Google Plus Circle Sharing Strategy. Friend or Foe?

The problem

Google Plus circle sharingGoogle Plus circle sharing is not a new tool or strategy. However, it still confuses many people who don’t know what to make of this strategy.

Is it good? Is it bad? Should I do it or maybe not? If I do it, what kind of results I get? Will this help me or hurt me on a long term? Is this strategy a friend or a foe?

As always I decided to try this type of technique and see where it takes me. I tried it for about two weeks and now I’m sharing my results with you. Let’s begin.

What is Google Plus circle sharing?

Circles in Google Plus are categories that help you organize your followers, contacts etc. Circle sharing means simply to choose a circle that interests you, add yourself to that circle, add the circle to your existing G+ circles and then share the respective circle. Now, why should I do that?

What is in it for me?

Let me tell you about the theoretical benefits of this strategy. In theory, sharing a circle:

  • Increases the number of followers
  • Increases the awareness of your blog and business
  • Increases the engagement on your Gplus profile / page and then on your blog
  • Increases the number of your contacts, then friends, then possible partners etc.
  • Increases the number of people on your list.

Well, this is the theory. Now let’s see the Google Plus circle sharing strategy in action.

How to do it?

Identify a circle

Simply browse through your stream and at some point you should see a shared circle (obviously created by somebody else). How does a shared circle looks like? Well, you should see a picture like the following:

 

Google Plus circle sharing

 

Now, above the image, you should see the name of the circle, the author and a paragraph that will tell you what the circle is about (photographers, food lovers, pets, marketing etc.).

Sometimes the description is too vague to help you understand the essence of the circle. You should know then this is a general circle that includes people form all kind of domains and niches.

OK. This part of Google Plus circle sharing strategy is easy. What’s next?

Become a part of that circle

Usually, a shared circle will have a link above the image, a link that says: Read more. Click on that link. You will find instructions on how to become part of that circle. Usually the sequence looks like the following:

  • Plus the post
  • Share this circle publicly 
  • Include the circle among your circles.
  • Comment on the post when complete!

However, there may be instances when you are asked to do a little bit more, like going to the original post or becoming a part of a Gplus community. Usually, that’s all you do. If you like the circle or just want to see the process, give it a try.

My experience with circle sharing

Beginnings

I started to try Google Plus circle sharing strategy about three weeks ago. I saw a circle in my stream. It was originally created by a friend of mine, an internet marketer I know and trust so I decided it is OK to give the strategy a try. I followed the instructions, added the circle, shared it etc. There were about 180 people in that circle when I added it to my circles.

Then people started to add me back to their circles and the number of followers started to increase. The technique was working and this made me want for more. So I started to add circle after circle.

Consequences

Bad move. Faster than the speed of light I got a message like the following:

 

“You’ve reached your daily limit for adding new circles. You can add more tomorrow.”

 

My reaction?

Goooooooooooogleeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

OK. There was a limit and I needed to find out what it was. I checked and here it is the rule:

 

“There’s a limit of 5,000 for the total number of profiles that can be included across all your circles.”

 

Not only that but:

 

“If you add a large surge of people or +pages to your circles within a 24 hour period, our system will temporarily stop you from adding additional people even if you’re under the total number of people you can have in your circles.”

 

Oh, Google … I love you soooooooo much !!!!!!

Finally:

“Repeatedly removing and re-adding people to different circles can push you to this limit.”

The only thing I can say to this is

 

 !!!#?? ?$$$$) ()))% $$$$xxx #@!!!!

 

I think you grasped the meaning. Where did I find those things? You can check the rules here:

Google Plus circle sharing limits

Slowly but steadily

With Google looking over my shoulder I needed to be more careful so I decided to wait and add a circle every 1-2 days. This time it worked. It seems that one shared circle a day is a very good thing to do … or maybe not.

The Flood

The number of followers increased significantly. However, my stream was soon inundated with bloggers from all domains possible: photographers, pet lovers, food blogs and recipes, politicians, republicans, democrats, marketing, blog traffic, seo experts, relationships, family bloggers, stay at home moms, techie guys, philosophers, writers and even some naked women.

Then came bloggers from literally all over the world: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, India, Russia, Brazil, Portugal and Spain, Germany, Serbia, Croatia, France, Vietnam, Thailanda, China, African bloggers, Arabian bloggers and so on and so forth.

As you can imagine, many of them were writing in their own language and guess what: Google did not bother to translate. So I spend a few days just removing all those bloggers from my circles, one by one.

Now, look what I call the ugly face of Google Plus circle sharing:

From an initial army of 4000 people I was forced to get rid of about 3500.

Please, don’t’ get me wrong. There is no doubt in my mind that all of them are wonderful bloggers. Even those who pestered my stream with naked women… . However, they are not in my niche. Not even close. So this was a big mistake that cost me many hours of work.

Results

In about two weeks the number of followers increased from about 80 to 600 followers. This means:

 

The number of followers increased at least seven times.

 

The traffic was affected, too. Positively. All other things being equal, during the same two weeks:

 

The traffic to my blog increased two times. 

