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Anne R. Allen's Blog


My Photo

Anne writes funny mysteries and how-to-books for writers. She also writes poetry and short stories on occasion. Oh, yes, and she blogs. She's a contributor to Writer's Digest and the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market for 2016. 

Her bestselling Camilla Randall Mystery Series features perennially down-on-her-luck former socialite Camilla Randall—who is a magnet for murder, mayhem and Mr. Wrong, but always solves the mystery in her quirky, but oh-so-polite way.

Anne lives on the Central Coast of California, near San Luis Obispo, the town Oprah called "The Happiest City in America."

Anne blogs at Anne R. Allen's Blog...with Ruth Harris 
and at Anne R. Allen's Books

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Why Writers Need to be on Google Plus…Plus a FREE Tutorial on How to Use it Effectively!

A lot of writers seem to find Google Plus as mysterious as I do, so when I met Google guru and SEO expert Johnny Base in a Google Plus group a couple of weeks ago, I jumped at the chance to get him on the blog. 

Not only does he have a great blogpost for us, but we've imbedded a mini-webinar that walks you though signing up for Google Plus and gives you a bunch of tips on how to use it. 

Personally, this what I know about Google Plus.

1) Once you join, you want to turn off most of your "notifications" or your inbox will be glutted with them.

You can still get notified if you turn it off. All you have to do is look up in the right corner of your gmail program or your Blogger blog and you'll see a little icon of a bell with a number in it and a + sign. That's your notifications. Check them or not as you want.

2) If you put a + in front of somebody's name on Google+, it works like an @ symbol on Twitter. Use it and the person will be notified that you're talking to him. (I just learned this from Johnny.) 

3) If you go to your profile page and click on the big "G+" it brings a dropdown menu with all sorts of great options, like "communities." Joining communities is how you meet people. I'd joined some in the past but could never find them again. Now I know. 

4) As I said last week, there's much talk of Google+ going the way of Facebook in invading our privacy. They're even talking about using our images to endorse products. But you can opt out here.


So heeeeere's Johnny (AKA John Allen: no, no relation)...

What Is Google Plus And Why Should Writers Use It?

by Johnny Base

Let's start with what Google Plus is not.

It is not a social media platform filled with teenagers and people with too much time on their hands. It's not a vortex which only wastes time. It is not Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Google Plus is a business tool.

Because of new changes occurring within Google and online search. Google Plus is where all writers will need to be if they want to be relevant in the Internet Age. These changes will affect anyone who publishes online content, e-books, or is interested in earning money writing online.

Here are some of the aspects of Google Plus that make it an entirely different experience from other social media:


Google Plus is a collection of professionals from many disciplines—who discuss, engage, disagree and collaborate quickly. They're building knowledge in their field of interest on a global scale. It is unlike anything I have ever experienced.

The people you are engaging with, in my experience, are not amateurs. I've had the pleasure to video-chat, comment on posts, and share articles I've written with people who are leaders in their industries from all over the world.

I'm deep in the changes in Google and how they affect writers, and anyone else who publishes online content, e-books, or is interested in earning money writing online. I've never had this kind of professional engagement on any other social media platform.

Networking with Influencers

I have an online business creating websites. I'm self-taught and have achieved a small success in the world of search engine optimization. I'm able to get websites in competitive niches on page one when people search on Google for specific terms.

But the people I engage with daily on Google Plus are much further up the food chain than myself. The other day I spoke with a group of amazing people in my field for more than an hour—experts from around the globe who are acknowledged leaders in the field and published in the leading trades. It was like a seminar at a top-level university.

There are writers on Google Plus—as well as attorneys, entrepreneurs, business owners, physicists, professors, and photographers. They're accomplished people who are open, helpful and eager to engage with you no matter what level you are at in your profession. I've never had this kind of professional engagement on any other social media platform.

Here's an example of how it's worked for me: I wrote an article about the SEO marketing community on my website, which I posted on Google Plus. Because I'd built a trusted relationship with other “influencers” (people who have authority in a given subject) a big influencer in SEO reposted my article and shared it. He had a ton of SEO people in his circles, so they shared it. And other people shared it.

My blog usually had five to ten visitors a day. That day, 106 people visited. Then I received 187 backlinks to that article. Backlinks are when other websites post a link to your website. They help with ranking and getting your site found on search results.

Google Plus is also how I met Anne R. Allen. Our conversation led to a quick invitation to guest-blog, which I realize she and Ruth don't extend that often. 

