5 Google Plus Mistakes that Can Really Slow Your Progress

Google Plus Mistakes to AvoidIt’s really weird. I still can’t seem to get why so many people don’t like Google Plus at all…

As a matter of fact the site Marketing Profs actually conducted a survey, where it turned out that for 41% of the voters Google Plus is the network they “Never Want to Hear About Ever Again”, while for a whopping 50% it is also the most confusing network.

And it is true – there is a bit of a learning curve associated with Google Plus, but then again it is all rather straightforward once you get the hang of it (which shouldn’t take more than a couple of days).

Anyway, what I really hope is that you haven’t voted Google Plus as either the worst or the most confusing network.

If that’s the case and you actually have an active account over there, you have the opportunity to tap into a high-quality traffic source and a great community.

Even if you like the network and participate however, you might be going in a wrong direction and making some strategic mistakes.

In the below paragraphs I talk about five of the bad practices that I’ve either experienced on myself or ones that I stopped following and saw an improvement in my results thereafter. I’d highly suggest you reconsider them as well!

Let’s get started:

1. You Send Annoying Notification Emails


Don't Send Email NotificationsWhen it comes to internet marketing you can really say that getting someone’s email is the holy grail. I mean the idea of successful traffic generation comes down to actually converting the traffic into subscribers.

But on the other hand email is also the most personal type of messaging and a rule of thumb is to use it with great caution.

After all no one likes receiving emails from unauthorized parties. From an influencer, something like that can easily turn you into a spammer in the eyes of the one getting such emails.

And by simply checking the “Also send email to your circles” box you break that rule. 

Just think about it – what would it happen if every Google Plus user were to send emails upon sharing something? Wouldn’t that ruin the whole user-experience?

What I’d suggest you if you’d really like to send emails is to create a specific circle, to which you will send emails. However you will ask people before you add them. You will only include the ones whose answer is positive. Now you have a legitimate way to use the feature.

2.  You Don’t Ever Reshare Content


Resharing Content on Google PlusSimilarly to Facebook, on Google Plus you have the option to either like (or plus) a post or share it directly with your audience.

Pluses can appear in other people’s streams like “Person A, who is also a friend of yours liked this or that post”. Of course that can’t return as much traffic to the original author as a reshare does.

By clicking the share button on the other hand, you are basically posting an update on your own profile. So except that it says “originally shared by the person who you reshared it from” the post is in your stream and all your followers will see it in their streams…

But I didn’t go around telling you why you actually need to reshare, did I? 

Well it’s all about showing that you pay attention and you are not the kind of guy who just logs-in to share an update without ever noticing what others are posting.

That egocentric behavior is the reason why on Twitter you need thousands and thousands of followers in order to get your message seen. It’s just that a lot of the users don’t care what others are saying. 

Also keep in mind that reciprocation matters on social media. Although it shouldn’t be your main goal, the fact is when you share someone’s post, they might return the favour. There’s also the building-relationships-factor. When people see you are engaged and not just the next spammer they will be more inclined to establish a connection with you.

It's Important to Give CreditNOTE: When resharing make sure to add via +Person Whose Post You Reshare. That way they will get notified of you mentioning them and will probably come to say hi. Additionally it’s common courtesy to give credit and to make sure your followers know who the real author of a post is.

3. You Simply Paste an URL and Click “Share”


You Should Always Write a DescriptionThat’ really the worst thing you could do. What I’m referring to here is sharing a post without taking the time to add any description to it. 

And even though that also wouldn’t be acceptable on Facebook, there you at least have the option to write a meta description, which is still better than nothing. On Google Plus however when you paste a link, only the title and the blog post image are being fetched.

When you leave the description empty, you are only relying on your headline to drive visitors. I am yet to see one such post getting more than two-three pluses.

So what do I do with my descriptions? 

  1. I often times start with a rhetorical questions or with a simple statement
  2. I either answer the question or expand on the statement
  3. I tell people what I’ve covered in the post

Something like that works fairly well.

What some other bloggers like Peg Fitzpatrick and Mike Allton would sometimes do is make a teaser of the post with the most important subheadings being shared. Sometimes I’ve seen such descriptions go to around 200-300 words and over. More often than not those posts do receive dozens of pluses, shares and comments. 

4. You Never Go a Little Off-Topic


Feel Free to Go a Little Off-Topic

You know the funny thing is your own blog posts will probably never get close to the sharing that an off-topic post might receive.

It seems to me like Google Plus users tend to go off-topic a little more often that Facebook-ers. While on the latter you will rarely see marketers posting photos, comics, jokes and quotes, there are a lot of them on Google’s network.

