Building Authority and Influence in Google+

by Jason Acidre on January 17, 2012 · 72 comments · Content, Social


Google plusWhen Google announced last week that they’ll be starting to roll out Search Plus your World, it became more evident that search is shifting towards a simpler way of retrieving data for their users by merging personalized search and social search on their result pages for logged-in users (including relevant Google+ pages).

This sudden – but already foreseen – move from Google is definitely going to make massive changes on how businesses should market themselves, as this is certain to affect traditional online marketing methodologies.

There are billions of searches happening everyday (worldwide), and with the recent report from ComScore, stating that Google+ has already reached 67 million users since last November (and is expected to grow more in the coming months), they can easily develop this as a culture to searchers/users, in which the only thing that seasoned marketers can do is to adapt.

Google+ is Google 2.0, and in Rand’s recent whiteboard moz video on why a Google+ strategy is vital to marketers and businesses, you’ll see how they are really pushing Google+ on their search results.

So why is building your brand’s presence on Google+ necessary:

  • Google+ is already taking over search results, if you’re an authoritative figure in this social platform, then it’s easier to yield traffic and leads to your site/business, as your Google+ presence will improve your search visibility.
  • Google will eventually pull social and brand data from this channel to determine highly authoritative figures/content in any industry (AuthorRank).

Goals and objectives in building your Google+ Authority:

  • Increase the number of people that have you in their circles.
  • Increase the number of re-shares and +1’s of your Google+ content (content you share).
  • Increase the number of mentions of your Profile/Page in Google+.
  • Increase external activity, which can be measured through the amount of +1’s of your site’s content.

Below are just some tips on how you can build and continuously improve your authority on Google+.

Authorship Markups

Optimizing your content by including the rel=”author” tag and reciprocating it with your Google+ profile has been one of the most efficient ways in increasing your posts/pages’ SERP click-through rate, as it’s perceived as a more trustworthy and credible content when displayed on search results.

Authorship markup

I’ve written a guide last year on how you can implement this markup to a website/blog and you can check the post here.

Google+ Button

Of course, allowing your site visitors to +1 your content is also one of your Google+ strategy’s foundations, as Google uses these sharing/voting data to analyze the strength as well as the popularity of your website and its content.

The placements of your Google+ 1 button is very important, as making it more visible increases the chances of your button being clicked by your readers. You can place it above the fold or at the end of each of your site’s content to draw actions from your visitors.

Optimize Google+ Page/Profile

This is basic, where most of the task will only require you to complete your Google+ profile, and to allow your page as well as your posts to be publicly visible to logged off users and in search results. Your page/profile’s tagline and introduction are its meta description, so optimizing it by including your targeted keyword(s) may also enhance CTR and attract people to adding you.

You can check out Kristi Hines’ guide on how you can easily optimize your Google+ page.

Promote your Google+ page on your other social platforms

Perhaps the easiest way to attract people to add you in their circles is to first start with the social networking sites that you already have a following base (Twitter and Facebook). Promote the link to your Google+ profile/page through these networks, and that’s probably it.

Promote Google+ page via Content Marketing (CTA)

Include a link to your Google+ page whenever you distribute content externally (guest blogs, slide presentations and videos), especially on your author profile. This method has proven to have high success rate, particularly if you’re providing high-utility content on websites where your target audience are highly engaged.

Use the link to your Google+ page/profile as your external as well as your site’s socially engaging content’s call to action, to attract more of your audience into adding you to their circles.

Linking to your Google+ page from your Blog comments

Comment marketing is an effective way of reaching out and building relationships with your link prospects (and even in targeting their readers/followers), as by simply contributing to the discussion you’ll be able to be recognized in your industry as an active contributor.

Linking to your Google+ page instead of your site’s homepage can help establish a stronger foothold when aiming to build relationships, as it puts more emphasis on building a connection rather than just building a link.

Leading blog owners and their readers to your Google+ profile, very possible if they’re finding your comments really useful, are more perceptible to taking actions (adding you to their circles). And using this method also sends positive signals to Google, as you are building relevant links to your profile.