But meeting other professionals is only one aspect of the power of Google Plus.

Google Plus Hangouts

Not only can you post articles, short stories, (photos/videos) you've written or found. (On Google Plus it's always good etiquette to source any material you post: give credit to the originator of the content and or the people who originally posted the content.)

But you have the added benefit of being able to speak directly to these people you engage with via Google Plus Hangout.

What's a Google Plus Hangout? Imagine Skype on steroids. Real-time conferencing online. They work great for book launches.

Here's an example of how they work: bestselling author Wally Lamb held a Google Plus Hangout "preview" of his new novel We are Water through Booktalk Nation on Wednesday Oct. 16th. It was advertised in Publishers Weekly and people could order signed, personalized books. Anybody could join in the live Google Hangout video chat with the author, more than a week before the book is going to hit stores....Anne

Google Authorship Program

When you create and share content online, you want people to know you're the author— no matter how far that content may travel. With the Google Authorship program, not only do you get the credit, you can also grow your audience over time.

Several Google Plus platform features help authors do both — on Google, and across the Web.

Explaining Google authorship would take another post, but on my blog I have a number of videos that explain its use and function. If you want more, check out my website's page on Google Authorship

Semantic Search

This is the biggie. It's about to change everything.

Since Google's beginnings, all search results were keyword based. Specific rules ruled how Google searched websites. They looked for words placed in specific locations, on each page of a website.

Google's algorithm, after scanning all the words and code on each website, determined where the site should rank, whenever someone typed a query. The results were mostly the same for everyone. Anyone searching for "red apple" would receive basically the same results in the same order no matter their location. 

But Google is in the process of changing their algorithm so each individual on the planet will have different results, based on many factors. It's called "Semantic Search" And it's a huge tectonic shift in the way information is found online. Now, Google's algorithm will assign a reputation score based on topics, relationships, sharing, comments and connections. 

For an overview of the semantic search revolution check out "How to Rank on the First Page of Google Search Forever: Get Social. Feed the Brain." by George Williams.  Semantic Search is replacing Keyword search as I type. It should be fully implemented within the next six to twelve months. Leaving keyword-based search results in the dust. 

Here's what you need to know: Google Plus is the key to Semantic Search.

Verified Google Plus Authors who create quality content which other Google Plus influencers (people who are trusted authorities in given niches) share will be looked at by Google as trusted authorities.

This is all new. It was only confirmed this August 2013.

Writers who position themselves now will bear fruit for years to come. And currently the only way to become a verified Google Plus Author is to first create a Google Plus account.

Other benefits of Google Plus. When you post to your Google Plus profile:

1. Posts are crawled and indexed almost immediately by Google

2. Google Plus posts pass link equity and Google Plus 1's
(only if you add a link into the post) Let's say you write an article and you create a post on Google Plus. As with Facebook you can write a comment about the article. If anybody clicks a plus 1 on your post, that plus 1 will show up on the article you have posted, increasing its value. Shares do the same thing and are recognized instantly. This is huge for ranking your blog or website. If someone shares your article on social media like Facebook, Google does not have that information. But on Google Plus they recognize it right away and consider it a social signal and it becomes a ranking factor.

3. Google Plus is optimized for semantic relevance. (See info on Semantic search above.)

4. Verified Google Plus Authors will be accepted by Google as trusted authorities who create quality content.

Below is a link to the video I created which guides you step by step to create a Google Plus account. 

Johnny Base Created his first website in 1996. He's a Search Engine Optimization Specialist and Website Designer. He studied Art History under Irving Sandler at SUNY Purchase. A professional artist, blogger, loves writing and writers. Currently he's been involved in the Google Plus Community and working on an article on "Genetic Algorithms and Semantic Search" with his father who has a PhD in Physics and has worked at NASA. Johnny invites you to join the Google Plus For Writers Community .

John Allen 
SEO Consultant
Google + | SEO Richmond | FaceBook

Okay, scriveners: Do you feel smarter now? Are you going to join Google Plus? Do you have questions for Johnny? He'll be here Sunday afternoon to answer questions. 

Book Deal of the Week

This month, Sherwood, Ltd is 99c for Kindle US, UK, Nook, and FREE on Smashwords and on Kobo. And for book-sniffers (I have to admit to some closet book-sniffing myself) it is available in paper for the marked-down price of $8.09 (regularly $8.99 on Amazon and $12.99 in stores.) It's also on sale in paper in the in the UK for £6.81.

