Google 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:
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
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.
Bad move. Faster than the speed of light I got a message like the following:
OK. There was a limit and I needed to find out what it was. I checked and here it is the rule:
Not only that but:
Oh, Google … I love you soooooooo much !!!!!!
“Repeatedly removing and re-adding people to different circles can push you to this limit.”
The only thing I can say to this is
I think you grasped the meaning. Where did I find those things? You can check the rules here:
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 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.
In about two weeks the number of followers increased from about 80 to 600 followers. This means:
The traffic was affected, too. Positively. All other things being equal, during the same two weeks:
- 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.
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?