneath its feet. Let’s wait and see 🙂
    Great post as usual Brain. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  30. Great article Brian. As you say the impact on SEO of Google+ could be huge, I feel its only a matter of time until Google alter their algorithms to a point whereby social influence becomes a far more important factor in search rankings. As Garious says though, Facebook aren’t going to just stand by and let them take market share without a fight….lets see!

  31. Interesting take on Google+. I’ve been using it for a few weeks so far and really like it – like you mentioned, it’s got all the benefits of Facebook and Twitter but not as many of the downsides.

    It will be really interesting to see how it all unfolds – so far my favorite part about it is how much interaction it encourages between users.

    And, Brian, you’re already in my circles! In a circle titled blogging heroes 🙂

  32. I was already ‘dying’ to get my hands on Google+, just like many others but your post has increased my thirst many times. I feel bad as G+ will only work on Android and iOS, and many mobile users with symbion OS will miss it.

    • Thank goodness and thank you ZA (a special friend) for inviting me to Google+. However, it is too simple, maybe because it is in the testing phase.

      But I am sure it is the future of social networking as when Google makes something, it becomes the industry benchmark.

      I must thank you again (coppyblogger as well as Brian) for this post.

  33. It all sounds great but doesn’t the fact that social media platforms are multiplying like Starbucks play into the equation? How many different ways can we divide our attention? Doesn’t the field get a little crowded and consequently the power or each platform get diluted?

  34. I have to admit, I haven’t figured out g+ yet. For example, is a share like a retweet? What’s the best way to build a followership, just keep writing and posting?

    Even though G+ may have 10 mil subscribers in the first few weeks, isn’t that partly due to Facebook and Twitter (and others) have paved the way so they are headed down a much smoother road.

    Personally, so far, I really don’t see an advantage of G+ over Twitter, etc.


  35. As much as I love Google and their products, I haven’t quite caught on to using Google+ yet, even though I have an account and have read some tutorials. I have this stigma against adding people randomly – probably left over from Facebook. Now I see that it’s ok to add to circles, I’ll be doing that more often.

  36. Hello team:)

    I was disappointed to head over to Copyblogger and find yet another blog post about Google +. Not because you shouldn’t write about it but because I don’t want to read about it but I know I should. I’m over it already.

    Everyone’s writing about it, I’ve read all their posts and I’m on Google + because, as a web professional I have to be.

    I have enough to juggle already with two blogs, a separate business, three kids, three FB pages and three Twitter accounts! Yes, yes, I agree this is crazy and no wonder I don’t want to spread myself any thinner:)

    So like you I will be hanging out there from time to time, trying to fathom it all out and create a system that works for me. Somehow I will squeeze this latest social media outpost into my rather over-crowded stable!

    It sounds like the circles will allow me to share relevant info to the people who want it and would mean that I don’t need all those different FB and Twitter profiles.

    Definitely hope it’s an improvement and look forward to reading all your tips!

  37. I wonder how any will move over though. Personally the grief of moving everything over would be enough to put me off.

  38. I agree.

    But I also think Google+ will become a much bigger player than say Facebook in terms of it’s business marketing capabilities.

    Google+ = business / sales referral platform
    Facebook = entertainment / fun / social networking platform (not driving sales)


  39. What attracts me to Google + is the SEO. For those of us who have online business is extremely easy to list us in Google search engine if we own a popular Google+ page!

  40. The missing thing in traditional search results is the lack of social circles. By joining google +1 you will considerably influence Google’s idea of delivering quality results.

    but still… maybe it’s too early.

    PS: I think this project is the only good one for a very long time in Google history.

  41. Google its better in buying stuff, but Google+ just might be one hell of the service, and keep in mind facebook it’s old news, it’s old and that is one of the many Google+ advantages, and other then that it’s cool, I’m so in love in the Circles:).

  42. they still say its limited and only testing on a few testers. So when do the invites go out or how

  43. Sure, it’s possible to use both F and G, but as long as people still have the majority of their friends on Facebook, and not so many on Google+ this is going to be a hard nut to crack. Not an impossible nut, but a hard one.