"A wily tale of murder, deceit, and intrigue that can stand with the best of them. Her characters are all too real and her dialogue took me from laughter to chills to suspicion of everybody in the book...Read this book. It will be well worth the time."...David Keith

"One uses the term 'romping good yarn' advisedly but in fact this tale is exactly that. Aspiring author and failed A-lister Camilla, desperate for funds and affection, joins forces with a publishing team that beggars description. The similarities between the legend of Robin Hood and this story are subtle, the links never overdone or cliched. The narrative leaps from one twist to the next turn with pace and energy. The characters are delightfully off-centre and the hero? Well, he is definitely of a kind to swing down from the trees armed with bow and nocked arrow."...Prue Batten

 Opportunity Alerts

New literary journal accepting submissions. CHINA GROVE debuted this August and will publish twice in 2014 and go quarterly in subsequent years. The editors are looking for unpublished short fiction, poetry and essays. The first issue features an exclusive interview with National Book Award winner Ellen Gilchrist, as well as a previously unseen letter from Mark Twain about an unpublished work called “The Great Republic’s Peanut Stand,” and a love letter from Pulitzer Prize winner Eudora Welty to crime-fiction writer Kenneth Millar (Ross Macdonald).

CHINA GROVE will also award two new literary prizes: The Gilchrist Prize in Short Fiction given biannually starting Fall 2014 with a monetary gift of $2,000, and The China Grove Prize in Poetry starting in 2015.  - submit online: www.ChinaGrovePress.com Next deadline is February 2014

EBUK Bargains UK now has a blog! Get all the most up to-date info on the international book marketing scene from the guys who wrote one of our most popular guest blogposts ever.

The Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award
from the Mid-American Review. $10 entry fee for a story up to 6000 words. First Prize: $1,000 and publication. Four Finalists: Notation, possible publication. You may submit online or snail mail. Details at website. Deadline is November 1, 2013.

J.F. POWER PRIZE FOR SHORT FICTION NO ENTRY FEE. The winner will receive $500. The winning story will be announced in February, 2014 and published in Dappled Things, along with nine honorable mentions. The word limit is 8,000 words. Deadline is November 29, 2013.

MYSTERY AUTHORS! The Poisoned Pen Press, one of the most prestigious small presses, is open for submissions for one month. They open for submissions twice yearly, once during the month of October, and once during the spring. During October, they will accept submissions for regular publication. During the spring submissions period they open for the Discover Mystery first book contest. Please note their entire submissions process is electronic via the online submissions manager, Submittable. Mailed or e-mailed submissions will not be read. They will be accepting regular submissions during the period between October 1 and October 31.

The Lascaux Prize for Short Fiction: Stories may be previously published or unpublished. Length up to 10,000 words. Entry fee is $5, and authors may enter more than once.The editors will select a winner and nineteen additional finalists. The winner will receive $500 and publication in The Lascaux Review. Both winner and finalists will earn the privilege of displaying a virtual medallion on blogs and websites. Deadline December 31, 2013.

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Blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Someone else posted about how to get involved in the groups on Google+ and about posting things that will get attention - but this is way beyond that. I'll need to read it again and explore further to understand. Writing content of value - that alone scares me.

October 20, 2013 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Johnny—As Anne knows, I've been looking forward to your post all week! Thank you for de-mystifying Goog+ and thank you for the sign up video. Which I will watch again before I go do the deed.

Thank you, too, for introducing me/us to Semantic Search. Ooooh!

October 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Trekelny said...

Alex, I hear that last! Still yearning for a world where I can just WRITE stuff, you know?
Johnny, thanks so much for this information- I've been on G+ for over a year, but was thinking about dropping it because I could not appreciate any difference to it (except that it had less people I knew personally). This is something to chew on- I confess I'm a bit skeptical that Google is just assembling a power clan a bit like the Zon- but I'll certainly give this a closer look.

October 20, 2013 at 11:24 AM  
OpenID kathrynmagendie said...

I've neglected mine - need to go take a look - but first, must finishing reading this!

October 20, 2013 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Julie Luek said...

I've been on Google+ for awhile and have played around with the different options. I like it and it's effective for getting the word out about posts and getting in touch with a whole different subset of people than the blogging world. The worst is people who have it and don't put all their links and contact on it. It's an effective outreach tool.

