A HubPages Guide to Google+
HubPages and Google+
Google+ is one of several social networks on which it is helpful to have an account. As you may have noticed from our tutorials on signing up for and using Google AdSense, Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and the the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, it is quite useful to have a Google Account. A Google+ profile is one of the many features that comes with a Google Account (which is free and easy to sign up for), and can be a useful social networking tool, as well as an additional channel through which you may consider sharing Hubs.
Associated with the Google+ social network at large are +1’s. Much like Facebook Likes, +1’s are signs of approval that you can give to pretty much any web page. Google has suggested that +1’s can influence the ranking of a page, much like backlinks can.
Proper use of Google+ can therefore help more people discover your work. Below are tips on using this network successfully.
What about you?
Are you on Google+?
Setting up a Good Profile
The first step to creating a trustworthy profile on any social media site involves setting up a functional profile. In the case of Google+, this involves adding a profile image, adding some additional images to the gallery that is displayed at the top of the profile, and filling out your basic information for the About tab of your profile.
Linking Your HubPages and Google+ Profiles
Linking your Google+ with your HubPages account creates a concrete connection between your work on HubPages and your Google+ presence.
To link your profiles:
- Establish a Google+ account (if you have an email address, you probably already have one)
- Navigate to the "About" tab of your Google+ profile page
- Under the Links section, click "edit"
- Add your HubPages profile (e.g. HubPages.com/@username) under "Other profiles" or "Contributor to" by clicking "Add custom link"
- Navigate to your Google+ profile page and copy the page's URL
- Navigate to My Account > Profile > Edit Profile
- Paste that URL of your Google+ profile page into the Google+ text box in the "Links" section (note, your Google+ profile link should look something like this: https://plus.google.com/b/100501835235765204292/+hubpages/posts)
- Click "Save changes"
Adding a Contributor Link
Proper Use of +1s
While +1s may help your Hub in search engine results, you should not find all of your Hubs and give them a +1. Doing so may cause Google to lose trust in the value of your +1s, and may even hurt the overall reputation of your Hubs.
The best way to utilize the +1 feature is to:
1. Give +1’s to articles and posts you like using +1 buttons
2. Give +1’s to websites and pages you like by mousing near the end of the URL in search results and clicking on the +1 button that appears to the right
To play it safe, consider not giving your Hubs any +1’s at all- though feel free to +1 other good videos, websites, and articles (Hubs included) that you would like to endorse.
When people who have you in their Google+ circles see those pages to which you have given +1’s in Google search results, they will also see your face and personal endorsement! Your +1’s also appear under the +1’s tab on your Google+ profile (should you choose to display it), so folks can see exactly which things online you’ve given Google+ props.
Making Use of Circles
Circles on Google+ make it easier to communicate with specific groups of friends, acquaintances, readers, and professional contacts. When people have you in their circles, your Hubs (should you have properly connected them with your Google+ profile) will also show up in their personal results (which are a mixture of pages shared and authored by people in your circles and photos from Google+ and Picasa).
By organizing your Google+ contacts into separate circles, you can make sure that the articles, videos, updates, and photos you share are only being shared with those who would be interested.
You might consider making a dedicated circle (or series of circles) for fellow Hubbers on Google+. This way, you can interact with them specifically off HubPages, ask them about their Hubs, and have Hangouts over which you can speak to them face to face.
The Importance of Moderation and Balance
As is the case with all social networks, Google+ is not a place for you to simply dump links to your Hubs. When you share links on social media sites, Google+ included, it is imperative that you share links to a reasonable variety of sites and sources.
If you realize that the majority of your shares on Google+ are self-serving or about the same site or subject (e.g. you only talk about your puppy), stop your current behavior and find a means of adding more variety to your content. In general, try to keep self-promotional posts below 20% of everything you post. If people in your Google+ circles wanted to get an update every time you published a Hub, they would follow you on HubPages, not on Google+, so don’t feel obligated to give them a play-by-play.
How to Share Like a Pro
Many Hubbers make common mistakes on HubPages when sharing links- beyond just sharing links to their work only. To make sure your activity on Google+ is engaging and an asset to others (and your online reputation), we recommend the following best practices:
- Add a personal note to all links you share: People are more likely to click through to links that include an engaging, well-written description or note explaining why you shared it or why it is interesting
- Don’t leave the URL in your post when sharing links: If you paste a URL into the status update bar on Google+, a small preview of the page will load below. Once it has loaded, delete the URL- it is no longer necessary, and it looks cleaner to leave it out. You can also just attached the link (or a photo or video) by clicking on one of the icons at the bottom of the status update box.
- Post a variety of different types of things in addition to links: This includes photos, plain text, and videos
- Post only unique content to Google+: Avoid posting the same thing across multiple platforms- such as the same link on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and
- Google+. This shows a lack of interest in the unique social network you are addressing on each platform
The Importance of Interaction
You will never be considered a trustworthy, active member of any social networking site if you don’t engage with others’ shares and activity. It would be like entering a party, talking non-stop (whether others are listening or not), leaving after an hour, and assuming that you are an excellent socializer.
There are many easy ways to interact with other people on Google+. You can do so by:
- Giving others’ posts a +1
- Commenting on others’ posts
- Mentioning people in your circles in your posts (do so by typing + and their name, e.g. +Simone Smith. As you type, their profile shall appear and you can select it).
Interacting with HubPages on Google+
HubPages has a Google+ Page. If you add us to your circles, you can get announcements, updates, Hubbing tips, and references to fun new Hubs in your home feed. Adding us to your circles also makes it possible for us to mention you when we share your Hubs and invite you to Hangouts.
If you would like to ask us a question on Google+, or share a fun HubPages-related story, mention +HubPages in a post. We love interacting with Hubbers on Google+ and would love to hear from you.