Build Conversations

Reach out to people that have you in their circles or people within your circle by communicating to them. You can start off by commenting on the things they share on Google+ or by responding to people who comment on your posts. It will eventually give you more exposure when people in their circles start noticing your conversations with them.

Engage the right people in targeted discussions and you’ll certainly do fine.

Share useful and relevant Content to your Circles

The more you are sharing valuable content on Google+, the more chances of getting your posts re-shared and/or +1ed by the people in your circles. This builds up your authority and popularity as a user, as people are finding you as a great resource of content in your industry.

Personalizing your posts, by including your own opinions about the content you are sharing, can entice commenters, which again can improve the social data that Google will be collecting from your account.

Connect with Influencers through Google+ Ripples

Ripple is a feature on Google+ that allows users to see the flow of how a certain content has been continuously shared on Google+, in which users can see the top sharers as well as the influential ones who have shared that particular content (a very powerful set of data that can be viewed in a separate webpage).

Casey Henry of SEOmoz wrote an extensive guide on how to use Ripples to connect and engage with influencers and you can check it out to learn more about how to utilize it in collecting data, studying your target audience’s behavior towards content and in finding influencers in your industry that you can target to build relationships with.

In case you’re wondering what it looks like:

Tagging People in your Circles when promoting your own Content

You can specifically do this when you have cited or linked out to their works from your content. It’s one of the best ways to get into their radar, and hopefully to have your content shared by them.

Increase activity on your Google+ page

There are a lot of events that you can do to make your Google+ page more active such as:

  • Launching live Q&A sessions, where you can invite people to ask industry related questions and have them answered by you or an invited guest (this is being done on Facebook fanpages and Twitter to increase the number of likes/followers).
  • Using Google+ brand pages as a platform for CRM, wherein you can accommodate and/or address consumer-related discussions.
  • Organizing contests, which is quite a common approach on other social media platforms to increase the number of followers and to build brand awareness.

My takeaways

Google+ may pollute search results, by serving bias content (seeing as results would be based from personal and social activity). Finding more useful and spot on content/information could be disrupted by this move from Google.

On the other hand, marketers might find it harder to shift their strategies to getting more social, especially to those who have been accustomed to backend marketing, but in the end, all that we can really do is to adapt to these changes.

Keep on building great content, because when you keep on producing useful content, people will always know how, where and why they need to find you.

If you liked this post, you can add me on Google+ and follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon Cooper January 17, 2012 at 8:13 am

Bookmarking this post! This pretty much wraps up everything you need to know for becoming influential on G+. But I’m surprised you didn’t mention the new top of the right sidebar area in the SERPs where 2-3 people/pages are promoted.

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Kaiserthesage January 17, 2012 at 10:39 am

Thanks Jon.

Rand has explained that part well on his moz video (I tried embedding the video on this post, but can’t seem to make it work) that’s why I didn’t discussed that part, but thanks, I might just add that :)

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Keith February 11, 2012 at 6:34 am

That definitely adds a new element of social klout to the mix, getting suggested right in the SERPs is powerful…

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Alessio Madeyski January 17, 2012 at 8:43 am

Thanks for sharing this.
Unfortunately in Italy nobody is using Google+, and actually they make a lot of fun of it. I think it’s really great, and one thing on my 2012 to-do list is to spend more time on google+ and less in facebook.
With Google+ you can learn a lot, you can share great content, and even the android app for it is cooler than the one for Facebook!

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Michael January 17, 2012 at 9:03 am

Another excellent article Jason!

I believe this is one of the first posts I have read that has gotten this specific into breaking down how you can use Google+ to really build a brand or yourself. Even with ~67 million users on G+ now, it still seems very tough to brand yourself if you aren’t already a large, well-known figure or company.

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Rob Cubbon January 17, 2012 at 9:49 am

Great article Jason, I like the idea of linking to your Google+ profile or page when commenting. And I never knew about Ripples – good way of seeing who the sharers are.

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Kaiserthesage January 17, 2012 at 10:41 am

Thanks Rob, glad that you found this post useful :)

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Hampton January 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Will bookmark this post. Thank you for sharing this Jason. Been searching for an article that will thoroughly explain how Google+ works, and now I’m reading it. Thanks.

