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Create Your Own Google+ Community

Create a G+ CommunityIt has been a week since I created a Google+ “Community”, and I’ve been getting lots of positive feedback, and lots of new visitors to my blog because of it.  

When the community page came out on Google+ I immediately jumped on it through sheer intuition.  I do believe that if you have a presence on Google+ it will improve your rank in it’s search engine.  If we post good content in Google+ communities, and create authentic conversation, our social status will become a great asset, given the new Google algorithm, and it’s decided movement toward social proof and relationships.

Now, my blog has ranked pretty high for a while now, mainly because I write good content and have a great engagement from my readers.  I do have a pretty strong organic backlink bank, but have never done anything paid or contrived to add backlinks to those that have been naturally seeded.

Since Google made drastic changes in their ranking algorithm this year, their SEO bots have been looking for more grass roots social interaction.  So, it only made sense for me to put my feet on the ground in their new G+ Communities.

How can Google+ Community pages benefit you?

The more you share on this platform, the more authentic relationships you will be building.  Additionally, the more engagement you generate in your Community, the more organic and social the G+ backlinks to your blog will be.

Using communities will give you a better way to brand yourself.  As you do, you will more easily drive traffic through your G+ Community, and on to your target blog or website.

This is not just traffic, it is highly targeted traffic for you (ie., people who are sincerely interested in what you’re doing online), and it’s ideal traffic for the new social component that Google has integrated into it’s search algorithm.

Are There Different Types of Google+ Communities?

Yes.  There are both Private and Public Communities.

So far, in the very short time that these communities have existed, I’ve noticed that lots of folks are quick to jump on the bandwagon.  Before you take that leap, think of what you want to accomplish.

PRIVATE COMMUNITIES
You can create a private community to be more selective about the number of people you want to join, and can exert more control over what sort of sharing and dialogue you want.  This gives you the ability, for instance, to seek and approve only content relevant to the theme of your G+ Community.  Think about that for a moment.  In one week, the folks I invited to join my G+ Community have been abuzz in conversations and blog posts related to my chosen theme.  Honestly,  I have rarely seen such quick response, sincere enthusiasm and focused activity.

Private communities can be controlled.  Less is more in my books, so you see I prefer a private community focused on one thing!  I find you can accomplish more direction and focus with a few like-minded people, than you could by just building a huge membership of people with a wide variety of interests and agendas.

PUBLIC COMMUNITIES
I’ve seen numbers here go from 20 to the hundreds in a matter of days.  I joined one and jumped out quickly.  If it is all about relationships and sharing things socially, I found it almost impossible to keep up with the roll.  

I kept scrolling down like a mad woman trying to choose people to get to know.  

To me, the public communities are not close knit and end up like a poorly monitored, open Facebook group.  You know, you must have seen those large groups where people drop their messages and links, then run on to the next one.

The numbers game never works for me!  I’d far rather have good content and deep conversation.

To me, Public G+ Communities are like McDonalds drive-through, as opposed to a Private community that is like sitting in a cozy nook of a romantic, dimly lit restaurant, with linen tablecloths, fresh flowers, fine wine and great food.  Which one is more enjoyable to you?

G+ Community Accessories

Another great thing about using G+ Communities is that your group can meet on a Google+ Hangout.  Have you ever hung out?  I do every week with a few of the best bloggers I know.  Not only do we sit and share ideas and learn from one another, but we have a great time.

This brings us closer as friends.  And the closer you get with people, the more you can help your business grow.  When we get together on a Hangout, we not only talk strategy and share our experiences of the week, but we give each other constructive criticism.  It also gives us an intimate opportunity to learn different social media and blogging techniques that each of us brings to the table.

Don’t overlook Google+ Events, too.   It’s an excellent way to promote your newest endeavor, and you can even interface it via Facebook, Twitter or your blog!  Ready to drive folks to your webinar, ebook or product release “open house”?  You can create an event and have your buddies help out by syndicating your invitation.  Of course, you do the same for them in return.  

Reciprocity is the key when it comes to business.  If you go-give, it will come back three-fold!  Google+ gives you a great platform for doing just that.

So what do you think?  I would really like to know if you’re interested in creating your own Google+ Community… and why.

Thanks,
Donna

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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71 Responses to Create Your Own Google+ Community

  1. Deodatus February 8, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    Well hello Donna,
    It is quite an interesting stuff you’ve got here. I am still pretty new on the web and still trying to figure these things out. I got drawn to your blog by you post on why you left EN, I left a comment there. I just want to thank you for the info, I am learning a lot. I am sure to turn to your blog more and more ideas. I am definitely going in for the Google community, your point of view makes lot of sense.

