My Take On Google+ (And Other Distractions…)

Google PlusMaybe I have broken one of the golden rules of copywriting in the title of this article by giving away my thoughts right up front.

In fact, you could stop reading after this next paragraph if you like:-

I’m not particularly impressed with Google’s attempt at a social network. I predict that in one year’s time Google+ it will have gone the same way as Buzz, Wave and other ill-fated Google projects. I’ll tell you why I think this later in the post (Read: Please don’t actually stop reading here!).

However, this post is really about the immense distraction that these kinds of new phenomena can generate for us.

Whether it’s .co domains, webinar marketing, mobile marketing, iPhone app development, or Google+ itself internet marketers are keen to shout, “Get on board now before it’s too late!”

Despite Google+ only being released on June 28th, marketing products have already started to appear on how you can make money from it! Check out this one listed on Clickbank for example:

Google Plus Product

Please note: I have not had experience of this particular product so I’m not judging it either way.

However, these kinds of products do certainly present the “I must act now, before I miss the boat!” problem.

The truth is that ALL of these things are a distraction from what really matters in internet marketing which, for the most part, is building an email list of targeted and valued subscribers.

It is really a rite of passage for all of us to go through the information overload phase but what we really need to do to make money from the internet is to stop being an opportunity seeker, get the horse blinkers on and start taking consistent action on what matters:

1. Find a profitable niche
2. Set up a website
3. Build an email list
4. Promote appropriate and high quality products (either your own or affiliate products).

It is no coincidence that this simple blueprint is how 95% of the most successful marketers make money in all kinds of niches online.

Yes, I’m sure there are occasional money making opportunities and Facebook/Twitter/Google+/SEO/etc “loopholes” that can be exploited. But what happens when these loopholes close up as they always do?

So, you’re still reading? Thank you, I’m impressed!

Well before signing off I should, as promised, explain why I think Google+ will flop. Here are my 3 reasons:

1. No One Needs Another Social Networking Service

Facebook (for social) and LinkedIn (for business) do the job already, don’t they? Sure, they may not be perfect but these two platforms are where your existing friends and business contacts are so why join Google+ at all?

2. Google Is Not Cool

It used to be but with privacy concerns and the whole big corporate thing its street cred has faded big time. Yes, you can argue Facebook is also less cool now after its own issues with user data but it’s still a lot better in this department than Google.

It is a shame for Google as they used to be on the cutting edge of innovation and now they are basically copying to try and keep up. This is not theirย fault it just what happens in life and business (IBM, Myspace, Detroit car industry, etc).

3. You Can’t Manufacture Or Replicate Facebook’s Success

Facebook was lucky to be in the right place at the right time with a great solution and a very smart founder. You just CAN’T manufacture this. Don’t get me wrong here I’m not saying that Facebook won’t be overtaken by something else in a few years time (it probably will), I’m just saying big corporates can’t strategically do this by planning in the boardroom.

Sorry for the slight rant in this email which (I hope) is a bit out of character…

Feel free to share this post with any friends that might be interested and I’d love to hear what you think about any of this stuff. Please do drop a quick comment below and we can get some discussion going…. ๐Ÿ™‚

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45 Responses to My Take On Google+ (And Other Distractions…)

  1. Ian August 25, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Thank goodness for a voice of sanity! Rant as much as you like as long as you keep repeating the same mantra as to how to set up an internet business with your straight forward step by step approach.
    I have only recently joined your newsletter but am finding all sorts of nuggets on this website and learning all the time. As a pensioner I am keen to build up a serious business following your principles and look forward to maintaining a long term relationship with you.


    • Rob August 25, 2011 at 10:32 am #

      Hi Ian,

      Thanks for this – I was slightly thinking I had gone out too far on a limb after I hit the “Publish” button!

      Glad you’re enjoying the free training too – I appreciate your comments and let me know if I can help with anything as you go along.

      Cheers – Rob.