October 20, 2013 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Alicia Street said...

Thank you, John and Anne! I have been avoiding Google + for so long now, telling myself I would make time to figure it out and join. This post is not only motivation, but with the video instruction, I think I might actually understand it. :)

October 20, 2013 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Alex--You wouldn't have such a great blog if you didn't know how to write good content. It's a steep learning curve for me, too, but I think the main thing is to be there and engage with people at least a little every day. Even if it's just to +1 their post (like favoriting a Tweet.)

Ruth--Yes, Johnny really owes his instant-invite to you, since you've been asking me to get some more info on Google+. When I saw his posts I jumped in and said we needed him asap!

Trelkeny--I don't think we should delude ourselves about Google's motives. They're one of the mega corporations that wants to micromanage every moment of our lives. They are the Borg, just like the Zon and FB and Apple and Microsoft and all the rest of the tech megalopolies. But the only way to escape is to go live in a Unibomber cabin somewhere, where it's kind of tough to sell books. So we need to be assimilated, but the trick is to be part of the Borg only an hour or so a day. (For non Trekkies, that's probably gibberish. Hope it makes sense to you.)

Kathryn--I think just being on Google+ is an important step, even if you pretty much ignore it. (Which is what I've been doing for over a year.)

Julie--VERY important point. Don't join and fail to put in your bio and links. That's worse than not being there at all, because your Googe+ profile is the first thing that comes up in a Google search and if there's no way to contact you on the page, it's a dead end and you're invisible.

Alicia--I think a lot of writers feel the same way. FB is such a time suck and we don't want to double our social media time. But it's easier and less time consuming. Or at least it has been for me so far.

I'm so grateful to John for making us a video tutorial.

October 20, 2013 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Kittie Howard said...

Thanks for this informative post. It de-mystified a lot. But months ago, when I signed up for it, I didn't realize how much it was like FB, which I'd quickly dropped. Bottom line: I don't want to be in circles and flat won't do it. Second Bottom Line: Privacy. Yes, one can opt out of some things but not others. I don't like the idea of being a puppet at the end of a string. Sorry, Johnny, nothing personal!

October 20, 2013 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Sarah Brentyn said...

Thanks for the post. Looking forward to the video tutorial. I'm a bit afraid of Google+ so, hopefully, I'll be able to get a handle on this thing.

October 20, 2013 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Johnny—2 questions:

1) I chose the elephant picture but would like to upload some of my book covers. When I click "change photo/picture" I go to a blank grey page with a small circle in the middle that keeps changing color. Period. Won't let me do anything...

2) When I click on your writers community, I get a message that says I need to be invited but there's nothing to click. At least as far as I can see. Am I missing something? Would you please invite me?


October 20, 2013 at 2:56 PM  
OpenID villagedrummerfiction said...

This is the first time I have understood Google+. I signed up a while ago, but couldn't figure out what to do from there. Thanks Anne for inviting Johnny Base to guest blog.

Thanks, Johnny for the informative video and clear instructions. Now I'm excited about using Google+ and look forward to connecting with you to learn more.

Richard Alan

October 20, 2013 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the informative post. I really didn't know much about Google+. I'm like Alex. I'll need to digest it and see if I think I can interact enough to make it worth it to join.

October 20, 2013 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Johnny Base said...

Sorry I'll late to respond I've been on the Google Plus machine
1) I chose the elephant picture but would like to upload some of my book covers. When I click "change photo/picture" I go to a blank grey page with a small circle in the middle that keeps changing color. Period. Won't let me do anything...

2) When I click on your writers community, I get a message that says I need to be invited but there's nothing to click. At least as far as I can see. Am I missing something? Would you please invite me?

I'll send you an invitation by you can go to communities type in "google plus for writers" then click on the picture and you should be able to ask to join .

October 20, 2013 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Debby Gies said...

Thanks Anne and Ruth for this great info on google, particularly the article on privacy issue. You two are great! Just downloaded the book! :)

October 20, 2013 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Johnny Base said...

And I apologize to everyone for answering late I'll go through each question. I missed this comment area

Sorry I'll late to respond I've been on the Google Plus machine
1) I chose the elephant picture but would like to upload some of my book covers. When I click "change photo/picture" I go to a blank grey page with a small circle in the middle that keeps changing color. Period. Won't let me do anything...

2) When I click on your writers community, I get a message that says I need to be invited but there's nothing to click. At least as far as I can see. Am I missing something? Would you please invite me?