 

 Other results

  • I became a member of a significant number of Gplus communities
  • The awareness of my Gplus profile page and of my blog increased.
  • I have learned a lot about this Google Plus circle sharing strategy.
  • My knowledge and experience with Gplus significantly increased.

Well, increasing the number of your followers with about 500 in two weeks means that you can have 1000 followers on Gplus in about one month. Not bad for a person who is just starting to use the Google Plus circle sharing. Unfortunately, there is a price for everything.

The price paid

  • Time and work wasted. I created a serious army of thousands of random followers. Then I worked hard for a few days to get rid of it
  • A lot of irrelevant content on my stream
  • A lot of offensive content on my stream.

Final remarks

The good thing is that I increased the number of followers significantly and I proved myself this strategy works. The bad thing is that you must work hard to avoid a random following. A random following means irrelevant content and can hurt you on the long run.

Is Google Plus circle sharing a friend or a foe? Well, it is a foe when you choose your circles randomly and it is a friend when you choose your circles carefully and inside your niche. So the next step is to identify methods to find shared circles with people that have the same interests as me. This is another story, a story for a future post.

All in all, I think this is a good strategy to use when you are beginner and you have very few followers. Do not forget that the best thing you can do is to identify your target audience and focus on them.

Did you like the article? What is your experience with Google Plus circle sharing strategy?

Post a comment below and do not forget to share this post on your favorite social networks

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16 Comments

  1. So you can only follow 5,000 people on Google+ Silviu, or have I misunderstood?

    I’ve been less active on Google+ than I should really be. I find it a big distraction though!
    Tim Bonner invites you to read… Do Your Blog Posts Pass The Test? 5 Things You Can Improve On TodayMy Profile

    • Hi Tim,

      Thank you for the comment. How are you mate? I see you are more and more active each day. This is very good. Do not think that you are spinning your wheels. It is not true. Everything you do online (and offline, too) matters. Drop by drop and you have an ocean.

      Robert Kyiosaki and Jeff Olson taught me that you must not be focused on your results and must not aim for a breakthrough, a quantum leap that will transform your life over night. On the contrary, those little things that you do every day, those things that do not look like they matter, those things make the whole difference in the world.

      Your question
      As far as I can understand, you can only add 5000 profile pages (meaning people) to your circles. I think this applies only to your profile page. On the other hand (correct me if I am wrong), there is no limit when it comes to a Google Plus business page.

      Have a wonderful day

      • I’m great thanks Silviu. How are you?

        I’m plugging away at my niche sites (I’ve made over $1,500 so far) and keeping my main blog ticking over.

        I plan to start introducing some consultancy things on my main blog in the not so distant future too.

        I don’t know that much about Google+ Silviu to be honest so I was a little disheartened to hear you can only add 5,000 profile pages.

        Although to be honest, how I’d ever engage that many people I don’t know anyway!
        Tim Bonner invites you to read… How To Use Your Emotions To Write An Awesome Blog PostMy Profile

        • Hi Tim,

          Thank you for the comment. LOL! I think Google inspired themselves from Facebook. It is kind of the same thing. Good to hear niche sites are working. This is something to think about.

          I honestly think that Google Plus is more suitable for business than Facebook. Gplus, Twitter and a few other things will be more than enough to succeed.

          Well, I am working on narrowing the niche. I am trying to determine the target audience for my blog. I mean determine it as exactly as possible. I am also working on two ebooks. One will be available for free on the blog. The other one will probably be paid.

          Have a wonderful day

  2. Google Plus is definitely a friend of mine :D

    I haven’t gotten much traffic from it, but I do have a few followers (mostly from my old blogs and guest posts I wrote from that time…so I can’t really say that all of those guys are my active followers).

    Anyways, yeah, mass following isn’t a tool I would recommend, in any social networking site. Sure, it will help to get some results, but in the long term, like you mentioned, it will cost us more time and effort (cleaning it up and all).

    I did the same thing with my old Twitter account (it worked really well though, I did gain some true followers out it). But, in the end, I felt guilty (plus, I didn’t really know most of my followers, so I deleted that account and started a new one).

    Now that I look back, I don’t know what to think..I still do follow others (if they follow me and if they are sort of relevant to my topics..so, I don’t know most of my followers, just like with my old account).

    As for Google Plus, I am certainly experimenting with it – sharing content, writing mini-posts, so far it has been good and hopefully it will be better :)

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Silviu :) Hope you are well!
    Jeevan Jacob John invites you to read… Psst, what’s in your first newsletter email?My Profile

    • Hi Jacob,

      Thank you for the comment. Well, I think you agree that black and white thinking is not a good thing. Engaging and relationships versus mass following. I think a good internet marketer, entrepreneur etc. think of his blog as a tool to help him in his business. Life is life and at one point in time you need to search for tools that will help you increase the awareness of your brand on a larger scale. Everybody does it and you need to find that balance between quantity and quality.

