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.

google plus share Albert Einstein

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.

google-plus-share-add-toIf 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.

google share adding more names

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 sharing  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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61 Comments… add one

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Alison October 15, 2013, 10:40 am

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!
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Vanita Cyril October 15, 2013, 10:52 am

Alison! Hi there girlfriend! yes google makes it too easy for us to not share the way we intended. drives me nuts. I remember doing this myself when I first used it. Thanks for sharing mama!
Vanita Cyril recently posted…Are you hurting your blog traffic when sharing on Google Plus?My Profile

tracy@sellabitmum October 15, 2013, 11:19 am

Yep – I’m one of those friends. I had no idea!

Vanita Cyril October 15, 2013, 12:09 pm

:-D Tracy I hope I’ve helped. Google doesn’t make it really clear, do they? I’ve explained to countless clients, it happens, we won’t know until we do it or someone tells us.
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Katie October 15, 2013, 11:32 am

AH!! So I just added google plus through my dashboard. It says post in your circles…it didn’t have a public option, do you know anything about what I should be doing?!?
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Vanita Cyril October 15, 2013, 12:10 pm

Ahh Katie I am so sorry. The only thing I know about WordPress dot com is how to move people off of it. I personally haven’t used it in years.
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Poppy October 15, 2013, 12:25 pm

I’m in your VIP circle, right ? :)
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Vanita Cyril October 15, 2013, 12:42 pm

But of course. silly question woman. you’re also in my family list.
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sunthi October 15, 2013, 12:28 pm

Good post! have been doing it wrong all this time. Eye opener. Thanks! Will do a post correctly now.
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Vanita Cyril October 16, 2013, 4:48 am

you are welcome girlfriend. now, have you cleared your browser cache today?
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Renee B October 15, 2013, 12:48 pm

Hi Vanita,

Thanks for the great tips! I have been sharing publicly but I added my circles to my public shares. I will now only do public shares :-)
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Vanita Cyril October 16, 2013, 4:49 am

it was my pleasure Renee. So glad I helped!
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Kim October 15, 2013, 1:12 pm

Thanks Vanita! I’m pretty sure that I have been posting correctly, but yes, I have muted a lot of people and I feel bad about it, but getting 20+ post notifications everyday is a bummer. I do check my feed, if it’s there I will see it! :)
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Vanita Cyril October 16, 2013, 4:51 am

yep, my inbox was hit hard with notifications 2 weeks ago. I became super annoyed and thats when i started asking people, Why? WHY would u do this to me? :-D And the answers inspired this post. :-D
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Vinma October 15, 2013, 1:14 pm

I use google plus mainly for my blog. So, I would share my posts there publicly :) Great information here. Thanks!
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Vanita Cyril October 16, 2013, 4:52 am

THanks Vinma and thanks for stopping by.
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Kayla October 15, 2013, 1:34 pm

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!!
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Vanita Cyril October 16, 2013, 4:53 am

Kayla! Hello my girlfriend! I have missed seeing you dollface. Thanks for stopping by. Glad I could reiterate that you’re a super smarty pants. :-D
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Kayla October 17, 2013, 1:02 am

I’ve missed you too my friend! I had a fantastic Spring and Summer and I’m starting to slow down again since Fall hit so now it’s playing catch up.

Hope you’re doing well! :)
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Pragmaticmom October 15, 2013, 2:40 pm

Ah, I needed that tutorial! Thanks Vanita!
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Vanita Cyril October 16, 2013, 4:54 am

Really? noooo. I’ve never been spammed by you once.
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Tammy October 15, 2013, 2:49 pm

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.
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Vanita Cyril October 16, 2013, 4:56 am

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.
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Ilene October 15, 2013, 2:57 pm

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

Vanita Cyril October 16, 2013, 5:02 am

lol, yes I’m another year younger yet 5 years wiser. funny how time works in my world. :-D thanks for stopping by and the awesome google plus share.
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Tracie October 15, 2013, 5:05 pm

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.
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Vanita Cyril October 16, 2013, 5:04 am

Tracie thanks for stopping by! I am now quick to mute too. The amount of notifications began driving me up a wall.
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Maureen@Scoops of Joy October 15, 2013, 9:38 pm

Man, I need to fix my Google+ sharing ways. Thanks for this Mama! You are a rock star and you know it.

Vanita Cyril October 16, 2013, 5:05 am

lol. are you serious? hmmm i’m trying to remember if i’ve seen notifications from you…hugs mama! miss u much. loved your post about your trip.
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Elle October 16, 2013, 8:43 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I got fed up getting e-mails from bloggers touting their latest and greatest post. Hope I’ve never done that. I think I just share publicly…will be more careful in future tho’. Missed your wonderful ‘how to’ posts Vanita. Nice to have you back.
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Vanita Cyril November 9, 2013, 8:46 pm

thank you thank you nice to be back.
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My Inner Chick October 18, 2013, 7:14 am

Where the heck have you been?