I'll send you an invitation by you can go to communities type in "google plus for writers" then click on the picture and you should be able to ask to join .

Trekelny -thanks for the kind words

Alicia Street - please come join if you need any help you can reach out to me

Ruth Harris- thank you so much for opening up such a huge audience you are too kind!

Anne R. Allen - thanks again you are the best and very sweet to work with. I could never communicate with so many people without your and Ruth's help

Ruth - If either you or Anne need anything let me know

Ruth- to change background picture it has to be big in size. - The photo you uploaded is too small! It must be at least 480 pixels wide and 270 pixels tall.- it might say this in very small letters at the top of the gray screen

October 20, 2013 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I feel like my head might explode. I have to reread your post and watch the videos. I really want to understand G+. Thanks for all the info.

October 20, 2013 at 5:51 PM  
OpenID liebjabberings said...

I signed up for Google+ but found it wouldn't do some things on free Wordpress.com blogs - so I gave up.

For example, Google Analytics won't run.

I'm not ready for paid space - just getting my feet wet (TRYING to finish the books!) - but would appreciate knowing if the things you're talking about will run on my Wordpress.com blog.

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

October 20, 2013 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Kittie--Google + is a social media site and it's a place to make friends. If that's not fun for you, it's harder to use it, and we're not all extroverts. But even if you only sign up and use it for an online profile, it will help you get higher in a Google search.

Sarah--no need to be afraid. It's much less predatory than FB, at least for now.

Ruth--I hope Johnny's answers help.

Richard--So glad this post helped!

Natalie--It can work if you only use if for a profile and posting a link to your blog.

Debby--So glad you bought the book! Thanks.

Susan--No, no don't let your head explode (I see scenes from "Mars Attacks" one of the funniest underrated films of all time.

Liebjabberings--Google Plus is a social media site like Facebook, so it's not something you can install on your blog. If you want to link to your Google Plus page from your blog, just post a link like you do for your Twitter page or Pinterest or Tumbr.

Google Analytics is a whole 'nother thing. That's another branch of Google, the mega-corporation, not Google Plus, the social media site. Google the umbrella company owns Blogger so it's a "rival" of Wordpress, but that doesn't affect the way you interact on Google Plus, which you have to visit, the way you visit Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, or Pinterest. Hope that clears up the confusion.

Johnny--Thanks for a great post!

October 20, 2013 at 7:16 PM  
Blogger Nina Badzin said...

A priceless post! I'm on G+, but I can't figure how to link the authorship. Going to watch the video now. Thanks for bringing such a great guest! You knew we all needed this, Anne and Ruth!

October 20, 2013 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Johnny Base said...

liebjabberings- Google Plus is many things. Mainly it's a tool for craftspeople and professionals to market, share information and learn from others in their field of interest.

It is a platform where you have a profile which you can link to your products (websites, articles, etc) And in your profile you can add links in the description area.
You can embedded posts from google plus into your wordpress or blogspot blogs. It gets a little technical when you get into the embedding of posts from Google Plus into Blogs on wordpress or Blogspot.

Google Plus is completely free. With Google Plus you can become a verified Author and attach authorship to article you write on your blog on wordpress. In the article Anne made a link to a website of mine which goes into Google authorship. I would be happy to answer any questions further. I hope that helps some

Some of the biggest benefits of Google Plus is if you post articles you write and it is your post with your article is shared. And you do it often it can help the ranking of your website. Also Google plus can help with traffic to your website. If you are a very active user and build relationships with people on google plus. Your posts can be shared by many people adding to your websites or articles audience. You can also have live Google Plus hangouts where you can engage with your audience. It's a social media tool not a website. Most people who start to use Google Plus then use facebook less and less. For professionals Google Plus just offer more.

October 20, 2013 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Johnny Base said...

Nina Badzin - authorship is another subject which will take some time. The first thing you have to do before connecting authorship to your work online. Is create a Google Plus account. Do you have a blog or website? In the post there is a link to an article i created about authorship. But it's a little technical and does not go deeply into it.

October 20, 2013 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Roland D. Yeomans said...

Johnny, I am getting social media burnout. Google+ loads slowly for me or not at all. It sounds as if I will have to hop on the Google+ Bandwagon or not be recognized in Google searches. I think you may have convinced me to file social media under LIFE IS TOO SHORT.

Like Nina, I cannot figure out how to link authorship. It is still confusing, but then I've driven 350 miles today as a rare blood courier!

