Getting Started with Google Plus

A new social network sprouts up seemingly every day. It’s understood that we can’t chase every new gadget or app that’s covered on Techcrunch, but things get a little more blurred when giants like Google throw their pieces onto the social media game board – we’re sort of forced to stand up and take notice. That said, is it worth rolling the dice on Google+ and investing precious time and resources or should you wait and see how things flesh out first?

For those that would like to take a closer look under the hood of Google+, Chris Brogan put together this great “getting started” overview featuring some interesting ways you can use it to broaden your communications and social media reach.

Obviously Google+ is still in its infancy and getting an invite to use the service can still be a challenge. I was able to score one last week and started playing with it a bit. My initial reaction is that it’s cut more from the cloth of Facebook than Twitter. And while I like many of the communication channels and groupings it allows you to set up, I’m not sure that I could find daily use for it, but I could certainly be proved wrong. I do think they’ll need to allow a larger user base into the system if Google+ is going to mature into anything other than an echo chamber of early adopters.

One thing to keep in mind – this is a Google product so you have to bet that this will have a huge impact in their search results down the road. Will the utilization of Google+ on a larger corporate scale garner better SERP results for your brand and your business? Right now that is the most compelling reason for me to use Google+.

What about you – are you using Google+ yet? What are your initial reactions? Can you see a way to integrate this into your business and increase your eBay Partner Network earnings? We’d love your feedback in the comments.

NOTE: Please remember that it is against our terms of service to drive traffic directly to eBay from Google+ or any social media account. Instead, the desired lead path is to migrate users from your social media channels to your website and complete the click to eBay from your domain. This approach not only keeps things within our TOS, it also has a better chance of building a long-term supporter of your brand.

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  • HH

    It’s very easy to implement, just insert a small script. Have already done that a few weeks ago, have yet to see if its something people will use. My twitter and facebook ‘like’ button are hardly being clicked on, so I am a bit sceptic about this new social plugin.

    Maybe visitors already ignore (read: don’t notice) these buttons anymore because they are virtually on every page on the web.

  • Affiliate

    Are you kidding me!! Google has declared war on affiliates and you want to promote something the benefits Google and might actualy end up getting your affliliate sites canned. I think not!!
    I will use nothing that benefits Google because they are bound and determined to ruin the affiliate market unless of course you use theirs.

  • Scott Parent

    HH – You seem to be referring to a button that helps site visitors promote your content via Google+. That is certainly one element of using Google+, but I’m curious as to your take on a Google social network in general. Any value there for you?

    Affiliate – This is not intended to promote Google+. The hope was to start a discussion about this new social network and how some of you may or may not be using it. Whether you choose to adopt their offerings or not, I think it’s important to be aware of the new tools and players in the marketplace so you can make informed decisions about your businesses.

    Thank you both for your comments.

  • Neville Ridley-Smith

    With regard to not being allowed to drive traffic from G+, I’m curious about the thinking behind this. Is it to do with owning a domain? If I have a blog at, I’m allowed to drive traffic to eBay. If I have a blogger blog (ie without my own domain name) am I allowed to drive traffic? If I have a tumblr or posterous blog, am I allowed to drive traffic?

    For a number of people, they are getting rid of their own blog and just using G+ as their blogging platform, for example Kevin Rose, who has redirected to his G+ profile. Why does the underlying technology platform you choose for your blog determine whether or not you can drive traffic?

  • Site Builder

    Google has done this before and I believe social media has its place, but I also see it as a way for site owners to penalize their competitors, should Google decide to use this as a ranking signall in a similar way the “block” websites feature does. It’s just tool easy for sites to manipulate the results this way in my opinion.

  • Jon

    I have some doubts about how much Google + is going to take off. It seems like a glorified Google Buzz, but it’s definitely a good idea to implement into our sites, even if Google IS in an all out war against affiliates.

    As far as this information being used by Google to help in their search engine algorithm, I don’t think the info they will be getting will be very helpful with spammers using all of the gmail accounts to “fake” the Google + numbers. Interesting post though.

  • Caleb

    I think Google+ will be an opportunity for businesses to increase customer connections from their local search listings. Finding a Places page on a local search will include information from your Google+ business listings and that could be leveraged to help build customer trust and loyalty.
    I can’t wait to see ways that people build a community for their business with innovative ways of using Circles.

    I’d compare Google+ to Orkut vs Buzz or Wave.

    Google definitely made their choice against Affiliate Marketers using Adwords. If they use the same tactics for their organic search results, you’re going to see some drastic changes; both in the way affiliate marketers promote products and which search engines they support.

  • Scott Parent

    Caleb – interesting take on local search. That would be a unique value prop to using Google+. I’ll be interested to see how that shakes out.

  • Scott Parent

    Neville – To address your question – It is our policy that publishers own the domains driving traffic to eBay. The technology to manage your domains is not the issue, you need to be able to confirm ownership of the domains you are driving traffic from.

    Hopefully that clears up any confusion.

  • Neville Ridley-Smith

    Ok, thanks Scott. Makes sense. Have to draw the line somwhere to counter spammers and the like.

  • Randy

    I would not do anything to help google promote anything ever!

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