Is Google+ worth the effort?

I didn’t understand the appeal of Google+, which is why I decided to read Guy Kawasaki’s What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us.

In his chapter on “Why I love Google+,” Kawasaki says, “Google+ has powerful and sophisticated features that the competition doesn’t, and Google+ does things in ways that make more sense to me.”

Here’s my take on the case for Google+ based on Kawasaki’s chart comparing features of Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Google+

That’s not enough to get me excited about Google+. I have an account so I can keep learning. After all, I hated Twitter the first few weeks I used it. Now I’d hate to live without it.

If you’d like to learn about using Google+ effectively, the rest of Kawasaki’s book offers tips that would probably help if I took the time to apply them.

More reasons to consider Google+

I’ve started to like Google+ a bit better since I originally drafted this blog post in November 2012.  Three things stand out for me.

  1. Google+ Communities make it easier for me to engage with others.
  2. Google Authorship can help me rank better in online searches. Michael Kitces convinced me of this with his communications, including “Why Every Financial Planner With A Blog Needs a Google+ Page, Now.”
  3. Google+ has yielded more helpful comments than other social media on some questions I’ve posted.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from McGraw-Hill in return for agreeing to write about it.

7 replies
  1. Adam Bullock
    Adam Bullock says:

    Google+ is a social network I wasn’t immediately drawn to. I think you (and Bill Winterberg) nail the advantage of their Hangouts feature, but I think that speaks to a larger advantage: complete integration. Google Calendar for events, Instant Upload with an Android-powered smartphone and local. And I totally agree, the communities feature has opened things up for me, too!

  2. Susan Weiner, CFA
    Susan Weiner, CFA says:

    I’m definitely not taking full advantage of Google’s many features. There is so much left to discover.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment!

    Best wishes,

  3. Bob Rall, CFP®
    Bob Rall, CFP® says:

    Thanks for posting Susan. I like Google+, but haven’t tried the hangouts yet. I’ll do so after reading your post.

  4. Niles Howard
    Niles Howard says:

    Susan, I’ve been thinking about Google+ for some time but dreaded the learning curve. On your recommendation I downloaded the Kindle edition (99 cents!), gave it a quick read and am off and running. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Greg Nunn
    Greg Nunn says:

    Susan, Facebook’s edge rank and their “latest post bug” are quite irritating, but only 3 of my facebook fans are on Google+ and only two of my personal friends are on. The conference/ chat/ hangout features are great, but there is no control (that I am aware off) in how the posts are viewed. I want to see things in the order that they were posted, not some random order that changes every time I reload. The posts constantly move as more posts are added making it difficult to read when a comment keeps moving down or off the screen. There is little to no interaction and most people are becoming SM saturated and want less as opposed to signing up for a new site. Everyone in SM circles (a little Google+ pun) insist on staying on because it helps with SEO. If Google wasn’t the big dog in search engines I wonder if Goole+ wouldn’t be more of a fringe social media site. It is a shame because it’s bones are good but the execution leaves me wanting.

  6. Susan Weiner, CFA
    Susan Weiner, CFA says:

    Niles, I’m thrilled that I could offer some inspiration!

    Greg, I agree that G+ wouldn’t be as big without Google’s backing. It definitely has drawbacks. I completely ignored it until quite recently because I couldn’t stand adding another social media channel. Even now, it’s the channel I use the least. However, I have had some surprisingly good interactions on it. Maybe it’s because I tend to know more people who are social media experimenters and people for whom social media is a central part of their work.

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