Like Susan, as I read this I thought my head might explode. It looks like I will just be left behind. I've never been much of a joiner anyway. Best of luck with your dreams and projects. :-)

October 20, 2013 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Patti Hall said...

This such an exceptional post.
I've opened all the links in new tabs and will be studying each and learning more. I also shared with all my soc media, of course. Thank you!
Also, congrats to Anne on the impressive Writer's Digest Award.

October 20, 2013 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Claude Nougat said...

Great informational post and video, thanks for sharing!

I'd like to add that Google+ automatically signals you've got a new blog post up if you are hosted on Google's Blogspot: everything is linked! In fact, my author bio showing up below each one of my blog posts is the same as the one you find on Google+.

I have to admit that I don't use Google+ as much as I should though I was one of the first ones to join and the number in my "acquaintances" circle (where I put people I don't really know when they follow me) is truly astounding (close to 2,000)But I'm not sure they really follow? I always have this feeling things fall in a void, though I dutifully do my share of "plussing" whenever I see something I "like"...

What had me open my eyes wide and shudder about your blog post is this astounding news that Google has left keyword searches behind and is moving to so-called "semantic searches". I'd love to know more about that. The linking with all aspects of one's account on Google sounds a little frightening...But I guess I'm betraying here my love for Orwell's "1984" which I consider truly prophetic!

October 21, 2013 at 2:09 AM  
Blogger G. B. Miller said...

Any entity that forces me into it is not for me.

The minute I caved in and decided to change my name on my YouTube account so that it matched with my Blogger name, Google shoved me into Google+.

While it does give you the option of withdrawing, there is an element risk involved, and that risk (the possibility of losing 5 1/2 years of blogging) was simply too much for me to take a chance on.

So I went to my Google+ profile and unchecked everything that I possible could so that I could be left alone.

One other thing about being forced to join Google+ is that for the first time in about five months, I got spammed by someone with a Google+ profile.

October 21, 2013 at 3:18 AM  
Blogger The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress said...

WOW. Thank you so very much for this informative post. I joined Google + but wasn't sure how to use it. I'm still not a 100% sure, but I have some better ideas and a direction. Its very difficult to choice with options you want to participate on with the internet. My time is limited and I need to maximize my time and exposure. This was a godsend. Thank you!

October 21, 2013 at 6:27 AM  
Blogger Churadogs said...

Claude Nougat said,"I'd like to add that Google+ automatically signals you've got a new blog post up if you are hosted on Google's Blogspot:"

I have a blog on Blogspot, so does that mean when I hit "publish" it automatically posts a notice on "Public" on G+? Or do I have to also go on my G+ page and click on something ("public?") as well?

Thanks for the video. It's quite a bit clearer now. Great posting, Anne.

October 21, 2013 at 6:36 AM  
Blogger Christine Monson said...

Thank you for posting this. It does answer most of my G+ questions.

October 21, 2013 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Katie Cross said...

This is great. I've loved, loved Google plus. It has great people, awesome organization, and I've met some really great friends through it. I've bookmarked this for future use!

October 21, 2013 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Nina—I don't get the Authorship thing yet, either. I figure I'll wait until I've got the groups and circles down.

Roland—It's definitely confusing. As I said to Nina, I'm waiting on that. Social media takes too much of our time: I agree with that completely. I'm hoping Google+ won't take up too much more than I'm already spending, or I'll have to give up writing books altogether.

Patti—Thanks for the shares. I hope it's making sense to you now. I'm still getting my brain around it myself.

Claude—The move from keyword searches was news to me too. That's why I figured we needed this post. 2000 people in your circles is impressive. I think they see your "public" posts, so you do get a benefit from the connections.

But I agree that it all feels very 1984. Between social media and NSA, we can be pretty sure Big Brother IS watching--all the time.

GB—I share some of your irritation. I turn off all notifications, too. I've only had a couple of inappropriate contacts from Google+. Mostly from guys who think it's a dating site. I guess they don't bother to check my age. LOL.

Girl/Jitterbug—I think we'll have to learn some of this by trial and error. Just jump in and do it and see what happens.

Churadogs—Your posts will automatically post (as "public") to your Google+ page if you've linked your Google+ account to your blog. You've probably done that, since they kept pressuring us to do that several months ago. If you haven't, it's easy. There's info on your "dashboard."

Christine—I'm so glad it answered your questions.