The reason? 

Those kinds of posts receive a ton of sharing. I’ve seen such literally going viral and getting over 100 shares on profiles that would normally receive less than 10.

So if you are the guy who strictly shares news and articles from your own niche, you might want to broaden your reach.

For instance posts like this one and that one have generated a lot of buzz on my profile even though they are a bit off the topic.

5. You Don’t Add Formatting to Your Posts


About the descriptions again…

That one is important enough on its own to have a separate subheading.

The possibility to add formatting to your Google Plus shares is one of the things I really like about this network and what makes it stand out from the rest.

As we all bloggers know, proper formatting like adding bolds and italics can really help the reader sift out the really important from the less important information.

Aside from the above, a well-formatted post on Google Plus will be more likely to get noticed that one that is simple text and let alone one that doesn’t even have a description.

And how do you format your posts? 

  • Bold – *bold*
  • Italics – _italics_
  • Strikethrough - -strikethrough-

The idea is to surround the words or sentences with the respective elements ( * or _ or – ) for the effect you’d like to achieve:

Formatting Your Google Plus Posts

Final Words


I really hope you enjoyed the tips! All in all Google Plus is a great platform that if utilized properly can bring your way a lot of traffic and new readers. Stay clear of those five mistakes and you should be a step closer to a well-optimized Google Plus profile.

Now I’d like to hear your comments! 

Are you on Google Plus in the first place? What’s your experience with Google’s network? What other mistakes can you think of? 

Please take a minute to share! 

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  1. Barry Haupt says:

    I just tagged a bunch of photos in Google Plus and it forced me to tag the photos with other google plus members who have the same name, but are not the same as the people that I am tagging. Very annoying.

  2. I’m on google+ but have only used it for blog comments, one or two pictures and sharing my own blog posts. After reading this, I’m going to look for some other content to share.

  3. Great ideas on G+. Google plus is the place to be in 2014 !! I just wrote a blog post about it too. I have come to luuuuuurve it !!

  4. Wow! Thank you for kicking my butt here. Google+ is a new platform for me and this year I made it a goal to get super familiar with it by following A-Mazing GooglePlusers like yourself. Thank you so much for these 5 practical tips. I am on my way Daniel. Gracias.

  5. Diana Brown says:

    A really helpful article thank you. I’m very new to Google Plus but already seeing its huge potential for our B&B business. The merging of our Google Local Page and our new British Page is awesome. Just one question re formatting a post. Can that be done from a phone?
    Thanks.

  6. Well….I am a newbie here but have been doing each and every one of your suggestions for a least 2 months. I comment on dozens of blog posts every day as well. I ask questions, try to interact and build relationships. I know it takes time, but am concerned that I get very little response. I believe I write good posts on my blog everyday as well. Maybe I am living in a dream world or maybe I just am not patient enough.

    However, I want to thank you for the tips so that I can be sure I am on the right track. I spend a good deal of time researching to be sure I will get it right — just learning all the ropes :)

    Thank you

  7. Hi Daniel,
    I’ve tried to do bold formating before as you mentioned but it didn’t work and I was left having to edit the *s out after. Do you have any ideas?

  8. Yes am also on G+ and another mistake is running away and failing to post anything. This will kill it all. Thanks ~ Anetta

  9. As a social network Google+ have been a great failure even after the so much hype around it, but when it comes to sharing your website content on social network, Google+ is being seen as the greatest prospective as it is own by the Google itself. Google is known to give its product extra weightage & as Google+ as content sharing network they’ve hit the Bull’s eye. There are so many reasons why your post is not getting visitor’s attraction, some of them are mentioned in the post and I would really love to correct all these mistakes if I can, I am really gonna take care of these things from now on as I am one of those people who share content simply by copying the URL and press the share button. This must be the reason why I was not getting enough lead with social share. Thanks for this eye opener post Daniel. Keep sharing.

  10. Nice article Daniel. The formatting tip was new to me. I have written about this article on my website as I think everyone can benefit from these great tips.

  11. Hi Daniel, apparently your post has been re-shared numerous times. The title looked like something I need to read. I clicked arrived to see your familiar photo.

    I do like Google+. I prefer it over Facebook by far!
    I know for myself, I need directions in my face until it sinks in well enough. I have been here since the beginning. I was off for awhile.