      Have a wonderful day

  3. Interesting information Silviu
    I used Circle shares a little in the beginning, but recently deleted them completely.
    Better focused followers than en mass in my experience.
    I am slowly building my following now through interaction on communities.
    Of course you also need to know who you are targeting. Something I am only learning now that I am about to start a business!
    Ashley invites you to read… Affiliate Marketing Tips for Bloggers and MarketersMy Profile

    • Hi Ashley,

      Thank you for the comment. Well, I watched your first video. Now, I know why I like you. You are a good man, with heart and spirit and definitely a synthesis of science and art. A rare thing. You inspire trust and I bet more and more people will like you.

      You know … you are one this kind of people whom I’d like to talk a little bit more and not just through blog comments.

      About circle sharing

      I tested the waters and I know that mass following is the first accusation thrown to this method. Also Google is closely monitoring your circles and immediately acts whenever you try to use them more.

      However, there is no reason to curse this method. My next move is to find a way to use circle sharing in a more focused and niche oriented way. You just need to search for circles with people inside your niche, like-minded people with similar interests.

      I will try to find a method to identify this kind of circles. This way you do not have mass following and on the other hand, you may increase your following faster and more efficiently then adding by hand.

      Of course, if I fail it means this method is just a waste of time.

      Have a wonderful day

  4. I’ve tried (a little) to figure out how G+ works, Silviu, and this post has helped me tremendously to that end!

    Seems like your future post on G+ targeting will bear the key to using this platform productively.

    If there is a way to target people really tightly on the front end of the process, then it “seems” like there should be far less clean up work and hand wringing on the back end.

    I’ll wait for you to test that out, so it saves me the time:)
    David Merrill 101 invites you to read… What Traffic and Conversion Strategies Do You Use?My Profile

  5. Silviu, thanks so much for sharing this. I had been wondering about it as I see many doing it but have not yet experimented with it. I’ve been using Google+ a lot more this year and have increased followers slowly and steadily. I may try a few out that look like great circles.
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend Silviu!
    Lisa invites you to read… Recipe for a Great Google Plus ExperienceMy Profile

  6. A great post as always! Silviu, I must commend your research and writing styles. You have always presented your posts in a meticulous manner.

    I have not been using this sharing strategy on Google+, but now that you have shown how it works and how to use it, I think I should give it a shot.

    Like you have demonstrated with your experience, everything has it advantages and disadvantages. I can just imagine what you went through sorting out the irrelevant followers from your account. Moreover, the embarrassment you must have faced with those useless pictures and threads is better imagined than experienced.

    All the same, I think the experiment is well worth the price. If you could eventually prune your list to over 500 quality followers in 2 weeks, then I should say, you have really achieved much.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Do have a lovely day.
    Efoghor Joseph Ezie invites you to read… Writing Contest: $300 Paypal Cash To Be WonMy Profile

    • Hi Joseph,

      Thank you for the comment. Yes, the basic strategy has a major flaw: it is too general and you get all kind of followers. Then it is not so easy to filter them and eliminate the unwanted ones. On the other hand we must be more ambitious and 500 followers, no matter how targeted they are, do not satisfy me.

      Have a wonderful day

  7. Hi Silviu,

    First of all, how come I’m not getting all of your updates in my mail? I believe I signed up in your email list. That’s the reason why you don’t see me here coz I’m not getting any of your announcement.

    So you can only add up to 5,000 in your circles? I’ve seen other people who excels up to 11,000…do you think they are paid account? Hmmmm.

    Okay, my question, how do you delete your random followers?

    I think you can only choose who to follow and reciprocate but I’m not sure how to delete any on my random & irrelevant followers.

    Angela
    Angela McCall invites you to read… 11 Elements On Crafting SEO ContentMy Profile

    • Hi Angela,

      Thank you for the comment. Well, 5000 refers to your profile page. On a business page you can have more than 5000. I do not know exactly but I think there are no restrictions there.

      You do not get all my updates because I still do not have an email list. It will come soon.

      How to delete an irrelevant follower

      First method

      When you are on your profile page (this happens when you click Home in Googleplus), you will search for any unwanted followers. When you find such a follower, you will see that on the upper right corner of the respective post there is a little black arrow (it is called Options menu). When you click on that little arrow, it opens a menu: Link to post, Embed post, Mute post etc. When you click Remove from circles, you will be asked: “Are you sure?” Just click “Remove from circles” again.

      Second method

      In the main menu of your page: Home, Profile, People, Photos, Communities etc., you click on People then “Your circles”. This will show you only those people you have accepted in your circles. If you use a method like circle sharing you will get some unwanted followers and you can delete them from here.

      Click the circle you want. Start with the most “fatty” one. In the upper part of the screen you will get a list of images (rectangles) with the people in that circle. Study the list and when you find somebody you do not want in that circle, click on the X button on the upper right corner of the respective person. This will immediately remove that person from your circles.

      I do not know an automated method to delete hundreds of followers. However, you can do that by deleting a whole circle, if necessary.

      Have a wonderful day
      Silviu Constantinescu invites you to read… How to Become a Time Lord and Enjoy SuccessMy Profile

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