Katie—How great to hear from somebody who's been using Google + and enjoying it. That's what we need: more people having fun there. Then maybe it will feel less intimidating.

October 21, 2013 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Rosi said...

Thanks, Anne. So much good information in this post. I am bookmarking it and will come back when I have more time.

October 21, 2013 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger M said...

Seems useful for nonfiction writers. Not sure how useful it is for fiction writers, except as another way to meet other writers. Do you have any insight about that? (Or perhaps the video answers that question?)

October 21, 2013 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Rosi--"When I have more time" the words that define our era. I keep wondering when that will be :-)

M--These days, fiction writers need visibility too. We need to be found by search engines or nobody knows we're here.

If you query an agent or publisher, the first thing they'll do is Google you. If they have to click through 10 pages to find you, they might not read on.

And if you self-publish, you have to self-market, too, and that means getting a high profile in social media. I wish we didn't have to do this stuff, but it's a burden of the E-Age.

What I've learned from Johnny in this post is that being on Google Plus raises your rank in Google searches. And we really need to do that, alas.

October 21, 2013 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger Johnny Base said...

M- there are many benefits to Google Plus. The biggest benefit for me personally is communicating with professionals in the field of my interest. There is no other platform which has the quality of people Google Plus attracts. That being said I am a search engine optimization specialist. My own testing and that of my peers has show engaging on google plus and having articles of mine shared on google plus has increased the traffic to my website and helped with ranking or maintaining on my sites. It's not something which happens overnight. But those which are active on Google Plus will have an advantage over those who are not.

October 23, 2013 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Meghan Ward said...

Google+ is the hot new social network, and I'm super excited to read this tutorial once I get a break from editing books! I've also purchased Guy Kawasaki's What The Plus and plan to spend more time on Google+ in the coming year.

October 23, 2013 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Julie Musil said...

Wow. Amazing tutorial. I'm so lame and hadn't figured Google + out!

October 24, 2013 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Meghan--Johnny sure opened my eyes about Google Plus. Guy Kawasaki has been saying this for a while, but I didn't really get it until now.

Julie--I've been "lame" too. I guess Google Plus is the place for techies and I'm the biggest technomoron ever!

October 25, 2013 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Leanne Dyck said...

I can't say enough good things about Google +. And you've just added a whole new level to how I use it. Thank you Anne and Johnny. Very much appreciated.
Okay, now I'll Google plus this article. : )

October 26, 2013 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger ryan field said...

I signed on to Google+ when it first stared and I love it. Of course recently I find my G+ "share" not working on google blogger. But I just copy and paste links now instead of sharing.

October 26, 2013 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Leanne--Good to hear you've had good experiences. And thanks for sharing this on Google+. It's had more Google+ shares than any of our other posts, so it's definitely raising our Google profile.

ryan--I wonder why your share button isn't working? It might be an older version. If you remove it and reinstall it might start working again. I used to cut and paste, but when I linked the blog to Google+, it appeared automatically.

October 27, 2013 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger bookspersonally said...

So interesting (as always, Anne) - I have to say I'd started discounting G+, not seeing too many in my network active on it, but the communities seem new and exciting. There seem to be many for writers, but not sure how to gauge the "right" one(s) - do you have recommendations/favorites?

October 29, 2013 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Books--Right now I'm only active at Johnny's group Google+ for writers. (link above) I joined a couple of other groups, but found lots of posting but not much engagement. (And quite a bit of spam) so I won't recommend them. I'm still getting my feet wet myself. But the people joining Johnny's group seem interesting and savvy. Also, they're not all novelists hawking their wares. :-) Content writers and freelancers as well.

October 29, 2013 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Kristofer Mcginty said...

Ah yes, semantic searching. When I heard about this, a huge grin on my face immediately popped up. With this groundbreaking technology, spammy blogs would finally get the lack of acknowledgement it deserves, and high-quality content blogs would finally garner attention. Sure, it's going to take some time to get used to, but I believe that Google is taking the right step in providing better searching for its users.

Kristofer Mcginty @ ReachForFreedom.com.au

November 6, 2013 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Kristofer--I'd never heard of it until I met Johnny. What a difference it will make if people can't game searches! I'd also like it if they had a way of chronologizing them. (is that a word?) So when you Google "mall shooter" you get today's gun-nut catastrophe, not some news story from 2009.

November 6, 2013 at 1:49 PM  

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