Google Plus Powered Blog Comments - Should You Jump Onboard?
On April 18, 2013, Google announced that Google+ Comments were being enabled into their Blogger platform. Almost overnight, blogs that appeared to have little reactions or comment activity became a vibrant community of reactions and shares.
Since I do not use blogger to host any sites, I went to the Google Analytics blog to find an example of how these comments work when implemented. I checked out my post from last year about Google Analytics for Lead Generation and noticed that the article that once had 0 comments suddenly came to life with 44 comments pulled in from Google+!
The comments on the post were both aesthetically pleasing and also a great way to view all of the activity that had happened around that post. Where I was once concerned that the post didn't receive a lot of attention, I can now see that many people found it to be useful.
I want Google Plus Comments on My Site!
Naturally, blogs that weren't powered by Blogger wanted to show these comments on their websites as well, so the industrious individuals at Cloud Hero worked to make that dream a reality by releasing a Google+ Comments WordPress Plugin.
Now just about any website can use Google+ comments on their site using this plugin. *Note, this plugin is not officially sanctioned by Google, so install at your own risk.
The best part is that the plugin now supports the ability to maintain your current WordPress comment system in addition to Google+ comments. That means that if you use Disqus, Facebook or even the native WordPress comments system, you won't lose the comments that are already on your site.
5 Implications to be Aware of While Using Google+ and Google+ Comments
As you can see, I am a big fan of Google+ comments, but with any new technology, we need to make sure we understand the implications of what we are getting ourselves into with adopting a new technology. Here are some implications that come to mind when I think about the adoption of Google+ Comments.
1) Be careful when you recommend something publicly on Google+
Now that Google+ comments are available, you should assume that every single item you publicly share on Google+ will ultimately become a comment on that website at some point in time. While that should not be a concern in most cases, you will need to make sure you understand your privacy settings before sharing.
2) Sharing Privately Still Shows Your Comments to Logged In Users
Even if you share an article privately, anyone in your circles who is reading that article will see your private comment when they visit that site! For more information on how this works, check out this fantastic Google+ post from Gideon Rosenblatt on his Observations on G+ Comments.
3) Another Way to Engage With Google+
I hear it all of the time "I don't have time to use another social network, so I won't use Google+" - but what if another social network came to you? What if you could interact with Google+ right within an article? I think that for most users they will start to use Google+ more often! Google+ comments allows a greater number of visitors to interact with your site, which should increase your sites credibility with Google.
4) Google+ Continues to Fight (and Win) Strategic Battles
It's not about how much time is spent on the network, but rather the ability for the network to add value to your every day life. Google is focusing on providing value added features to their Google+ network and these features represent wins in many uncontested battle areas. Enough tactical wins of these nature and Google may just win the war!
5) Google+ and SEO, SEO and Google+
I wrote about it and many others have as well: Google+ Directly impacts search results. With Google+ comments now being implemented directly on a site, the amount of engagement that savvy site owners will see between their site and Google+ will increase exponentially. In other words, Google+ started off as important for SEO and now it's even MORE important. Get onboard before it's too late.
Google+ Comments: Coming Soon to the new Three Deep website!
You may notice that we don't yet have Google+ comments on our website, and that is for good reason. We are currently working on revamping our site to a new design and web host. As part of that update process, we will also be adding Google+ comments to the site at that time. Stay tuned!