  2. Rabbi Marty August 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Thanks. Staying focused is the main thing we must do to succeed in internet marketing or anything else…

    • Rob August 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      Totally agree Rabbi!

      Thanks for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Barry Wood August 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Excellent post Rob. And a good reason why I keep coming back to Gain Higher Ground – and staying away from Google+.

    As a newbie it is easy to be overwhelmed and – eventually – discouraged, by the number of different info marketing disciplines and approaches and tools such as Google+.

    Obviously there is no shortage of useful tools or info marketers that know their stuff but sometimes I’m just put off by the sheer volume of hucksterism.

    The understated tone of Gain Higher Ground and your feet-firmly-on-the-ground approach, together with the quality of the posts,have been a huge help to me.

    I’ve now got the hosting, and domain sorted on my own copywriting website – thanks to GHG – and it will be up shortly.

    many thanks

    Barry Wood

    • Rob August 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

      Hey Barry,

      Great to hear from you!

      I was wondering how you were getting on after our previous conversation on your copywriting project. I’m really glad you’re making progress!

      Thanks for your thoughts on this, I guess we’ve all been in the same situation and you’ve made some very relevant points that many will relate to I’m sure.

      Cheers – Rob.

  4. Kevin August 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    This is a problem I definitely find with working on-line – the “must have”offers that come out of the woodwork (seemingly everyday) – where, if I don’t buy it now the price will go up threefold by the same time tomorrow.
    I don’t generally fall for these offers nowadays (I have in the past unfortunately) but they are very tempting sometimes…..

    • Rob August 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

      Kevin – I totally agree.

      These offers can seem SO tempting, especially when starting out in online business. Always best to sleep on the sales messages I think – 9 times out of 10 this provides some perspective and you realise you don’t absolutely need the product after all!

      Thanks for your contribution ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Kevin August 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    I think that I might have included Twitter as well as one of the social networks that is becoming mainstream.

  6. Roger Lipscombe August 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Your on the money again! Totally agree, keep focussed.
    PS: Thanks for the other advice last weekend, much appreciated.

    • Rob August 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

      It was a pleasure Roger, glad I was able to be of some help.

      Pleased you liked the post too!

      Talk soon I’m sure, Rob.

  7. Ralph August 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    Well said Rob! We don’t need another distraction – keep to your knitting, chop wood, carry water, keep it simple stupid – whatever euphemism you want, your 4 steps above are the key to it all. Excellent rant!

    • Rob August 25, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

      Hey Ralph – thanks for stopping by!

      Looks like “controversy marketing” does work judging by the comments here so far! I didn’t do the rant on purpose it just kind of came out…

      Hope your trip is still going well ๐Ÿ™‚


      • Ralph August 26, 2011 at 1:31 am #

        Most definitely. Nothing beats a little heated debate! You could even blog on that – pros and cons of controversial blog posts lol!

  8. Jared Elvidge August 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm #


    Oh how I dooooooo love some good controversy! ๐Ÿ™‚ Very good post my friend. Although I have some “food for thought” to offer related to a couple points you made…

    First of all, let me just say that I DO agree completely with you that the basis of a long term online business needs to be niche, web presence, list, monetization AND NOT exploiting here today-gone tomorrow “loopholes.” I also agree that lack of focus on these core elements because people chase offers promising unrealistic overnight results is a HUGE problem.

    However, when it comes to social media and the different platforms that are available, I think it makes sense to not resist change and get involved. I listened to Gary Vaynerchuk (author of The Thank You Economy) speak live this past weekend where he passionately discussed the growing importance of social media. I highly recommend reading his book – actually, I recommend getting the unabridged audio book version where he himself reads it to you because he adds a lot of extra commentary not included in the book itself.

