LAUNCHING: Google+ Communities - This will be HOT for Local!


Linda Buquet

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Merry Christmas from Google!​
<img src="http://marketing-blog.catalystemarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/communities.gif" alt="" title="communities" width="207" height="237" align="left" hspace="5" />

OK so my head is officially spinning with all the possibilities and I know my day is shot and I won't get anything else done.

Google just officially announced Google+ Communities which will basically be like a forum layer on top of Google+. I see this really taking + to the next level and increasing consumer adoption of the platform.

Of course I'm a big forum & community fan girl, but I just see this really helping to explode G+. Every day consumers and businesses will be able to start communities around their industry, hobbies, cities, non-profit groups or whatever.



There will also be an element of stake claiming and name claiming I predict, just like in the early domain game days. This has not fully rolled out yet so I have not been able to see how the naming will work, but if you focus on SEO primarily in YOUR CITY, you may want to come up with a community for your city. OR if you specialize in an industry you may want to have a name ready for that Chiropractor Community or Dentist's Den Community or whatever!!!

This is so hot, I'm not kidding when I say the possibilities are endless and my mind is reeling.
(I have not even mentioned the SEO, prospecting and networking opportunities here - just wait!)

Here are just a couple announcements:

Google+: Communities and photos Official Google Blog

Google+ adds Communities, hits 135 million active users | CNET News


Here's the very short, not very informative Google Video

Google+ Communities: A place for whatever you're into

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/lpUDWCSRQIU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>​

I need to go and keep hitting F5 waiting for this turkey to launch.

Merry Christmas - Thanks Google!
 

Linda Buquet

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LOL, thanks for the nudge Marie. I got busy on other stuff and forgot to keep checking.

IT'S LIVE!!! I'm checking it out now!

Communities - Google+


Ahhh, can't start one yet, can only view and join the existing ones.

I was going to make a land grab a major topic near and dear to us all. (Not local SEO, bigger/broader.)
So much for that.

LET ME KNOW if anyone sees the "Create a Community" button go live.
 

Marie Ysais

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as my heart races.................bye!! checking it out now!:cool:

---------- Post Merged at 05:24 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 05:22 PM ----------

the link sends me to a 404 error. will try to enter another way.......oh dear!
 
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I have it, don't you guys?

There's just pre-made groups, however; it says creation of your own communities is coming in the future.

---------- Post Merged at 03:27 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 03:27 PM ----------

I have it, don't you guys?

There's just pre-made groups, however; it says creation of your own communities is coming in the future.
 

Linda Buquet

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Found a HOW TO video from a Google Top Contributor.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kjuk3zcewvg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>​
 
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I sent you an invite to a community, Linda, to see if that let's you in earlier.

However, the "Create a Community" button is greyed out. It appears it is that way for everyone but the beta testers, as people are asking about it. If you hover over the button, it says that creating communities is coming soon.
 

Linda Buquet

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Ya I joined the G+ Discuss Community and they say only Googlers can create right now. I said what about TC's, don't they count? :p

Thanks for invite Gregg!
 
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O.K. I'll be Mr. Negative here:( Great...now just one other "thing" we need to figure out and get involved in. 90% of my clients don't even do social media and are still calling Google+ Local, Google Places. Now they have to get involved in a "community." Don't get me wrong...I totally see the opportunities here but if I'm being honest, all this social media/community stuff is getting overwhelming. I'll add it to my list. Thanks for the head's up!

Travis Van Slooten
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi hear you and get it Travis.

But I don't see this as anything SMBs are going to need to use or learn and most won't. They don?t need to use it any more than they need to use FB Groups or LinkedIn Groups if they aren't now.

But for anyone that want's to create or join communities with like minded people on whatever topic, I think this presents some exciting new opportunities.
 
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Oh no doubt...I get it...and like I said, I see all the same awesome opportunities you see. It's just that my head is about to explode with all the things I should get involved with:D It will be interesting to see how this thing works out in the coming months.

Travis Van Slooten

Hi hear you and get it Travis.

But I don't see this as anything SMBs are going to need to use or learn and most won't. They don?t need to use it any more than they need to use FB Groups or LinkedIn Groups if they aren't now.

But for anyone that want's to create or join communities with like minded people on whatever topic, I think this presents some exciting new opportunities.
 

Jason Kamara

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There don't seem to be any restrictions on creating your own community right now. I started creating a group and cancelled out before it was complete. Thanks for the TC Hangout share, Linda. It's over 30 mins and includes a lengthy Q&A session for anyone who hasn't watched it yet.
 
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This is great news, I just hope Google Communities won't have the same unfortunate fate as Facebook Groups: spammy users, spammy content and only very, very few worth reading discussions.
In the meantime, I see someone already created a community for local SEOs: Local SEO - Google+
 

jackson_lo

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I think the Google+ Communities will present some great opportunities for experts and even local businesses. In the event that the Google+ team decides to start indexing these community pages / topics / posts... it may just take off.

Communities remind me of your traditional forums - with a lot of integration like +1, resharing, hangout, chatting and more. Definitely a lot more social.

I started a community here called Local Search Marketing - we've got the brightest minds around local search and local SEO in the house. We're still figuring out the features of Communities - so it may get a little messy at first :)
 

Linda Buquet

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Cool Jackson, thanks for sharing! Didn't even know. Looks like starting a community is open to everyone now. Last I checked yesterday it wasn't open yet.

You know the more I looked at this yesterday the more I don't know how well it will work as an actual forum. Even the G forum for months was missing the most basic features necessary to run and manage a good forum. Features that platforms like Vbulletin have had for years.

When I was posting in the G+ Discuss community yesterday it was totally unmanageable, hard to find what you were looking for and disorganized.

I mean I still think it will be cool for like hobby communities or brand communities but maybe not so much for a big multi-topic fully functioning forum. I also wonder how good the anti-spam features are because that's the biggest problem with forums, is managing spam. Not in the beginning but after you grow and get lots of members and rank high, then you get spammed to death. We have all kinds of different anti-spam features that help manage it here. But I imagine over time G+ Communities will add more features and improve as it goes along.
 

Linda Buquet

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This is great news, I just hope Google Communities won't have the same unfortunate fate as Facebook Groups: spammy users, spammy content and only very, very few worth reading discussions.
In the meantime, I see someone already created a community for local SEOs:
Yep I imagine there will be a lot of them springing up all of a sudden. But yes spam and junky low quality content is a big challenge for forums and I don’t think most people realize what it takes to really build and run a community. I've been working for free 50 hours a week for months to build this one to the point it's at. Most people can't afford to work for free, building community full-time. :eek:

But I welcome all the new communities that will spring up. Look at the general SEO industry. There are a ton of different forums and folks tend to find one they like best and primarily hang at that one.

My ORIGINAL thought was to start a more general SEO community on G+, not a local community, because we have this one and it's better laid out and more organized than the G platform is. BUT now that I've delved into the platform more and see the features that are missing, I'm not going to open a community there. But I'll join some of the good ones that spring up.
 
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Yep I imagine there will be a lot of them springing up all of a sudden. But yes spam and junky low quality content is a big challenge for forums and I don?t think most people realize what it takes to really build and run a community.
For now, the only available anti-spam feature is keeping the community closed. Frankly speaking, that should be more than enough to keep anonymous spammers away. Nevertheless, you are absolutely right, building up and maintaining a community (even a very small one) requires many working hours. Only time will tell which of the groups will eventually rise up and which will sink back into nonexistence.
 

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