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livingseolife January 17, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Jason,

Great timely post. have a look at this link (This will give you the network of connections Google uses to identify relevant social search results). hope your reader will find this useful too!

http://www.google.com/s2/search/social?hl=en#socialconnections
Log in your gmail account run this link and you have the Google Social Graph (who will impact your search plus results)

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Priyanka February 1, 2012 at 7:20 am

Hi ‘livingseolife’

Thanks a lot for sharing this link with us, i found it really helpful indeed as i am currently trying to reap the benefits that Google + provides.

Thanks again my friend,

Priyanka

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Raymond Villarojo January 17, 2012 at 11:47 pm

I’m new G+ as well and I find your tips very helpful. I bet the circles are powerful feature of G+ and with quality content, you’re ready to go. I like the hang-outs as well.

What makes it hard for me to work on G+ is to get people put me on their circles, I know, I’ll just need to follow your tips.

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Jade Acidre January 18, 2012 at 12:41 am

What can I say bro. you’re finally out of the cocoon. Keep on…

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Katrin@Web Angels January 18, 2012 at 1:32 am

Great article Jason,
I just think it is quite scary how selective our SERP’s are getting. But after all this is a great opportunity for us online marketing people :-)
Cheers from New Zealand,
Katrin

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Jay January 18, 2012 at 1:51 am

Hi Jason,

Here in the UK not many people have even heard of G+ outside of the IMing niche, I guess Google want to see how it does before they heavily promote it worldwide. On the up side that might give me an edge if I get in early :D

Thanks – Jay

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Camille Taylor January 18, 2012 at 3:08 am

Another great post from Jason! My favourite SEO blogger :) I hope to be as informative as you one day! … Keep up the good work. xx

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Sean² January 18, 2012 at 3:16 am

Hey Jason,

Nice post, I’m going to be inhaling everything Google+ over the next week or 2. I mean, every other social metric is going to be dampened in comparison surely! Keep working hard dude ;)

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Feye Johnson January 18, 2012 at 4:29 am

It’s timely since people are trying to explore other options other than FB and Twitter and somehow G+ rapidly enters the market as fastest growing Social Network today. I’ll definitely try out your tips, I’m amazed by G+ circles and the hangout feature but still I don’t know any further like you do. It’s great to rad your post.

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Mat Bennett January 18, 2012 at 9:50 am

Great post. Slightly disappointed though that no-one linked their comment above to their profile though ;)

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Doug Gene January 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Thanks, Kaiser. Looks like I’ll have to spend some time in Google+. Do you think Google+ will replace other forms of Social Networking?

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Devesh January 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Hey Jason,

Excellent stuff, as always. I love the idea of linking Google+ pages in blog comments and using Social Media Networks.

Keep up the good work, mate.

-Dev

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Sam @ Fundraising January 19, 2012 at 9:28 am

Adapting and continuing to produce useful content are the key takeaways. Change is always a little disruptive but it happens and we need to take advantage of it.

Lets hope G+ truly add values to the web

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Sean@SEO Philippines January 21, 2012 at 12:37 am

This is the next step as social and search get even more mashed up. Search Plus Your World has shifted Google’s SEO perspective into an even more social aspect (namely, Google+). It’s quite unfair that they are strongly suggesting people go into Google+ because of the SPYW update – but that’s life.

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Vats January 22, 2012 at 10:16 am

loved your nu logo…

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Vats January 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Kaiser, have you written any article on impact of browsers on serp…my site comes on 3 rank in chrome but in mozila it’s 5th. Is there some relation with cookies og google chrome because most of the time i use chrome, even while using g+.

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Melanie January 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Wow Kaiser, this is a very complete post, thanks for sharing it. I think Google+ will have a big effect in rankings of sites, because at this moment, Internet is extremely social, and all things are in real time.

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Tristan @ Virtual SEO Assistant January 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm

As always.. another information overload for SEO apprentice like me! I’ve been using G+ since it rolled out last year and been promoting my articles there. Good thing that I’m on the right track of doing so.