  2. Michael January 6, 2013 at 12:27 am #

    What a very nice read here Donna. I have not gotten into the whole Google + yet, but everything you mentioned is very intriguing. Thank you for sharing this useful information.

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 6, 2013 at 1:10 am #

      Thank you Michael.

      I am sure that once you come onto this platform of social media you will enjoy it. It is very engaging and also visual with pictures.

      Hangouts are the best!

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..The Inner Marketer Day 4My Profile

  3. Jason Fox December 31, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Thank you for the great information. I created my community https://plus.google.com/communities/111417966898787868715
    before reading your post. After reading your post I wish I would have made it private, you make some good points. I don’t think you can change it… oh well, maybe I will start over.
    Jason Fox recently posted..Youtube Top 10 Videos of 2012My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 1, 2013 at 9:47 am #

      Hi Jason!

      As long as you have control who comes in, you will be OK with a public Community.

      Right now, there is some question about communities because whatever is written there, goes on the Google+ roll anyway. Half of the people like it and half do not.

      Google+ Communities are still in the infant stage. But, I feel like with all the changes Facebook makes, it is a good idea to have your foot in the door with Google+ in any shape or form.

      I love the Hangouts! It is a great platform to build relationships, mastermind, or just share.

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your Google+ Community!

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Blog Review Of 2012My Profile

  4. Neamat Tawadrous
    Twitter:
    December 31, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I’ve just been called over from Adrienne’s blog and I’m very pleased to have found your site.

    It’s really a great post and very informative one. I am very behind in the social media. I have an account in Google+ but I am just using it for sharing posts. I think after reading this post, I should delve more deeper into Google+ because as you said it is good for rankings.

    Thanks again for such an informative post.

    Now, I want to wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

      Hi and Welcome Neamat!

      Thank you for visiting my blog. I was doing the same thing you were a while ago. Then I started posting my own pictures and messages. I made some followers, but wasn’t being consistent with it.

      With the new Google+ Communities, it is like a Facebook Group. The only thing different is that most admins of the group try to focus their group on reciprocity.

      I find that on Facebook Groups, many drop their blog and run. So far, I haven’t noticed this on Google Communities. So much so, I find that it becomes more conversational.

      Weather you join a group or start your own, it is a great way to engage on the Google platform. Plus…the Hangouts are great!

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Blog Review Of 2012My Profile

  5. Viola Tam December 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Thank you for these informative tips! I was ‘enticed’ to join Google+ when Ray Higdon invited his blog followers to connect with him there in order to get his Daily Routine List.

    Although I have never really been hanging out there, I have friend invitation every now and then. At this stage, I rarely interact with my friends there. I am much of a offline person… will get back to explore Google+ at the end of 2013. Meanwhile, I am happy that I can share your post (and other quality ones) by pressing the Google+ button!

    For a very long time I have been missing on re-tweeting others great blogs because I had no Twitter account! Now that I have been on Twitter for a few months, I have been re-tweeting often. It is so easy! The good things is that I feel great sharing others’ great stuff!

    I shared this blog on 3 social platforms 🙂 Thanks, Donna!

    Viola The Business Mum
    Viola Tam recently posted..What’s Inside Navigating the Network Marketing MazeMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

      Thank you so much Viola

      I appreciate you sharing this. We cannot be in all places at one time. Social Media platforms take time, and we do have to choose which one to put most of our time into.

      Since I have been doing a lot of Google+ Hangouts – masterminding with a few friends, I find it very effective.

      We used to meet on Skype and Google+ gives us a better chance to meet with more people. If you ever need help with this, just contact me.

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Inspirational QuotesMy Profile

  6. Nile December 30, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    I do not use Google+ a lot, but I have been contemplating on creating a WordPress group that worked in conjunction with the Facebook group that is for WordPress.

    I have been getting quite a few G+ community invites, and have not joined any because I of the fact I do not use it as much as FB and Twitter…lol
    Nile recently posted..Graphic: Inspiration Is All Around YouMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 30, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

      Hi Nile,

      I have been using Google+ hangouts for months and it is working great. As far as the communities are concerned, there are many out there…I had to pick and choose those who were small, and interactive to join.

      Mine is pretty small and doesn’t need the admin headache. Using this platform has brought me many friends that are more serious in business.

      Give it a try!

