Are you hurting your blog traffic when sharing on Google Plus?


Google Plus… Some find it fun, some find it a big PITA. No matter what you feel about it, there’s no denying it’s good for your blog’s traffic, when used correctly.

I know this may seem very basic to most, but here’s the thing… if it really were so basic, if some of my blogging peeps weren’t doing it wrong, I would not be writing this post.

And sharing incorrectly on Google Plus is super easy because there’s way too many bloody options.

So today we’re going to look at sharing publicly vs sharing privately and the search engine and social media impact on your blog’s traffic.

By the way, sharing with your circles or extended circles is not sharing publicly and hurts your exposure. No worries, it will all become clear before the end of this post.

Google Plus Public Sharing

When you share your Google+ posts publicly, it can be found in search engine results.

When I googled the term “Albert Einstein”, on the very first page of the search results is a Google+ share from someone in my Google Plus network.

If you’re thinking that a post has to be super popular on Google Plus to rank on page one of Google Search for a popular term, well, take a look:


Public shares are best used for:

  1. Increase the probability of attracting search engine traffic to your blog via Google+.
  2. Sharing publicly also allows your post to be embeddable, therefore increasing the probability of traffic from other websites if your Google Plus post is embedded within a blog post as I did above.
  3. When sharing a post publicly, others are able to re-share your posts to their network. Google Plus users that you’re not connected to will be exposed to your post, therefore increasing traffic to your blog and adding to the size of your Google Plus network as new people who are introduced to your awesomeness circle you.

A How-to Share Publicly on Google Plus Quickie

Be sure that the word Public is in the To: field. Usually added for you by default, but sometimes not.

When you mention someone in your Google Plus post, their name is automatically added to the To: field.

If you need to bring the Google+ post to the attention of friends who are not mentioned within the G+ post, you can add their names, but be sure that Public is still listed in the To: field.

Do Not add people via their email addresses. You’re spamming them if they haven’t requested this form of notification.

Needless to say, sharing your posts publicly on Google Plus is the correct way to share your posts.

Ready for how Google Plus has been used incorrectly? (Reducing your exposure possibilities and sometimes pissing off your network.)

Google Plus Private Sharing

Private sharing aka Limited sharingΒ  is only sharing to specific people, your circles and extended circles.

Google respects your privacy.

In most matters…moving on.

These types of shares will send the recipients (individuals, circles, extended circles) a notification email and a dashboard notification. This can and HAS caused many Google Plus users to un-circle or mute people in their network.


Cause it’s really truly annoying and very similar to Spam to receive an update from someone every time they post something.

Now many people do not intentionally spam their network. As mentioned before, Google Plus has too many bloody options. Configuring these options can negatively impact you socially. When sharing a post, sharing to only your circles should only be done if your posts are ONLY for your network. Think members only.

If your intentions are to keep your awesomeness only for those who are within your network and you plan to intentionally send them a notification every time you post, it’s crucial to add this somewhere prominent on your profile.

***Fact is, people like me, who do not know that you will overwhelm my inbox with every single G+ post you make will become highly pissy and will mute you or un-circle you (as i did to the Google+ peep below), decreasing your exposure opportunities and reducing your network size. They may become so annoyed they completely ignore you everywhere.***

Private shares are best used for:

  1. Private Blogs.
  2. Membership only sites.
  3. Conversations.
  4. Private group discussions.

Private shares are not:

  1. reshare-able to those outside of the original poster’s circles.
  2. embeddable.
  3. found in search engine results.

…therefore decreasing the possibilities of new traffic.

A How-to Share Privately on Google Plus Quickie

Remove the word Public form the To: field.

You can then add individual names:

Or you can choose to share to your Circles Only.

Or specific circles.

And you can then choose whether you want to notify your circles via email via a checkbox.

I suggest only sending an email notification if it’s super important that they see your share, not because you want to make sure everyone visits your blog – that could backfire.

Keep in mind, the circles feature is not just a way to group who you’ll share with, it’s also a way for people to filter who they want to check in with.

For example, depending on how much time I have to invest on Google Plus today, I may choose to read through all of my feed or I may filter my feed to only read through posts from my VIP peeps. If I’m looking for a recipe, I may filter my feed to only show food bloggers.

In this way I may or may not see your posts, depending on the day but, if you spam notify me by email every time you post, you can bet your butt I’ll never see the post.

Take Away

Google Plus can do fan-ta-bulous things for your blog traffic. But only when used correctly. After asking 10 bloggers why they only shared to their circles and whether or not they wanted their posts to be private, only one said his intentions were to only share with those who were a part of his network.

How will you be sharing your posts, publicly or privately?


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  1. says

    I share publicly, for obvious reasons. I see that many of my Circled friends share privately, and I’m pretty sure they don’t even realize it. Will point them to this post!
    Alison recently posted…More/ LessMy Profile

  2. says

    Hello my dear friend!

