Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The case for Google+ comments

The greatest problem with switching to Google+ comments on your blog?

They are restricted to people with G+ accounts. That locks out a lot of people.

Nonetheless, for some it's worth the sacrifice. Google+ comments promise some compelling benefits. Every blogger should weigh them carefully.

These benefits are explained lucidly by David Kutcher in his "Growing Evergreen Content with Google+ Commenting." Just to lift one key point from David's article,
...when someone leaves a new [G+] comment the default behavior is a share to Google+. Their comment on your article is a share on their stream that they commented on your blog post, the message they posted, and a link to your post. It's a SHARE. To their whole network stream.
Google+ shares are high-quality personal endorsements to people who know the sharer. They are signed with the sharer's real name and photo and include a link to your blog post.

Consequently a G+ comment on any post can revive the post by placing it before a new audience. If a conversation ensues in the comments this effect can bring an old post back to life in a big way.

You don't get that from plain-vanilla comments! Which, however, have the advantage of being open to everyone, if you like.


  1. Actually, I think the biggest disadvantage is the lack of moderation: I see an increasing amount of what I regard as spam coming from real-name accounts. So I'm not willing to turn on G+ comments.

    1. Mary, I've heard some complaints that's its harder to monitor G+ comments, and thus to be aware that there might be a comment to check for spam.

      But I believe there is a trainable spam filter for Google+ similar to that for regular comments. I know my filter catches plenty of junk from my regular comments, so comments spam is nothing new.

  2. That might be all very well but I find that I do not get notified when someone comments on my blog, unless they are already in my circles. How am I supposed to interact with new followers to my blog if I don;t even know they've commented in the first place? Either I circle everyone on the internet or I check every blog post to see if someone has commented? I'm thinking I should just go back to the old system, even at the risk of losing existing G+ comments.

    And before you ask, I've checked my notification settings. Anyone can send me notifications and I've enables SMS and email notifications for youtube videos as well as my blog. But still, zilch.

    1. @Shilpa, you are not the only one who is not satisfied with how they are notified of Google+ comments. (See Mary's comment above for instance).

      Are you sure you've got the notifications for your G+ account (not for YouTube) set right? The setting is here.

    2. Notifications are on and enabled but still no go. I've switched back for now, maybe if Google bothers to fix the bugs and bring back features then I'll turn it on again.

    3. The only thing I can think of is that these comments were private shares on Google+. If so you would only be notified if they were shared with you.

      I agree this is a drawback to the new commenting system, but I doubt that Google sees it as a bug. Rather it is consistent with a new paradigm for content that Google is (mostly) applying across the G+ platform.

      So I think your decision may stick for a while.

    4. I actually had the same doubt (private shares) myself and so tested it out with my husband. I uncircled him and he made a public comment on my blog post (not on a post on G+ but on my blog itself), for which I was not notified at all. I had to open the page myself to see that there was another comment there. I'm not sure what Google's logic was when implementing this system...