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Inspirational QuotesMy Profile

  7. Lydia Brown December 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Happy New Year Donna! Your post is right on time for me. I have been thinking about focusing more on G+. I did attempt with my mastermind partner to test a Google hangout we could not figure out why only our pictures would show up but not the live feed via our webcams which were on. Going to spend the week working that out. Thank you for your great post.
    Lydia Brown recently posted..My Lead System Pro|Mastermind AllianceMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

      Lydia,

      It’s a piece of cake once you get used to it. I’ve been masterminding with my group of 7 for months now. If I can do it, anyone can lol

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Inspirational QuotesMy Profile

  8. Sue Neal December 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Hello Donna,

    Thanks very much for this post – I only found out about G+ communities recently and feel I still have a lot to learn – after hearing about them I dived in and joined a few, but it’s only really Mayura’s lovely group that I’ve had much contact with – time is an issue for me at the moment, it’s so difficult knowing what to prioritize, particularly on the social media front, which can be all-consuming. I don’t feel I have the resources, time-wise, to set up my own community right now, but it’s certainly something I’ll consider in the future.

    Thanks for explaining the difference between private and public communities – I hadn’t really grasped that before.

    A very helpful post – thank you!

    Sue
    Sue Neal recently posted..Content Writing Tips: 6 Lessons From Santa ClausMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

      Hi Sue

      I love Mayura’s Community. He really knows how to organize it well. You don’t have to start your own, but being in his will help with meeting new people and creating relationships.

      I love social media and I know how consuming it can be. The trick is to have a Daily Method of Operation. Spend only certain amounts of time on each platform.

      Most of Social Media people learn to do this well. As long as you are not spending too much time, it is worth the effort.

      Also, we have to pick one or two that really work for us. That’s where we can spend more time.

      Hope this helps,
      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Inspirational QuotesMy Profile

      • Sue Neal December 29, 2012 at 6:33 am #

        Hi Donna – that is helpful. I definitely need to sort out my strategy – I got behind this week due to unforeseen events outside of my control and two days without checking Twitter proved disastrous – I’ve just spent all morning catching up!

        Thanks for your advice – really appreciated,

        Sue
        Sue Neal recently posted..Content Writing Tips: 6 Lessons From Santa ClausMy Profile

  9. Margarita December 27, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Hi, Donna,

    coming here from Adrienne’s blog. Great post about Google+ communities. I joined only 1 blogger’s community, created by Mayura, and I can tell that there is a great support there. Many like minded people having the same goal – blogging and providing value to the group. Now that you mentioned, I want to start a community myself. My be it is early for me, but hey, with a few mistakes and great support, everything is possible.

    Why? A person who starts something by himself is a leader (or wants to become). With Google hangouts there is an opportunity for improving communication skills as well.
    Margarita recently posted..Reflections on MoneyMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

      Hi Margarita,

      I’m in Mayura’s Google+ Community also! Now here is a fine example where he has a large community but handles it so well.

      He is on top of things and runs it like a true leader. I knew you looked familiar!!!!

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Inspirational QuotesMy Profile

  10. Patricia Gozlan December 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    Thank you for this article and thank you for being part of your Google plus community!
    I was thinking to create one since weeks but I was always stopped by the idea of not knowing how to organize the hang outs divided in tens of people.
    I wish Google plus would give us this opportunity that is to use the web sharing for larger groups.
    In the new year, I have put as a goal to create a dynamic community for helping holistic practitioners and heart centered professionals get more our of life, using games and coaching tools to help them out;)
    Thanks again your energy, dynamism and love you share is awesome!

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

      That is so wonderful Patricia!

      I think that is such a great idea to develop that kind of community. Once you find a niche, it just gets so powerful.

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Inspirational QuotesMy Profile

  11. Willena Flewelling
    Twitter:
    December 23, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    Thanks for explaining Google communities so well. It sounds like a great idea! So far I’ve been invited to join only two communities, so it’s not a big thing at all for me yet. I guess I’ll have to wait to experience it myself.

    Willena

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

      Oh try it Willena!

      Once you get used to it, that is if it is a good one, you will love the involvement.

      But, as anything else, it is all up to how much time you can spend on this platform!

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Inspirational QuotesMy Profile

  12. Lynn Jones December 22, 2012 at 1:53 am #

    Donna, I do agree with your statement…if you give it will come back to you three-fold. Congratulations on your accomplishments with google+ communities. You are doing an amazing job. Nice that you have the time to tend to building this community and following. I seem to be spending a lot of time with 4 amazing grandsons and tending to all that comes with the holidays. But kuddos to you for having great results with your efforts.
    I so appreciate that you are informing us about these wonderful possibilities.
    Lynn

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

      Hey Lynn,

      How awesome that you are spending your time with your grandsons! That is way better than anything.