    2 things occur to me.
    1. So many people are out there promoting themselves 110%
    2. Not enough people realize that engagement to build trusting relationships is what makes the FREE* advertising work.
    3. Google+ is intended as a social network, not FREE* advertising.
    4. I depend on Google +and Twitter to fin people I can trust to help me improve my inter-net skills.
    ( I am retired. I am so old the office machines I learned on had pull cranks, no batteries and no plugs.I learn computer stuff from scratch. It is not easy to understand the lingo in order to follow directions. I can understand your direction, Daniel. You are good teacher.)

    I ramble on to point out perhaps there are more old folks like me who aren’t using the Google+ system optimally for similar reasons to what I expressed.

    It is disappointing when I scroll through the stream to find post after post with no +’s, no comments; no nothing. Well, then I will see my image and about 6 other well known people who engage. I feel many do not get it. Though there are some excellent posts about in the last few weeks about commenting and engaging.

    Not everyone is interested in reading directions or reading tips to learn how to use things more effectively.

    I have complained about this before. I hate the pick up lines as comments. I hate the copy and pasted spam. There are some who have nothing sincere to say. Sometimes is it obvious that the commenter is doing so only to increase the Klout score.
    I think that turns other off to using Google+

    I know that no one can comment and read everything out there.
    I know that many of us need to be coach how to use it properly. Just like you posted the format.

  12. OK…I gotta tell ya…this post has opened my eyes a bit.

    I’ve been “on” G+ for several months (maybe a year???) and I hardly do anything with it – just the occasional pasted URL from my own blog. I recently joined a few groups of like interest, but I don’t participate too much because it seems everyone else is just trying to promote their own blogs and products. Maybe I’m part of the wring groups.

    When I first started using G+ I had no idea what I was doing, and it seemed hard to grasp. I am still in the learning curve, but at least now I have a bit more knowledge.

  13. I really don’t get the importance or purpose in formatting post with bold or italics and that if I don’t use formatting, I’m somehow going to be a failure.

  14. Daniel,
    Really enjoyed this article and I have to agree with every one of your points. I essentially want to highlight the hat-tip or h/t.

    Showing love to other content creators goes a VERY long way on Google Plus and it’s just good business. Google Plus is a very tight knit community and being a good community member is the only barrier to success.

    Thanks

    Hanley

  15. Great tips. I’m still at the beginning of that dreaded learning curve.

    One thing I dislike about Google+ is that the person’s blog link is not easy to find (assuming it’s there at all). Blogger’s profile page is definitely better on that count. It also takes less time to load.

  16. Great tips. Thanks Daniel.

  17. All great tips here, Daniel. I can honestly say I have been following most of them. But the one I didn’t know about was the post formatting. I had no idea you could make text bold or italicized in a G+ post. Thanks for sharing that tip and have a great day!

  18. Hi Daniel

    I had no idea about the formatting options so thank you for sharing that!

    I really wish that Google would allow sharing directly to personal account rather than to a page from things like HootSuite and Buffer.

    As much as I love sharing things, I’d rather be able to do it from one button than four or five!

    Equally, I see the importance of introducing each post to your followers, so that may also not be such a good thing if you aren’t able to do that from HootSuite or Buffer.

    What I find myself doing is sharing to my Google+ Page and then sharing from there to my personal account.

  19. I love these tips! I am new to G+ so I need some direction! I was told that when you post something to G+ and you have it set to share Public and to your circles that even if you have the box unchecked to email to your circles that it will still send an email. Is that true?

    I like the idea of adding who originally wrote the article when you share it. I definitely have lots to work on. Thankfully, I’ve got 1 – 3 down, just need to work on 4 & 5. Well, I could make the things I write in my description a bit more snazzy.

  20. Fantastic tips Daniel! I think the biggest mistake I see people making is that they only share their own content. Unfortunately they are the same folks that self-promote on every platform – not just Google+

    Btw – I submitted this to Inbound dot org :)

  21. The bold italics one is a great one to have – I try and use it more often to make posts stand out especially when I don’t have a specific image to show in a post. Google+ is so image centric that I sometimes feel that without one you don’t really get eyeballs – the exception being in communities now.

  22. Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for sharing mate. I think these are some of the greatest tips for G+. Personally, I don’t really have a great experience there but I am still learning. I like your idea of adding the ‘via …’. That is a great way to keep someone notified and thanks for sharing that!

    Will practise those and hopefully, increase my G+ engagement and overall experience :)

  23. Daniel, great points using Google+. I did not know we could make text bold, etc. Good to know! I try to mix mine up and share when I can. It’s gotten easier with their mobile app as it was a bear in the beginning to use. I don’t think I’ve received emails via Google+ – are many really doing that one?

  24. Firstly thanks for this post but i would like to as one more thing which one is better Facebook or Google plus for search engine and brand promotion. You know both are good i have seen so many websites are doing brand promotion on Facebook so help me which one is better for me.

