Update: Google Plus has been shut down as of April 2019. This post was written in 2013.
Whether you like it or not, Google+, as a social network, is here to stay (at least it lasted until April 2019!). It was been integrated into the Google search results, and your better search engine rankings in the search results could depend on it. I fully believe that Google Authorship is going to be more influential in the future–and Google Authorship is a strong part of the Google Plus social network. In order to take full advantage of Google Authorship, you need a strong Google+ profile. Here is how to increase Google Plus followers.
Google+ is just like any other social network. In order to be social, you need to have friends. You need other people on that social network to interact with, people who are active members of that social network. If they don’t log in on a regular basis and keep their profile active, they can’t interact with you. In order to build up your social media presence, you need to be active, as well.
Here are the steps you should take to increase Google Plus followers:
- First, you’ll need a Google Plus account. Most likely you probably already have a Google account, you just need to sign up for Google+ if you have not done so already.
- Go ahead and fill out your profile. Fully. Once you’ve logged into Google Plus, Go to your profile by selecting your photo on the top right of the screen. Select the “Edit Profile” blue button.
- Fill out your profile, along with a personal bio as well as any appropriate photos of yourself. Pay particular attention to the “other profiles” (I like to link out to my profiles on other social networks) as well as the “Contributor to” section, where you’ll need in order to claim Google Authorship.
- Once you’re done editing your profile, click on the “Done Editing” link/button at the top of the page.
- Now, it’s time to start adding some people to your Circles. Circles are used to ‘categorize’ people who you are following. I usually keep a “following” circle (which is sort of generic) and then as I interact with them more or know which type of “circle” I’d like to put them in, I then put them in a personal “industry” type of circle or a “friends” circle. To go to the “Circles” screen, go back to the home page of Google Plus or click directly on the “Circles” button on the bottom left.
- Once you’re on the Google Plus Circles screen (or tab), you’ll notice five buttons at the top:
- Your Circles
- Have You In Circles
- Find People
The “Your Circles” is a list of people you have added or who you are following. Remember, it’s better to be realistic about this–how many people can you really keep up with daily? I prefer less than 200 at any given time.
The “Have You In Circles” is a list of people who have added you. Remember, it’s better to have more people following you than you’re following. You’re actually considered “more influential” if you have 7000 people following you and you’re only following 100 people. You’re “less influential” if you’re following 7000 and 7000 are following you back.
The “Find People” is a way to find people. I would use that as much as you can–Google does a ‘pretty good job’ at finding your friends via contacts, and other “like minded” individuals.
The “Relevance” tab is actually a drop-down list. This is very helpful, as you can sort people you’re following later–and remove the people who aren’t active users. I recommend that you only follow active users on any social network, not just on Google+.
- Now it’s time to start following more people on Google+. The concept here is pretty simple:
– Follow people and add them to a Circle.
– Wait a period of time and see if they follow you back.
– If they aren’t active and they haven’t followed you back, then consider removing them from your Circles.
The timing of all of this (adding people to Circles, waiting for them to follow you back, removing them from Circles, etc.) is really up to you–I recommend keeping it to about 250 people a day, although there are some limits on Google+:
– You can only follow 5000 people at any one time.
– There is no limit to the number of people who can follow you.
– There is a limit to adding people to circles, which is 1000 per day. I don’t recommend ever going anywhere close to that, though. 250 per day is a good number if you asked me.
- Once you’ve exhausted the “Find People” search, which will take up at least several days if you have a lot of contacts, then the next step to being a “power user” on Google+ and really building up your followers is this: search for “Circles” that people have created. You can easily add a Circle that someone else has shared. Once you’ve added these people to a circle, you can manage them easily on the Circles screen, where you can move them to other circles if you want. We’ll do that in the next step.
- Go to the Google+ home page. Search in the search box for “Circle”:
Click on the “Most Recent” link. You’ll see new Circles that people have shared publicly. By adding these Circles, you’ll be able to add more than one person at once–which makes it a lot easier than clicking on each and every person you want to add to a Circle.
If you’re more enthusiastic, or if you want to narrow down your interests a bit and only find like-minded people, then consider searching for “circle keyword” where “keyword” is one of your interests. You could search for “photography circle”, for example. Simply add the circle, and then manage those followers as you would normally. I prefer to add people to a circle, and then move them to another circle if I need to. I can then look at my Circles later on and decide to keep them or, if they’re not active, remove them.
The key to increasing your followers on Google+ is to be active (post and comment often, +1 and share often, as well). To build up a following, you’ll need to follow others–they just won’t follow you if they don’t know who you are.
Don’t forget to add us on Google+.
Update: Google Plus has removed Google Authorship and is no longer supporting it. So, any mentions to Google Authorship in this post can be overlooked. However, keep in mind that it’s still important to increase Google Plus followers, so most of the rest of this post really is still valid.
As of April 2019, Google Plus has been removed–so I’d focus now specifically on your Google My Business listing and web page instead.
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