    Facebook is great. I’ve been involved with big launches using primarily free Facebook traffic. I personally think Google is doing a great job with Google+ – refreshing after the buzz and wave failures. Here is my quick take on the different social media platforms currently available:

    Facebook – awesome for traffic, list building and building relationships
    Google+ – awesome for building relationships and building trust (and soon for traffic)
    Twitter – most people use it incorrectly. Twitter is for LISTENING to your audience
    LinkedIn – great for business and for finding jobs or people to hire

    *Make no mistake about it, search will be more and more influenced by social platforms like Google+ in the coming months and years so seo guys will need to pay attention to all these platforms.

    *In the end, it’s not about the platforms though. It’s about the relationships you build with people using the different platforms that will build a long term business. If you rely solely on a platform you’ll be out of business as soon as the platform gets overtaken by others (think myspace). But personally, if the masses start using Google+, then I believe you need to be there building relationships with people you can meet there. Make sure you take those relationships off the different platforms (get them on your email list, as members in a continuity program, to your blog, etc) – so that when the next big platforms do come along, your relationships are in tact.

    Great topic Rob!


    ps – don’t you hate it when people post comments that are longer than the posts themselves? ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry!

    • Rob August 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm #


      Wow – what can I say?!

      I totally agree with everything you’ve said and I think you are right on the money with Social Media in general. I know you’ve done some awesome things with traffic generation (especially with Facebook) and I’m at the front of the queue respecting your authority on this.

      I also think that it’s a great idea to use any of the social media platforms as a key part of your marketing. The caveat being of course, as long as you do it purposefully and they aren’t temporary distractions from your core strategy (whatever that might be).

      When it comes to Google+ I think this whole thing pivots on the word “if” that you used in “…if the masses start using Google+…”.

      My prediction is that the masses won’t, even though its initial take up has been quicker than Facebook so far (but now slowing?). I guess if we disagree on an anything then this is it. Of course, I could be wrong (wouldn’t be the first time!) and if I am I shall write another blog post referencing these comments! I guess only time will tell in the end.

      I think you raise a fascinating point about the increasing influence of social media in search. I guess this is the major worry for Google. The way I see it is that you CAN manufacture algorithmic search (so Facebook could emulate Google’s core strength) but you CAN’T manufacture a huge and interconnected social network (so Google is going to find it VERY hard to steal Facebook’s market share).

      Anyway, I LOVE it when people write comments longer than my posts! In fact, it never happened before so you win the prize my friend. ๐Ÿ™‚ I shall buy you a drink next time I see you and we can continue this conversation…

      Thanks again Jared, I really enjoyed your comment. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • Jared Elvidge August 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

        You may be totally right about Google+ not being adopted in the end by the masses… I guess we’ll just have to see. Personally, I think it’s going to fly. But I guess my point was that regardless what the platform of the day is, lumping social media into the “distractions” category is dangerous to the future of one’s business (online or off). I genuinely believe that the future of business lies in social engagement.

        Again, it’s not about the platform, it’s about relationships. It takes so little time on Google+ or Facebook to build relationships that I believe it should be added to everybody’s core strategy. Personally, I think LinkedIn has more to worry about with Google+ than Facebook has. I believe the implications of Google+ will reach the business side of things much deeper than the personal side of things. Time will tell I guess.

        Looking forward to the next event I get to see you at Rob! Have a great day!


        • Rob August 25, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

          Good points well made Jared. I take them all on board.

          Catch up soon I hope! ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. Dawn Stephenson August 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    I have just been caught up in that very problem – must buy now products, and have ended up with so many that I cannot possibly try them all out before their trial period ends!! I have actually been having palpitations and sleepless nights over it. Thanks for re-focussing me Rob, and keep up the great honest work.

    • Rob August 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

      Hi Dawn,

      Thank you for your contribution ๐Ÿ™‚

      Most of us have been there as I mentioned in a previous comment to Barry so I’m glad you could relate to the topic!



  10. Leo S. August 25, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    Nice post, Rob! And I agree completely. Somehow people will get tired about so many and too quick ‘follow-ups’. We will see if you were right…

    • Rob August 26, 2011 at 6:45 am #

      Hi Leo,

      Nice to see you here at GHG. Thanks for stopping by and commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

      We shall indeed see if I was right – only 12 months to wait!