PS. Nice new logo. :)

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Armand January 22, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Nice Jason!
I think it’s time for me to re-activate my Google+ account. I can’t find more circles there, so I decided to quit using it. Thanks to you for giving me the realization how important to have a G+ account.
Ayos to pre!

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Anthony@Japanese SEO January 23, 2012 at 12:54 am

I’m impressed to see so complete articles so little time after G+’s release! To be honest, I’m not too happy about Google making its SNS take such an important place in SERPs and SEO in general. But since this is Google, you really have no choice but go their way if you want to “survive”. So thanks for this article, there are a couple of tips I hadn’t thought of there!

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Sheena January 23, 2012 at 2:42 am

SEO and SMM are indeed very powerful online tools and if combined and used properly, could take a website to greater heights. I’m still a newbie in SEO and SMM and one of the things I learned is the importance of reaching out to and engaging your readers. Aside from being active in Facebook and Twitter, being more visible in Google+ this year is a must for me too. Thanks for sharing this, Jason.

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Patricia January 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Thanks for this excellent post, it really explains how Google+ works and how we can take advange of it. I definitely like the ide of linking Google+ pages in blog comments!

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Threelines@SEO Sunshine Coast January 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I am seeing a lot of concern in the office that the bias factor is the greatest concern in this G+ search results. Although I have never seen Google do anything that has caused disruptions to the relevancy of search results, so I am doubting the effect is that scary.

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Avatar January 24, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Haven’t try using google+ strategy. I’m working more on writing to get high ranking from SEO. That’s good idea. I will try this also one of these days. Thanks. Nice post. :)

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Juphet Mislang January 24, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Indeed, since search results are socially transformed(for logged in users) the idea of building brand on social media sites such as Google+ is a very good and strategic idea. The number of Google+ users has just grown and we can expect more increase in the near future. Thanks Jason for sharing this post!

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Nick@Outdoor Gear Reviews January 25, 2012 at 5:36 am

Hello Jason,
So very timely post! I hear everywhere about Google+ and I am keen on using it. From what I’ve read I feel like Google+ is worth using it and I plan to give it a shot soon. Thanks Jason. Always helpful.

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Sean@SEO Philippines January 25, 2012 at 8:13 am

Interesting finds Jason. Search is trying to put less weight on links and more on social. Perhaps it’s because social can be less manipulated by black hatters? Anyhow, these changes are the stuff that makes us SEOs.

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Sagar Sharma January 25, 2012 at 8:56 am

Nice post! Liked!! Go on…

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Sam January 25, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Google + is more than just a Facebook. It has more uses instead of just a social site and I find it more helpful for business and internet marketers. With this new feature out, searching becomes more easy thanks to being a part of Google +. I wonder how is Facebook gonna respond to this, if they don’t find new ways they might start to lose control in the scene for social network giants.

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Axel Storckenfeldt January 28, 2012 at 9:01 am

i wonder how this social influation (or what to call it) is going to evelop in the future. How will an SEO-expert work in five years? Thats a really good question.

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David Sneen January 28, 2012 at 9:11 am

I have been on Google Plus for a bit over a month. According to Klout, I get more Klout from the 172 Google + members who have me circled than my 10,545 Twitter followers by a 63-37 margin. I did not know about ripples, thanks for enlightening me!

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mike@web site design January 29, 2012 at 10:37 am

I’ve been in G+ since the beginning but have struggled finding it hard to find the ‘community’ aspect of G+ it just seems to be missing for me. The SEO aspect certainly gives reason to participate in G+ as a brand and not worry about the community..

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Brian@pizza blog January 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I absolutely hate search plus your world. But since it’s here, I might as well work harder at increasing my reach on G+. So many platforms to keep updated is a drag. It’s not just so much updating them, but G+ must be continually updated with quality content or links for our readers. I was excited about G+ a few months ago, but lately, my enthusiasm has waned. You’ve not got me interested in getting back on and getting something done. I just wish it was more like Twitter, with sometime similar to hashtags so I can post a link to all of G+ who look at certain topics like Twitter users look at hashtags. Instead, anything I post on G+ only goes to the 30 people or so who follow me. That’s such a drag for me. How can I get followers if no one ever sees the interesting topics I post?