      My grandchildren are in California, I in N.Y. At this time of year, I would love to spend the holidays with them, but it gets too hectic with flying and traveling.

      I will catch up with them later, but we will be together via skype!

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  13. Lesly
    Twitter:
    December 21, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    Hi Donna!
    Hm… you educated me – LOVE that! I didn’t consider creating one, but maybe I should!! And I love the idea of the hangouts! They are so much fun… My friend, have a wonderful Holiday!! Wishing you and your family a loving one with lots of hugs…

  14. Yorinda December 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    this is an awesome overview of Google+ Communities.

    The way you explore the private and public options makes it easier to understand the difference.

    One thing I learned from a video is that when you comment in public community it shows up in your general stream.

    It makes a lot of sense to have as you say ‘a private one with less people but more interaction.’

    Thank you so much for providing this overview.

    Cheers,
    Yorinda
    Yorinda recently posted..Ho’oponopono for clearing limiting programmingMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

      Yes, Yorinda,

      Once you comment even in a private group it does show in your stream. Half of the people like it for exposure, and the other half does not. Let’s see what Google is going to do about that!

      I don’t mind the exposure because, although I have a small tight-knit group, others join in the conversation.

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  15. Jamie Bishop December 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Thank you for the post.I’m new to google+ and have just started to use it.Starting a google+ community sounds like a good idea.It seems like yet another good way to get your name/brand out and network and meet new friends as well.Having a private community sounds like the best way to go.Your suggestion about wanting like minded individuals with the same interests makes sense to.I read another post earlier today about using pinterest as a way to get your brand out.These sites are still relatively new to alot of people and it’s people putting out good information like this that helps people become familiar with the tools and services available.

    Thank you,

    Jamie
    Jamie Bishop recently posted..THE SPIRIT OF A CHILDMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

      Absolutely Jamie!

      It is a great way to “Brand” yourself. Having a dialogue on it is even better! You can get more people involved, even outside of the community.

      You don’t have to necessarily start your own, but have the option of joining one.

      Any way shape or form, it is not only a great tool for “Events” and “Google+ Hangouts” it is exposure for you.

      Thanks for your comment
      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  16. Anne December 21, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    HI Donna, even though I’ve taken a break off blogging, I’m just stopping by to say Happy Holidays to all my blogging friends. Thanks for all the support, comments, visits etc. I hope you have fun with your loved ones and I wish you all the best for 2013.

  17. Justin December 20, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    I just joined two Google + communities a couple of weeks ago, even though I haven’t participated in them much. I believe we will get what we give as is the case with anything in life.

    I am looking forward to seeing how it works.

    Take Care.
    Justin recently posted..2012 Crossing Over – A New Beginning MovieMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 21, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      Hi Justin,

      Glad you “jumped in to the pool!” I just feel like the more we use this platform, especially in a social format, the better Google will like us.

      It’s always a changing game, but one thing I do know is that months ago when Google changed their algorithims the bots were looking for more social interaction. So just by common sense, I thought this would be a good platform to have conversations on.

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  18. Julieanne van Zyl December 20, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Hi Donna, I’ve been thinking of starting a google community, so it’s about time I did that, instead of just thinking about it:-) I noticed that you can have a Public community, but still have to approve people to join. That might be the way to go. (I just started one, thanks for the inspiration Donna:-) Merry Christmas!
    Julieanne van Zyl recently posted..How Blog Shows up as a menu item with all postsMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

      Hi Julieanne,

      I’m sure you would love it! Weather public or private, the posts still go on to the G+ Roll. Some people are annoyed with that, but I think its good because all your other friends can see some action and/or chime in.

      In public groups, anyone from your group could accept some one in. So keep that in mind. I know the last thing we want is to have to admin so many people.

      I have been invited to so many groups its crazy. I only joined one larger one …so far! I just don’t want to spend more time on social media as I can afford to.

      Merry Christmas!
      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  19. Lisa
    Twitter:
    December 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Thanks Donna for sharing this informative piece on Google communities. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things from different bloggers on them lately and don’t know to fit the time in to delve more into them. I’m working on a list of what to ditch in 2013 so I can do more. I will have to drop one thing to get into these more deeply. I’ve done a hangout and those are neat too -its almost like meeting in person. How many are you now a part of?
    Lisa recently posted..13 Fun Blogs to Make You Smile, Laugh and Sometimes CryMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Hi Lisa,

      I have my own which is very small and I am part of one other – A person who is running a larger group but he admins it great! I can’t be part of too many. Like you said, I too am ditching things before 2013.

