Facebook has profiles, pages and groups. Google+ has profiles and pages. Wait, something is missing at Google+! Or, I should say it was missing.

Over the last couple years, we have watched while Google+ systematically built Facebook-like features into its social media site, and to Google’s credit other excellent features as well. Well now, Google+ has added one more Facebook-like feature.

Google+ Communities are now here, and they look awfully similar to Facebook groups. Of course, there are some differences.

What Are Google+ Communities?

Google+ Communities are basically discussion forums surrounding a topic. According to Google:

With Google + Communities there’s now a gathering place for your passions, including:

  • Public or private membership to support all kinds of groups — from topics and interests to local neighborhoods to regular poker nights
  • Discussion categories to find the conversations you care about most
  • The option to start hangouts and plan events with community members
  • The ability to share with your community from any +1 button across the web

Examples Of Google+ Communities

Although they are new, Google+ Communities are sprouting up fast. Here are some examples of new Communities.

Here, we see an example of the Liverpool FC Fans Community. They already have about 700 members!

Liverpool FC Google + Community

Liverpool FC Google + Community

Creating A Google+ Community

Anyone now has the ability to create a Google+ community. To do so, follow these simple steps.

Step 1

Login and visit the community page.

Step 2

Click to create a community. You will then have the option of making it private or public.

Google + Communities Public or Private

Google + Communities Public or Private

Step 3

Give your community a name. As you can see, I named this community the SEO community.

SEO Community Google +

SEO Community Google +

 

Step 4

Now just fill it out!

  • Write a tagline
  • Pick a photo
  • Complete your About section (community guidelines are helpful)
  • Add a few discussion categories

SEO Google + Community Fill Out

SEO Google + Community Fill Out

Step 5

Invite people to your community!

Invite to Google + Community

Invite to Google + Community

At this point, the community will be created. You can check out and join the new the Google+ community I made on SEO here.

Making Modifications

Just a quick note on editing your profile. There is an easy-to-use drop down on the left-hand side which allows you to invite people, share the community, edit the community and manage the community if you are an admin.

Admin Google + Communities Sidebar

Admin Google + Communities Sidebar

If you are a member of the community, you can do all of these same things in this area except edit and manage the community.

Member Google + Community Sidebar

Member Google + Community Sidebar

 

A small side note: like LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups, you can set the community so that users need to be approved to join or so that anyone can join.

Join Request Google + Communities

Join Request Google + Communities

Insight On SEO & Social Media Marketing

It does appear that that content posted to these communities is public by default. This means that shares which take place on the community pages may have some search engine optimization implications. By getting a share on a community page, this will most-likely result in quicker indexing and possibly higher ranking for that piece of content, similarly to the way Google+ Pages influence SEO.

The Google+ demographic is incredibly tech-savvy. Many users on Google+ have their own blogs and websites. This makes these communities all the more valuable.

By sharing your relevant URLs in these communities, you can not only gain the inherent benefits of being listed on the page, you can also get more exposure for your URL, thus increasing the chances that one of these tech-savvy community members will link to your page from their own site.

From a social media perspective, it will be interesting to see how these groups distinguish themselves from other social media groups. Google+ Communities are now competing with Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Twitter Hashtags (a little different, I know, but still discussions on a subject), Quora, etc.

With the Google+ Communities being so new, all we can do at this point is speculate that content and discussion embraced by the tech-savvy demographic will perform well.

Watch A Video on Google+ Communities

YouTube Preview Image

Get Started

You can find a community to join or create your own here.

What do you think of the new Google+ communities? Will you use them?

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Google Plus Marketing Column | Google: Google +1

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About The Author: is Founder and President of SEO and Social Media at Ignite Visibility, a premier Internet marketing company focusing on providing the highest level of service and strategies in the industry. In addition to his role at Ignite Visibility, Lincoln teaches a quarterly course at UC San Diego on SEO, social media and analytics.




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  • http://twitter.com/tkuz4u REBELista

    Yes.

  • http://twitter.com/qnary Qnary

    Google Plus Communities are a great place to interact with others who you share common interests with. It enables you to meet new people as well as have the possibility of driving more traffic to your own social media pages.

  • Buddy Hodges

    Hi John, Thanks for spreading the news about G+ Communities with your thorough and logical explanation. I started a G+ Community called “REAL Relationships Online” two days ago and already have 52 well-connected social savvy members. The intention of the group is to turn internet “friends” and “followers” into REAL relationships. Of course It would be a great honor if you would join our community.

  • treepodia

    It will be interesting to see how this feature is successful in a year’s time. PErsonally I see a lot of potential here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=865835596 Travis Gordon

    How to make a Google+ Community (Basic Tutorial)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbFfMsF1ci0

  • http://theitbros.com/ Brian Jackson

    Wow, we have had more members join and interaction in one day on our new Google + Community Page than we had on our Google+ page in the last 6 months. I highly recommend creating a Google + Community Page.

 

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