How to Get the Most Out of Google+ Comments

Thursday, July 25, 2013

How to Get the Most Out of Google+ Comments

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How to Get the Most out of Google+ Comments from www.anyonita-nibbles.com
Last week, we talked about Google's new comment spam policy and what it means for both hobby bloggers and professional bloggers. If you missed it, get caught up and find out if you're spamming your own blog!


This week, we'll continue on in the Google vein but look at how to activate Google+ comments on your blog as well as ways for getting the most out of the Google+ comment system. I'll try to simplify the Google+ comment system and show you the pros and cons of it as well.

Update: in the fall of 2013, I signed into Blogger & my G+ comments had vanished! Without warning, none of my blog's comments were visible. I was forced to swap back to traditional Blogger comments. In doing so, this meant I had no hope of recovering any G+ comments. While I am still a fan of G+ comments, I no longer use them on this blog.


At the moment, Google+ is dominated by bloggers, PRs and SEO gurus, but it's the fastest growing social media network around and soon, everyone will be singing its praises. One of the things that sets G+ apart from other platforms is its integration with Google.

While sharing and posting on Twitter has been proven to help increase a blog or business's performance in search engines, G+ does it even better. That same technology is at play in their new comment system and if you've monetized your blog, the G+ comment system is a consideration you can't afford not to make.

Cons and Pros of Google+ Comments
Cons
Because there're so few of these, let's start here. I only have two big gripes about G+ comments:
  1. Readers without Google+ can no longer leave comments on blogs or websites that adapt the G+ comment box.
  2. Comments are published automatically without the option to approve them.
Pros
  1. No anonymous posters (unless someone goes through the hard work of creating a G+ profile only for the sake of anonymity when commenting).
  2. Conversations about your post from Google+ now appear on your blog post. It's nice because it keeps you from having to refer back to another tab all the time, but it also makes it easy to calculate your post's impact.
  3. The website comment box is tidier and more streamlined than Blogger's default box. While it doesn't allow you to leave an RSS of your posts or give you the flexibility of choosing which social media platform you log in with to post, it helps you build up your G+ circles.
  4. Easily plump up your G+ circles by adding anyone who comments to your circles. This is especially helpful because anyone that is willing to leave a comment on your blog is already engaging with you and is likely to continue doing so.
  5. When people comment, you can adjust the settings to give them the option of sharing their comment publicly on their G+ profile, which provides a link to your post and an icon of the first photo from the post along with their comment, too. Look at the example below. You can also see the number of people who've +1'd the post. These are the people in +Virginia Megin Gallagher 's circles, not my own :

    What a G+ share looks like from www.anyonita-nibbles.com
  6. There are no captchas! Google+ comments are all about trust and authenticity. It shouldn't be the case that someone is able to use a G+ account just for spamming purposes (given all of the ways you can verify that you're an actual person by having a G+ profile) so the need to protect so heavily against spamming decreases, leaving a sleek website comment box where readers can simply leave their thoughts and grow their G+ circles.
Make Google+ Comments Work for You
Google+ comments are like little marketing minions--they enable you to potentially tap into the readership of your readers! Look at this chart, it shows that through virtual word-of-mouth (sharing and commenting) my posts can reach four generations and beyond of readers I would otherwise have no interaction with. (Kevin Bacon's 6 degrees of separation starts making a whole lot of sense, doesn't it?)

The influence effect of sharing a post on Google+ from www.anyonita-nibbles.com
   Basically, I share a post on G+ with my readers. When they comment (and choose to share that comment publicly) their comment, the title of my blog post, a link and an image are shared with their readers. 

Share posts on G+ for exposure and traffic building from www.anyonita-nibbles.com



If any of Megin's readers comment or share publicly, then their comment plus Megin's original comment and the title of my blog post, link and image are shared with the readers of the person commenting or sharing, in this case, +TitiCrafty by Camila :

Keep track of when your reaer's readers share G+ posts from www.anyonita-nibbles.com


And this is how Camila's comment looks when viewed on my blog's original post:




What happens if a reader's readers comment? +Angela Paris  shared this link and her reader, +Cindy Howell  left a comment. This is what the post looks like from Angela's G+ profile. This process of sharing and commenting continues on and on almost indefinitely with no real end in sight. 

Comments shared publicly from other readers G+ also provide traffic to your blog from www.anyonita-nibbles.com

A G+ equation of influence would look like this:

engaging content + publicly shared G+ comments = unbelievable virality

To be frank, this "unbelievable virality" is something that that neither Facebook, Twitter nor Pinterest can touch. Facebook's algorithm for virality is similar, but it doesn't guarantee that people will access your blog and increase your traffic. It only seems to effect your level of social influence. Twitter's virality will hardly ever transcend 140 character tweets and many of the pins on Pinterest have a surprisingly low click-through rate: everybody pins now, but not many actually read later.

Once you've identified and monitored who has engaged with your content, +1 their contribution and add them to your circles so that in future, your posts are shared with them. As we said earlier, if they've interacted with before they were in your circles, chances are they'll continue to interact with you. Don't alienate them: grow your social influence (and theirs) by adding them to your network and inviting them to participate again and again. Be socially virulent for the best results and widest influence.

+1's on a post help to give a good indication of a post's value. Be generous (but strict) with your +1's. They're like your very own G+ endorsement. They benefit you and the owner of the content you're +1ing.

How to install Google+ Comments on Your Blog
Installing G+ comments on your blog is easy peasy:
 

For Blogger:
  1. Sign into your Blogger Dashboard (like you're writing a new post)
  2. Publish/approve any comments you have waiting under the old comment system
  3. On the lefthand side, click the Google+ tab
  4. Check the second box to use Google+ comments on your blog 
  5. All old comments will automatically format to the new Google+ view
  6. You will receive an email when anyone leaves a comment on your posts so that you can view it, +1 it and respond (if necessary)
  7. If you don't like the look or feel of the G+ comments, simply go back into your dashboard and change your settings back and your comments will go back to how they were before. You can do this as much as you like. During my first few days trailing G+ comments, I must have switched back a dozen times, trying to make up my mind!
Are you not on blogger? Find a Wordpress plugin. I don't have a Wordpress blog, so I can't advise on this, I'm afraid.

These clever clogs have come up with a way to add Google+ comments to any other blog or site via CMS or HTML. 

I'm no Google+ expert, but I've really enjoyed using G+ comments on my blog and exploring more about the platform. Feel free to chime in with any advice, comments or questions and I'll help out where I can as needed! Also, a very big thank you to +Virginia Megin Gallagher+TitiCrafty by Camila, +Angela Paris and +Cindy Howell for engaging, commenting and sharing!  

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