      There is only so much we can do on the social media platforms. I used to love Pinterest, but had to let that go because I had to see where the most of the “action” was coming from.

      I participate in Hangouts once a week. Now in 2013 I will take it up to twice a week.

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  20. marquita herald
    Twitter:
    December 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    I can certainly see the benefit of Google Communities, though so far it seems to be going the way of so many “new” opportunities. A flurry of activity on the front end, then – at least with the communities I joined – not a lot of activity after the group is launched. Of course, comes as no surprise your community is the exception since it’s maintained a solid level of activity from day 1. That said, I’ve never been one to join something just for the sake of joining, and since I am a firm believer in quality over quantity, I now find myself considering kind ways to say thanks but no thanks to the half dozen new community invites in my inbox.
    marquita herald recently posted..Your 9 Minute Beauty and Gratitude ChallengeMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 19, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

      I know exactly what you mean.

      I have been invited to several groups, but cannot participate in all because there is too much to handle!

      I too seen a flurry of activity at first then a ghost town on some communities. I prefer small ones. However, I am in one large one where the administrator really is organized and doesn’t let anyone get lost in the “down stream”

      It is always good to start a conversation and have everyone join in. We are dealing with a new baby, and it is totally unpredictable right now.

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  21. Carol Lynn December 19, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Donna, I’m so glad to be in one of your G+ communities! I know what you mean about the open groups. I belong to a few of those on LinkedIn and its a mess of spam and nonsense. The private groups mean you can really connect with people you like and WANT to hear from. I wonder if more people will move over from Facebook. The advantage Facebook has is that people are already there, so it doesn’t take any extra effort to join a group. But I hope this takes off – that hangouts are definitely cool!
    Carol Lynn recently posted..It’s Time To Take Mobile Facebook Marketing Seriously [Infographic]My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

      Hi Carol

      I think both platforms are useful now. But I feel like Google’s community will grow as it catches on. It has only been a short while and lots of folks are jumping on the bandwagon already.

      I too have joined a few groups and within a few days have left some because it was a free-for-all. It takes management and if someone wants a large group, they have to spend lots of time and energy to manage that.

      It’s great, but a large open group just doesn’t fit my DMO!

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  22. Sylviane Nuccio
    Twitter:
    December 19, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I don’t know what’s with me, but I thought I’d came here to this post before and realized I didn’t.

    You know what? I’ve not posted anything on your group, yet, but will post my today’s personal development post if it’s OK, as well as comment on other people’s material.

    It’s very important that your monitor your community as you are pointing out. I can’t understand those groups which owners are actually rarely there. Weird if you ask me.

    What a great idea you had here and I hope to be able to participate as much as possible.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..Ask For The Life That You WantMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

      Hi Sylviane!

      OMG Sylviane, That happens to me so many times too! I noticed you didn’t post in the group and encourage you to do so my friend!

      As you point out it is important to monitor our community on Google+ and that is why I made the choice to keep it small.

      Just look at the Facebook groups. Some are small like the one we share and some are so large that it would take a team of admins to keep it under control. I find that in those large groups it is a drop and run kind of thing.

      So what happens? There is no relationships going on and who the heck is going to go on to a blog when it is not reciprocated?

      Plus, I find most of them are sales posts and I cannot comment on that nor have it as a back link to my blog.

      Yes, I do allow it when I know the person. A person that has ethics of a good blogger and once and a while will write a sales blog. That’s fine.

      But if someone I don’t know is just doing that, I don’t want to be associated with that blogger.

      OK I will stop ranting now!

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  23. Michael A Buccilli December 19, 2012 at 1:06 am #

    I am very glad to be a part of your community Donna; I haven’t jumped in yet with my own community; which is actually surprising even to myself as I have normally jumped in both feet with new formats, but as I stated in our completely awesome Mastermind “hangout” this evening You ladies are taking me along with you and almost “forcing” me to be better and more focused; we can’t help but be successful with each other’s help.

    I am still learning about Google rankings but I do feel that the “communities” could only help us in the rankings. Thank you Donna for bringing me along.

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

      Hi Michael

      I am so happy we connect each week on our hangouts. It seems to be morphing into an accountability group isn’t it? But that’s the beauty of Google+ Hangouts.

      I am glad you joined the community, It is small and I like it that way so we can really get to know one another and grow together.