  25. This is a great article! Thanks so much for taking the time to share these great tips! I am very new to Google+, and I love it but also feel very intimidated by information overload :) I do love to learn and engage, though, so I know I’m in the right place! Thanks so much for sharing how to format the headlines! I knew how to do the bold, but not the italics or strike-through.. and super appreciated the actual example of how you would have done it specifically! Thanks again!

  26. To be honest with you, as I created my Google+ account, I lost my patience, I have to edit and update all the things there. But as time goes on, I started loving it. I had made a decision that this will be my official account.
    “Anyway, what I really hope is that you haven’t voted Google Plus as either the worst or the most confusing network.” Well, I can a sure you that I haven’t voted google Plus as the most confusing network. :)

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

    • Hey Metz,

      Yes, I see your point. It can be a bit of hassle once you are just starting with all the formalities, but when you get into it, it becomes a lot easier and actually a fun place to be.

      Daniel

  27. You nailed it Daniel! I would add one growing Google Plus Mistake that Can Really Slow Your Progress are the “Hashtags Gone Wild!” movement. Many newcomers see more savvy Plussers use hashtags but take them to an extreme. This could easily sabotage who will Circle you and may even lead to harsher actions by Google due to it’s “spammy” nature.

    • Agree with you Bobby! I’ve seen posts that have more hashtags in them than actual content. That’s definitely NOT how you do it. My rule is two or three hashtags at most that go right at the end of the description for the post I will be publishing.

      Daniel

  28. Eric Suiker says:

    Daniel,

    Nice post. For a beginner on +, this is good stuff. Maybe it’s because I turned 50 a couple of months ago, but I really do have a hard time figuering out +.
    Is there an easy to digest manual available? I’ve been looking for that for a long time.
    You know, a simple step-by-step guide for the not so tech savvy…

    Eric

  29. These are awesome tips Daniel! I have to admit I’m one of those who is confused about Google Plus…not too much but there are some things I need to get the hang of.

    I try to share a little bit of everything. I’ve always believed if we’re only talking about work-related stuff we can come across as stuffy so I try to keep my updates entertaining and educating :).

    What’s completely new to me is formatting. I didn’t know we can bold text…I’ll definitely be using those more :). I really appreciate you sharing these tips with us!

    Happy Wednesday Daniel, hope all is well!

    • Hey Corina,

      You are doing the right thing with mixing up your shares. That’s undoubtedly the way to go!

      As for formatting – glad to hear you learned something new here! Definitely try it out and see how it works! :)

      Daniel

  30. Google+ is still very new, and it really helps to have a post that explains how to get started in plain English. G+ Communities are worth checking out. People are very eager to share, and many communities are cropping up dedicated to all sorts of business interests.

  31. I hate to say that I’m guilty of not always writing descriptions when sharing posts on Google+. Mostly because I’ve been lazy, but sometimes because I don’t know what to say. I’m going to try your tips though the next time I share.

    • Hey Josh,

      I know – writing descriptions can sometimes be a little time-consuming, but it’s well worth it if you ask me. The difference in terms of shares between having one and not having one is significant.

      Daniel

  32. Hi Daniel,

    Tremendous G Plus breakdown here! I got banned last month and have since vibed with Facebook and twitter but I agree with each point.

    Pay attention to details. Mike A runs such a successful, popular G Plus profile because he prefaces shares with a nice, thorough breakdown. Breakdowns give people a reason to click on a post, like the lead in to a traditional post, or a thorough summary.

    Snag attention spans by going above and beyond.

    As for sharing you are doomed to fail unless you share on G Plus or any social site. I am getting a ton of visits on twitter because I RT freely and engage like mad, responding to each @reply. The same holds true on G Plus. Share. Build a nice intro/breakdown of the post and engage like crazy to grow your circles and business through the platform.

    Thanks for the powerful G Plus share Daniel!

    Ryan

    • Hey Ryan,

      Why did you got banned man? That’s quite a pity.

      All in all to succeed on any social network, one should be willing to dedicate some free time and actually participate. Otherwise it’s hard to make a head start.

      Daniel

  33. Hi Daniel,

    Wonderful tips indeed :)

    Google plus is really awesome and if you know how to do the above mentioned things, you can really increase your fans there and reach as well. I do most of these but still need to work on the Reshare part, which happens when I am on G+ and watching my stream – in my own free time. And I just cannot stand those notifications either – they are really horrible, or even the events people keep inviting everyone for, especially if it’s not something of your interest.