    This is a fabulous post in regards to using Google+. Regardless of if it’s ‘the basics’ people have to start off somewhere, right? While I use Google+ daily and have figured out a few things, your post re-affirmed that I’m doing things correctly and that makes me feel good so I thank you for that :)

    Hope all is well with you and you’re not TOO busy!!
    Kayla recently posted…Food Should Taste Good Going Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness!My Profile

  3. says

    Noooowww I understand how and why I get those annoying emails from certain people. I thought they were just super-aggressive marketers who were driving me crazy (like, really crazy). Turns out they’re probably hitting the wrong button.
    Tammy recently posted…Maybe the Dog Needs ProzacMy Profile

    • says

      woman you could have just asked! lol. what’s funny is i “mentioned” the post to a client yesterday, he replied saying it was a really good post, and this morning i can see he’s back to spamming me as usual. sadly, some folk know exactly what they’re doing and just don’t give a rat’s behind.
      Vanita Cyril recently posted…How To Increase Blog TrafficMy Profile

  4. says

    You’re awesome. Thanks for breaking this down for me. And I didn’t quite understand what sharing publicly did until I read this. Great takeaways as always (and is a happy belated birthday in order?) xo

  5. says

    This is a great breakdown of how to share on Google+. Thank you for writing it all out and including screenshots. I am quick to mute someone after I get a couple of those notifications and emails each time they put up a post. Public sharing is definitely the way to go.
    Tracie recently posted…What I Know Right NowMy Profile

  6. says

    Very useful information. I have to say that sharing my post to the Google+ groups I belong to has been my biggest source of traffic. I guess I probably belong to 20 beauty groups and boy are they some busy bees when it comes to posting.

  7. says

    Thanks for clarifying, I think I have been doing it wrong! I reshare photography all the time to public and circles and extended, I will stop! lol. Should I keep sharing my blog posts to all three areas or just stick to public and specific communities?
    jkhosa recently posted…96 Year Old To Hike 109 MilesMy Profile

  8. says

    Thank you for this! You taught me this lesson a while back and I am forever grateful for it! I never even noticed those small buttons at the bottom. :)

  9. says

    You are so awesome. I needed this post a couple of months ago when I was sharing everything privately with my circles and emailing them and obviously spamming the CRAP out of everyone. I was pointed in the right direction and told to share publicly for the exact same reasons you posted above. Such an awesome post. You ROCK!
    Jen recently posted…DIY Sunday Showcase & Favs 11/9My Profile

  10. says

    Great post. I’ve been struggling with whether or not to maintain two different Google+ profiles, since adopting Google Apps in addition to a personal Gmail, since I’m trying to develop a personal ‘brand’ and one related to my business as an industry expert in a different field.

    I was originally thinking I’d use circles to target my updates, so as not to alienate either of my two target markets with the 50% of posts that won’t be relevant to them, but it wasn’t clear to me what affect *not* making my posts public would have.

    I think this solves it – best to use two, targeted profiles, sharing most everything as Public. Added benefit of being able to use two more specific profile pictures for Google Search results in terms of authorship. Thanks!
    Jeff recently posted…Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim (R2R2R) Run ReportMy Profile

  11. says

    Thank goodness somebody has explained how to share something publicly! I still have a small problem, however. I signed onto my account, so I could follow your instructions and discovered my real problem – I have no “public” button. Kinda makes the public sharing more difficult.

    I’m going to be really embarrassed when you tell me it’s in an obvious place that I’ve missed seeing multiple, frustrating times. :)

    Thanks for the tutorial though. I shall continue to hunt for the mysteriously elusive public button.
    Shirlee recently posted…Freebie Heroes | The IrbysMy Profile

  12. says

    Great tip! I try to post publicly all the time, and sometimes add a few circles to make sure they get it. Question though – if I share publicly and with a specific circle, will the people in those circles see the post twice or spam them?
    Thanks again!
    Janice recently posted…Day #13 CCD: Still, Still, StillMy Profile

  13. says

    Good stuff!! I think we tend to share within groups because of the “comment on mine, I’ll comment on yours” mentality. BB shares w/Public, extended circles, and then some groups… 2 much perhaps, but since I forget to post most of the time, I think (hope) I don’t bother too much when I do remember to post. BB2U

  14. says

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I stopped using Google+ because I had such a hard time understanding it and was using it all wrong. I thought the circles were so that we could send posts about specific topics to those who would most likely want to read them. I was probably a spammer without even realizing it, all the while thinking I was doing a good thing.

    I think a lot of folks come from using Facebook and think Google+ is the same. I thought that, but it isn’t. So the whole things gets so confusing. For example, I originally thought you should never share anything publicly because I certainly would never do that on Facebook.

    I’m back to using Google+ now, thanks to folks like you who produce these awesome tutorials!
    Bonita recently posted…Why Starting Small is a Good ThingMy Profile

  15. says

    Thank you so much for this. It has literally taken me years to figure out – today! – how to share publicly! The default offered is to share with circles, and it’s not obvious that there are other options! Now – if only there was a way to go back to previous shares and change them from private to public!
    Basia recently posted…Dog of the Day!My Profile