      We can host a community or be part of one. As long as we jump on to this platform I feel that it would increase rankings. I have no proof of that, but it just feels right.

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

      • Michael A Buccilli December 30, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

        Donna, I do agree and the metamorphosis is unfolding in front of each of us; each week we learn and teach each other! WE are going to be awesome!

  24. Dr. Erica Goodstone
    Twitter:
    December 18, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    Donna,

    I just started my Google Plus Relationship Healing Mastermind Community to help share about healing through love. It is public but it requires my approval before anyone is officially a member. I like that so I will know each person who joins. Now, it is a matter of how to proceed.

    Do I post a share just for this community? Does that show up in the broader google plus pages? I will schedule a hangout soon since I have enjoyed hanging out with my blogging group.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Warmly,

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..Melatonin and your Health: 11 Factors You Ought to Know. Guest Post by Clare KelwayMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 19, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      Hi Erica!

      What a great group you have started! There is a lot of discrepancy about this. When we post something in our community it does show up on the broader Google+ page.

      Some people don’t like that, but I see it as showing the Google bots action and relationships which is what Google wants.

      Because your community requires approval, you wont’ have it get out of control. The last thing you need is having people jump in and not fitting the proper requirements. Ahh human nature! There is always people that will jump into a group for their own sake.

      Also, consider the factor of the amount of people you want in your group. Do you have time to administer a large amount of people? And…how will you do that? It is like a Facebook Group where anyone who posts something will go down the list and others post.

      So you need to be there and remind your group so and so said this or that check it out!

      Using the Google+ hangout is a great way to teach, mastermind, or just get to shoot the breeze to get to know one another.

      It is all a matter of how much do you want to handle. I see open groups that I have joined and they grow so quickly, I cannot find the people I want to engage with.

      If you have any other questions PM me on Facebook, or write it here. We are in the baby stage of communities so it is great to talk to one another about strategies.

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  25. Garen December 18, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    Donna,

    I could not agree more. I actually started using Google communities and have to say I don’t hate it. It’s actually pretty cool. I am in 3 communities right now and really like them. Just like groups on Facebook or LinkedIn these will add value to your social arsenal. I agree that a target community would work better than just something generic and all people do is link drop in there.

    It makes perfect sense that Google would favor their own social networking. It’s been proven that G+ affected Google rankings more than Retweets, shares, ect.

    In response to do I like drive-throughs or fine dinning. Personally, I like eating out of the trash can, but that’s just me 🙂

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

      Hi Garen,

      I did jump on it because it does make sense that Google would favor their own social networking platform. It is proven that G+ does effect rankings better than any other shares.

      Plus, it is just fun to get to know people.
      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  26. Sapna December 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    HI Donna

    Great post.You have been able to make me understand the different communities. I am clearly very behind in social media. May be this time I am make for it.

    Thanks for sharing this great info.

    Sapna
    Sapna recently posted..A Day in Naive Bloggers Life – Part 1(Info-graphics)My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

      Hi Sapna,

      Oh it is so important to be on social media. I would say pick one that you really enjoy being on and put more time there. Then on the others, post here and there so you can have a social presence.

      I’m liking the Google+ platform more and more these days compared to Facebook.

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  27. Barry Wells December 18, 2012 at 7:45 am #

    Hi Donna,

    First of all I’d like to thank you for inviting me into your private community and introducing me to the new feature of G+.

    I’m now a member of 2 communities and find them both a great way of getting to know people and start building some new relationships with like minded people.

    Your post gives us all an excellent insight into the new communities and the differences between Private and public ones.

    Like yourself, I don’t fancy a public one that is a free for all to post whatever they fancy on that given day. I should imagine that the time we spend trying to find something relevant to ourselves is better spent elsewhere, where we can focus on things we have in common. ie Private communities 🙂

    I may open one of my own in the future but for now I’ll leave it due to my situation.

    I like the sound of the regular hangouts and welcome constructive criticism from those around me. I’ve only ever been on one hangout and that was a one on one to show me around, so joining a group one sounds really positive 🙂

    Great post Donna, thanks for explaining the new G+ communities.

    Barry
    Barry Wells recently posted..Are Your Sidebars Working In Your Favour?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 18, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

      Thanks Barry!

      In time we will create a hangout on our community. I feel like the holiday season is too busy for folks right now, so my goal is to set one up with our group after January 1.

      There is also the Events! This is a great place for a small community like ours to post a webinar, or any other event. We can all chatter about it on the Google+ platform and create a buzz.

      We have to test that one out also! In the meanwhile, I’ll be chatting with you on our community.