  44. The last point here is the most important one. Too early to tell. I think the most important thing that people can do is sit and wait because there is no point wasting a load of time on something that might not take off. Publishers have no choice anyway as not meant to be there yet anyway. Will be interesting t watch it all pan out

  45. I’ll be adding google +1 to my website very soon, and good post btw 🙂

    Do you think that google+1 will be the last of the socialsharingtools or could you see a new one comming down the road?
    Facebook is getting smaller each day (btw its still HUGH and will be for the next couple of years), are we the internet users just waiting for the final solution? – one sharing feature to rule them all?

  46. I agree that Google+ has already a lot of advantages. For one, it’s backed by the search engine giant which basically made its name equal to Internet these days.

  47. Really? Google+ is fast growing?! I think it’s a fad though. People are getting interested to join Google+ because it is invitation-only. They want to be part of the cool crowd who got access to it. But as soon as they discovered what’s in it, they revert back to Facebook. I’m a Google+ user but I don’t find it as interesting as Facebook. Like I said, it’s a hype.

  48. It still has a long way to go in terms of being profitable in such stuff. As for ordinary users, they can play with this to their hearts’ content without ever worrying about metrics.

  49. I still can’t believe Google are holding back the business accounts for Google +1
    Surely every business wants to represent itself through the big social networks. I presume they are just building up the individuals usage first before it get swamped with commercial usage.

  50. I’m struggling to get into the swing of using G+. Having spent years using Twitter and Facebook it’s like starting from square one again. Not sure I have the energy..

  51. I have jumped on G+ in the hope that it will help with the search engine rankings of some of my sites with Google’s focus on authorship. I actually enjoy the interface and some of the sharing concepts. I have never really enjoyed using facebook. So much of social media can be time wasting, but I think Google has got it right.

  52. Yes, Google+ is definitely a keeper. I don’t know if it will dominate the social media industry anytime soon but it sure is evolutionary. I think my social business network is better suited for business users. Neither Google, Twitter or Facebook is 100% focused on the area of business. The only network you can find dedicated to that industry is LinkedIn. I think Google did a good job with it but people want something dedicated 100% to business. That’s why I created MarketMonsterz. However, with Google, Facebook and Twitter around getting people to use it will be challenging. Google is trying to take over the world! Lol.

  53. With all the buzz around Google+, I have been thinking of joining but but upon reading your influential article, it triggered me to go ahead. I already make extensive use of many Google tools and now I’ve added another. Google is continuing on to become the ultimate one-stop brand of all time. Now I have to invest some time to figure out how best to utilize Google+.

  54. Brian, is there a good reason to not include dates on your blog articles? I know I can more-or-less infer that by looking at comments which are dated. With the popularity of your articles, there are usually many comments and it would be easier just to find the date at the top of the article. 🙂

    I was looking at the 10 million users going to 20 million, and wondered about the exact timing. It will be interesting how long it will take for Google+ to exceed Facebook’s user count. I have old numbers from about a year ago.

  55. Google+ may be the end all be all but there are still some risks that I find. Since I am an avid user of Google’s services, I am not sure I am willing to risk those other services to be a part of Google+. I think I’ll let others handle that!

  56. I use many Google services and I joined Google+ about a month ago. How is it a risk to other Google services to be a Google+ user? I’m asking to know if I need to drop Google+. 🙂

    • I’ve just heard of people doing something that was slightly questionable and getting accounts closed as a result. Again, just what I’ve read and heard. So I am a bit cautious because of those stories and would rather my users/readers promote via that network and not me.

  57. I’m joining Google+ to experience how simple or complicated to navigate on the site compared to Facebook, And how it will help me connect with the right people, friends and customers without intruding my privacy.

  58. Over the last 9 months the popularity of Google+ has fluctuated, but it is still part of my active social strategy. I think it is great for sharing anything with a technical community. You just need to keep in mind that not everyone is on Google+ and those who are, are probably like you and me. Because of this I have found certain content gets great traction on Google+, whereas others fall flat on their face.

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