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devesh@improve business February 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Thanks for the post KAISERTHESAGE, G+ just like the other social media sites is a great business tool. It is great to drive targeted audience to your blog.

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deep@next generation TV February 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Excellent article Jason.I believe with more than 67 million users on G+ now it is really emerging out as yet another big internet brand.

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Steven February 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I’ve been picking up bits of knowledge of the power and future of Google +… This post is by far the most informative I’ve read. This is a trend that is really picking up momentum. Google + has over 60 million users now… It’s going to become an integral part of search results in the very near future.

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Kevin Struz February 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Enjoyed your Article Jason thank you for sharing. Always looking 4 an article that will thoroughly explain how Google+ works & is easy 2 understand. Will bookmark this post
Thanks.

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Mike February 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Google is really pushing Google+ forward and everyone must concentrate their efforts towards Google+ or your search engine ranking and traffic will become irrelevant one day.
So far I am just learning the way how to use it in the right way and you really helped with your tips. Thanks!

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Dan Lew February 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Google Plus is one of the reasons that my blog and niche sites are gaining more exposure and traffic. I have installed the Google Plus buttons to my blogs and niche sites and it really works for me.

Cheers!

Dan Lew

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Timothy Anthony February 10, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Jason your article on google Plus was very informative. I haven’t trie d to Use Google+ butfrom what you are saying I really should try using it.

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Jason February 16, 2012 at 2:45 am

Hey Jason,

Thanks for the great post. I’ve turned off my personalized search results in the Google accounts section because I find they really do pollute the quality.

I have a question less from the social media perspective and more from the SEO. In the “about” section you can place links, which appear to be “dofollow”. Do you know if these carry any weight? I have a hunch that Google discounts these links from their ranking algorithms…

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Karen February 22, 2012 at 1:44 am

Until now, not many are using Google+. I think it’s really great, and one thing on my 2012 to-do list is to spend more time on google+ and less in facebook.

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Andrew Walker February 27, 2012 at 2:41 am

Well Jason, like your recent post, in here you’re also explaining how to maximize our Google+ account. You know, like Karen said, I don’t think people who are using G+ are that much yet, but it’s still growing though. So it’s better to create the foundation now.

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Chris Hurn March 13, 2012 at 9:00 am

Yet another valuable post on Google+. We do some of the stuff you suggested, still some to work on, and of course keep monitoring on all of them.

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Jason April 14, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Thanks for sharing this.
Unfortunately in Italy nobody is using Google+, and actually they make a lot of fun of it. I think it’s really great, and one thing on my 2012 to-do list is to spend more time on google+ and less in facebook.

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Eleazar Romero April 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I’m amazed, google plus is doing great! It makes me interested to explore the world of google plus. I want to learn something new and I know google plus has a lot of interesting things to offer. Thanks for sharing this post! :)

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Jeremy May 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm

I really have issues with spending any amount of time on G+…

Personally, I love the interface…I love the way it’s setup and I love all the features it has. It’s just that nobody I know uses it – and I have doubts they will. There are way too many people on facebook and I honestly dont think many people want to rebuild there and between Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook I don’t even have time to join in on G+ as well. So if myself, a user that loves the product (and is a google fanboy) doesn’t have enough energy to join in I highly doubt other people will.

It’s highly likely the numbers that Google puts out are so inflated it’s about to pop. I never trust the numbers because there’s so many people trying to abuse the system (selling likes/fans/pluses) they have to be WAY off.

Anyway, thanks for the post…I’ll bookmark it in case I feel G+ is actually going to gain momentum with anything other than photographers and techies who love to post the same thing 30 times.

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Rita Dawson June 15, 2012 at 3:43 am

I am not that much used to Google+ as I always stay on Facebook and Twitter, even though I have an Account. After reading your post, I think, I should use my Google+ profile and expand my circle.

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Darby@Teamspeak and Shoutcast Servers January 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

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handelregister June 15, 2013 at 12:36 am

I have a simple question.. how can improve google plus profile page’s authority?

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