Missin’ Ya.


Vanita Cyril October 28, 2013, 7:03 am

hello beautiful! i have been busy designing and consulting mama. the blog and my social profiles have been suffering. plus you know me, i only blog when i have something to say lol. and you can always email me girl. i spend a lot of time on email. hahahaha. need a vacay.
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Vanita Cyril November 9, 2013, 8:45 pm

Kim! how are ya beautiful? i have been designing and evaluating and designing…and chasing kids and just plain wiped out! good to see you.
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Corinne Rodrigues October 18, 2013, 9:37 am

Great information here, Vanita. I’m sharing this for sure – especially with the many people who seem to spam my inbox with their updates! ;)
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Corinne Rodrigues October 18, 2013, 9:55 am

Great information, Vanita. I’m sharing this, especially with the folks spamming my inbox! ;)
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Vanita Cyril November 9, 2013, 8:45 pm

corinne! thanks for stopping by. i’ve gone so far as to mute a lot of people. it’s sad because now if they mention me, i won’t get the notification. grrrr
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Tammy Graham October 18, 2013, 4:54 pm

Thanks for sharing this great information about Google+. There was a lot of this information that I did not realize. I swear I learn more and more every day.
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Vanita Cyril November 9, 2013, 8:44 pm

we all do tammy. everyday. and it’s great to keep learning because the internet and social media changes so quickly! thanks for stopping by!
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Lily S October 29, 2013, 1:43 am

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.

Vanita Cyril November 9, 2013, 8:42 pm

Lily thanks for sharing your experience! so glad you found it interesting and thanks for stopping by.
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jkhosa November 5, 2013, 1:46 am

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?
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Vanita Cyril November 5, 2013, 7:54 am

i would go with Public. If you’re limiting it to circles, your network won’t be able to re-share it.
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Jessica November 5, 2013, 6:53 am

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. :)

Vanita Cyril November 5, 2013, 7:55 am

Jessica! How goes it mama? I do what I can :-D
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Jen November 10, 2013, 9:39 pm

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!
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Jeff November 21, 2013, 2:38 pm

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!
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Shirlee November 27, 2013, 10:59 pm

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.
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Vanita Cyril November 29, 2013, 10:01 am

Hi Shirlee, when creating a google plus comment on G+, clicking on the little arrow in the TO: field will give you a drop down list. Scroll up, public should always be close to the top of the list.

g+ comment box
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Shirlee November 29, 2013, 3:22 pm

See there, I am embarrassed. I clicked just about everywhere but there and guess what? It’s right where you said it was! Without an obvious button, I managed to miss it. Lordy!

BIG thank-you!
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Vanita Cyril December 3, 2013, 3:36 pm

eh, this post is old, no one will notice. we’ll keep it between us ;)
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Shirlee December 3, 2013, 4:36 pm

Thanks, I appreciate the discretion. :)

By the way, just read your post on increasing blog traffic, loved it and have become a big fan after reading just two of your posts.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
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Janice December 14, 2013, 1:21 am

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!
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Bohemian Babushka December 16, 2013, 10:13 am

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

Stephanie Manning January 2, 2014, 12:03 pm

Great tips! Thanks for sharing. I haven’t been one for using Google+ till here in the last few weeks.
Editor of
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Jennifer Saarinen January 27, 2014, 11:10 am

I always share publicly as well as to my circles. I’ll just share publicly from now on. Thanks for this post. I’m going to pin it to my Blogging board. :)
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Hellies Corner January 28, 2014, 2:56 am

A great post, thanks. I have always shared publicly, thanks for confirming that I’m doing it correctly.

Bonita March 13, 2014, 9:17 am

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!
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Vanita Cyril March 13, 2014, 9:28 am

Bonita thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. You are correct, the Circles was meant for you to be able to share specific things with specific people, but i doubt Google realizes how darn annoying it can be for the recipient to receive multiple notifications.

I think Google plus should be treated more like twitter. Twitter has lists, G+ has circles. I think using lists/circles to filter your stream by who you want to interact with on any given day is better than using it to broadcast to your followers.

But i must tell you, I’m by far no expert on Google plus. I’m just sharing from experience. A really good resource of Google plus tutorials would be Jenny of NYMelrose Family. here’s a link to her Google plus resources.
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Vanita Cyril March 29, 2014, 4:37 pm

glad to help!
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Basia May 18, 2014, 9:23 am

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!
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