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  28. Sue Price
    Twitter:
    December 18, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    Hi Donna

    Thanks for filling in some gaps here for me. Also thanks for starting the group. My apologies for being absent this week but I have had some ongoing personal challenges.

    My first reaction when Google+ started was “on no another social site to manage” but of course for the reasons you say Google just makes sense.

    Not sure I want to start my own right now but I am honored to be part of yours.

    Sue
    Sue Price recently posted..Why is it Taking so Long to get Success Online?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 18, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

      I wondered where you were Sue! Hope all is well with you. I am honored to have you in the group.

      Having our own, or just joining one is a good idea to do because we got to make nice with Google don’t we?

      And yes, it is another platform but a more engaging one!

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  29. Steve Vernon December 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Thanks Donna. I have to ask myself if I want yet another platform to manage along with all my Facebook pages, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., etc., but I guess I need to at least look into this and see what positive benefits it may serve for new directions it appears I may be taking with my online experience. Thanks so much for sharing, my friend! 🙂

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

      Hi Steve,

      You can’t be on them all! I dropped Pinterest a while ago because there was only so much I could do. I had to make the choice where I wanted to focus on otherwise I would spend all day socializing. There is only so much time one can do that.

      The groups are fun. You can create your own, or join one. I’m sure if you go to your Google+ you will see invitations to join a community. I’m getting dozens, but as I said before, “You can only do so much” in your DMO.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  30. Adrienne
    Twitter:
    December 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Donna, you are SO right!

    I stayed behind a little to see what all the fuss was before I jumped in. I’ve been invited to some of them but to be honest with you, either their topic isn’t something I can relate to or they are way too crowded for me already.

    Now your community, awesome! I would consider creating one of my own but I would just have some of the same people in it and I don’t want anyone to think they have to play favorites. Who has time to keep up with a lot of groups or communities for that matter. I sure don’t.

    I love the power of it though and can really see the benefit. Who knows, maybe I will create my own in the near future but for now I’m just having fun in yours.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..Why You Should Bother With Blog SecurityMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

      Hey Adrienne,

      I don’t think it matters if we create one or join one in the long run. As long as there is dialogue Google will like us.

      I can see that in only a few days, your “question of the day” on Google’s platform is well received. So it is all about relationships once again. And as we know, relationships get us more mileage than anything else.

      I have joined another community but there are so many people on it, I’m lost. It is just like one of those Facebook groups with 100 people on it. It gets impossible to create a dialogue and relationships and turns out to be a drop and run community.

      God knows you and I don’t need more bloggers to reciprocate to. He He He

      I am so happy you are in the group.

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  31. Raena Lynn December 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    This is a very informative article, especially for people who are learning the ropes with Google+. As I was reading this post, I remember when Google+ was launched. At the time, I felt, “here is yet another social platform I’ll have to learn.” Kimberly Castleberry (True Leader) was visionary at the time to see the potential and jumped on board immediately when no one knew what had hit them. She encouraged others to do the same. Looking back, I feel her intuition was correct. Facebook is great, but I have been spending more time learning about Google+ and it has some features that are very impressive…i.e. Google Hangouts. It’s less restrictive and better for business. Now they have released their new Community platform. It is obvious people must move towards real engagement and interaction.

    I would love to create my own, but I’m sticking with you! It’s too much for me to add right now, and our new Breakthrough community rocks! You’ve given us all an opportunity to jump on the bandwagon and go for higher ranking.

    Your explanation of the ranking issue is right on target. Google is the dominate force and authority on the internet. When you combine YouTube, Google Mail, Google +, Hangouts, Events, Communities, and other Google features, it is very powerful. They (Google) are trying to tell us something! The communities are just one more way to bask in the benefits by having authentic conversations. So far, it’s been fun and I actually like the way it is organized. The threads come to my inbox and it is easy to see the source of the conversation.

    Of course there are privacy issues, but at this point, if you are marketing or blogging online, you have already pretty much accepted “no privacy.” It doesn’t matter what platform you are using and I have a lot to say about it, but I’ll save it for another post…

    Kudos to you for being visionary. Kimberly was right the first time around. You are right this time around.

    Raena Lynn
    Raena Lynn recently posted..Vote For Raena Lynn For Top 50 MLM Blogs 2012My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

      Hi Raena,

      I remember when Kimberly had told us about G+ and I jumped on it as soon as she recommended it. She is one of my “gurus” in a sense. I just love that gal.

      If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know where I would be with my blog. She has taught me so much and still continues to do so.