    Thanks for sharing, and good to be back on your blog after a while – great changes :)

    • Hey Harleena,

      It’s great to hear that you enjoyed the tips! :)

      As for resharing, I actually create a list with some of the cool posts I’ve come across and reshare them when I don’t have anything else to post. Works pretty good.

      I’ve never had a problem with the notifications though. On Facebook yes, but not on Google Plus.

      Thank you for the comment! :D
      Daniel

  34. Google+ may be easy for those who LIVE in a computer, but for those of us “less gifted” it’s a real chore to try to get around here.

    I lived through MySpace where I learned that “Social Networking” is another way of defining Deception. My Trust Bucket received many kicks and dents.

    I tried to wean myself from MySpace by opening a profile at Facebook. In the process Facebook did wean me from MySpace….but I became a Facebook Addict and it could and DID eat my entire day and night. “Hey! How the heck did THAT Happen? I was supposed to get things done today!!” FB also taught me that Deception isn’t limited to MySpace. I had thousands of friends and watched as FB became an endless series of pictures of kittens and ZERO Content. I became a bit of a complainer I think…and people don’t like to post actual thoughts that matter….they prefer posting things that won’t piss anyone off. I quit for the final time several weeks ago.

    With all due respect to THIS article which is VERY well done and most helpful, I also have a cure for Getting Popular around Google +. Change your profile to that of a Young Woman in a Bikini that’s 5 sizes too Small. People crawl out of the woodwork like roaches in hopes of winning your favor. :)

    Your Words here are most Helpful and I’ll Read them Several Times in order to gain some knowledge. Many Thanks.

    I’ve been a member of Plus for several years and I’m not a stupid person….but I have NO CLUE what I’m doing here….,mainly because I paid no attention to the place. I went from posting things on FB and getting hundreds of replies and comments to coming here and getting none. So, for me, Plus IS helping me to lose interest in Social Networking…..

    • Hey Rich,

      I hear you. For the less tech-savvy jumping into a new network or something new computer-related isn’t always easy. But as you said yourself, you started with My Space, then moved to Facebook and even become addicted at it. What I am trying to say is that when you look at something it seems difficult, but once you give it a go an start paying more attention, it gradually becomes easier.

      And you are right – more often than not the meaningful content gives way to funny pictures, videos, etc. But that is never going to change. I mean it’s far easier to “understand” a funny picture than an in-depth article on some topic. It’s also easier to relate to it. That is something we should take advantage of as I see it.

      And as far as Google Plus goes, maybe the problem is namely that you are not paying enough attention. :)

      Thank you for the thorough comment!
      Daniel

  35. Quality stuff, Daniel. Thanks!

    Maybe sometime you can explain the “circles” thing better. Still confused by the best/easiest way to set them up and how/if I should target my market.

    I started out strong with G+, made some relationships, and lost momentum and interest. Being new to SM and 50+ in age doesn’t help. ;^)

    Steve

    • Hey Steve,

      The idea with the circles and the notifications is simple – you set up a circle, then you post an update, asking people to leave a comment if they’d like to receive emails when you share your latest posts on Google Plus. Then you simply add the ones who say yes.

      Google Plus is a cool network. Maybe you should give it another go. :)

      Daniel

  36. Really good tips for Google+. The simple stuff adds up and you can dramatically increase the results that you get from G+.
    One question the function where you can share your status update via email. Is it share with people who circled you or even with people that you put in your circles?

    • Hey Liudas,

      Normally when you share an update on Google Plus, there is the option to also send an email notification to the people in the circles you’ve included. That however is a bit (a lot) spammish. So if you have a special circle for notifications, you can take advantage of this otherwise useful feature without making people hate you.

      I’m glad you liked the tips! :D
      Daniel

  37. Once again, Daniel, I learned something new. That is why I read your posts often. while I know my subject and shoot from the hip, I have a lot to learn about formatting, and improving my Google + posting. The world of inter-net is a foreign world to me, a baby -boomer.I am open to learn new skills. I thank you for your willingness to share your knowledge.

    Yes, I have been on Google+ since like the first week. I had no idea what I was doing. I abandoned G+ for months simply because of spam comments. Now I see many like you, Daniel, who are the best of best working hard to help the rest of rest.
    I am goign to share this post and see how well I do in following directions.

    • Hey Malika,

      I would say that consistency is the single most important thing if you want to make sense of a new platform and build a following along the way.

      I kinda agree – I signed-up right after the start of Google Plus but wasn’t really active until a couple of months ago. At first it didn’t seem worth the time, but things are changing.

      Other than that I am really glad you liked the tips! :)
      Daniel