      As you said “Google is trying to tell us something” I agree! That’s why I jumped on this bandwagon so fast. But I had to think quick.

      Like a Facebook Group, I didn’t want to let things get out of hand and have an open community where everyone invites anyone they want. It would be too much of an Admin job for me to do. Also it would take me away from my marketing part of the business.

      I am honored you are in my group! From this first week, and the chatting we have been doing on this little group, I see there is a lot of attention socially that we are all sharing and that is what Google wants.

      I call this platform “Making nice-nice with Google” Plus it’s fun!

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  32. Harleena Singh
    Twitter:
    December 17, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    Wonderful post Donna!

    I read first about Goolgle communities at Mayura’s blog a few days back and because I was caught up in a family wedding, I really didn’t get the chance to check it out. But after reading your detailed post about it, I’m surely going to head over and give it a real look. 🙂

    I loved the way you described about the Private and Public communities and how we can choose between the two, depending on our requirements. I guess it all comes down to how much you can manage or quality versus quantity – isn’t it? My only fear however would be to take out the time for building further relationships and keeping up with everyone! But I guess if you have a private manageable group, things can be worked out.

    Thanks for sharing and letting us know about Google Communities. 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..How to be Happy in LifeMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 17, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

      Harleena,

      Yes, this is something I had to give thought to. I can’t keep up with more people otherwise I would be spending all my time visiting blogs. Don’t get me wrong, I love to do that, but I have so many connections that I don’t want it to get out of control.

      I kept my community small with a few bloggers that I know well. It is a great platform for us to have discussions, meet on a Google Hangout later on and also post events and encourage each other to overcome any obstacles we have.

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  33. Martin Casper December 16, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    Thanks Donna for this great information. I have been a bit behind, but will set up a G+ community in the next day or so. I need to delve into it more, but from what I gather from your post, I will probably keep it private. I look forward to having you be a part of it as well.
    Martin Casper recently posted..Could Social Media Propagate Tragedy?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

      Hi Martin,

      Thanks for stopping by. I would say a private community is best to start with. It is like forming a Facebook Group. Less people on it, the less you have to manage.

      The last thing you want is to have an admin job to do! That’s my take on it.

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  34. Rand December 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Great article – I too jumped right in and created a community even though i had only started using Google+ the day before! Mine hasnt grown as quickly as I’ve seen many others, but I’m sure it will with time.

    I think G+ Communities is what it might take for G+ to finally take off..
    Rand recently posted..The New CAPTCHA – No Typing RequiredMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      Hey Rand,

      I agree! I think the communities will make G+ take off. Who knows where Facebook is going these days. I like having a back door plan, that’s why I have been on G+ for a while now.

      You are going to love the Hangouts! It is a great way to communicate with other bloggers and your perspective customers/and or clients.

      Be well,
      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  35. Mayura
    Twitter:
    December 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Wonderful dear 🙂 It’s really nice to hear your opinions on Google+ communities. Well, you got into it 😉 Now playtime.

    Well, I think the privacy is really matters when we creating a Google+ community and still there is no turning back. I really amazed when I see communities over Google+ right after introducing the feature and I feel it’s much better platform for group activities. Actually before communities, I’ve seen per post engagement is much better there than Facebook too.

    Personally I haven’t seen spamming there YET, but who knows when spammers gonna switch the platform 🙂

    I think the features integrated with communities are just what they need ~ Hangouts, Events and why not, Categories. Now I see the long-term strategy of Google on their social platform with better decision making. Also they have made changes to communities after hearing to users within first week too. Isn’t it awesome Donna? 🙂

    What I really like here that how you distinguished private and public communities, and advice on selecting the best suite. I’ve got some ideas for the public community I manage too 🙂 I hope more will get their communities created or join more interesting one 🙂

    Thank you for the useful information and really really nice to see such a topic here now 🙂 I know you love it…

    Cheers…
    Mayura recently posted..How to Add Pinterest Widgets on Your WebsiteMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

      Hi Mayura,

      Aren’t we having fun with Google+ Communities! As you are well aware, I in your community too and yours is much larger. However, I do see how well you are managing it.

      You have a clear message to your community members and are doing a great job managing it.

      I like to keep mine small, because I don’t want to manage a lot of people lol.

      But, It is looking like a better platform than Facebook. It is easier and what I like about it is that you can choose different communities that are being set up by the droves!

      It is so awesome that users of Google+ have jumped in so quickly.

      Thanks, and I’ll be seeing you in your community of Bloggers too!

      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

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