  11. Marc August 26, 2011 at 3:01 am #

    I see your point but I am not sure if I agree totally. I was just at a marketing workshop where I learned that Google is moving more toward “social proof” instead of “link proof” in order to provide the content that people are searching for. Whether or not Google+ will be a success is up in the air but you definitely want to have all your social media profiles and assets set up for any niche that you go into so that you are prepared when the next “big thing” takes off.

    • Rob August 26, 2011 at 6:54 am #

      Hey Marc,

      I can see where your coming from here – so perhaps we shouldn’t worry about the potential success of G+ but just get involved at this stage anyway.

      Good point on the social proof verses link proof too – it’ll be fascinating to see how this develops over the coming months!

      Thanks a lot for contributing to the discussion on this one! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Cheers – Rob.

  12. Ken August 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    I’m sure you are right Rob for I’m still stuck in the warp of trying to use twitter, facebook and wordpress etc and tie them all in to my website in order to make something of the info publishing genre.
    I’m an animal who thinks he can write but doesn’t know what RSS and other things are.
    I do enjoy reading your takes on marketing but it’s frustrating when you’re a creative thinker who has to spend 80% of his time trying to learn other stuff.
    All the best

    • Rob August 27, 2011 at 10:14 am #

      Hi Ken,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I empathize with what you say – it’s tricky to manage your time especially when you’d rather spend it just being creative. The good news I guess is that once you’ve learnt WordPress, social media, traffic generation etc you will become a lot faster at it which will free up a lot of time for other things.

      All the best,


  13. Marc B August 28, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    Rob, I have to say I agree that Google+ is probably going to be a lame duck. I’m no social media expert but the way I see it, Facebook naturally evolved into a must for many people. Similar to our adoption of cell phones. At first you thought, “Wow, that’s neat but I don’t think I need one.” Now you feel like you’re missing out if you don’t have a cell phone. At least for me, that’s how FB has felt. I now feel like I’m missing out if I don’t scan my FB at least once a day to find out what my “friends” are doing. Google is trying to manufacture that and it’s very hard to do.

    • Rob August 29, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      Thanks Marc – I appreciate your thoughts.

      It looks like we’re together on this so let’s wait and see if we’re right as we move forward!



  14. Joseph August 29, 2011 at 5:14 am #

    Hey Rob, nice to read a rant from you for a change ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I hear what Ken’s saying – when you have to control you creative abilities because there is so much technical stuff to be getting on with if you want to see success online. I suffer from that too, but it does get easier Ken, because as you gain success, you can outsource a whole lot more. Having said that, I’ve “played around” with Twitter and Facebook over the years and quite honestly, they are just not for me.

    And Rob, I know you are very much a proponent of building lists – you’ve seen great success with that yourself, but to be honest, I’ve never done much in the way of list building and I like to think that I’ve managed to achieve a modicum of success with my online endeavors. As you know, I’m an SEO man through and through, and although SEO does change, its still pretty much a similar ball game to what it was years ago. Not entirely of course, but as long as you keep learning, and keep up with the larger changes in Google etc., you should be good to go.

    Looking forward to another rant from you in the near future (I do hope ;-)).


    • Rob August 29, 2011 at 10:16 am #

      Hi Joseph,

      I think the nature of “rants” in general is that they can be divisive and you’ve just shown with your comment that my blueprint for success is certainly not the only way to make money online. So thanks for this as it adds some perspective for everybody to my own thoughts in the blog post.

      Regarding future rants – I can’t promise anything but I’ll see what I can do! ๐Ÿ˜‰



  15. Joseph August 29, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    No matter Rob,

    • Joseph August 29, 2011 at 10:54 am #

      Rob, you are always an English gentleman and I will forever give you frienship and more due to that. My friend – just have a look at my recent blog post to prove my point. I am not a big talker, never will be, never have been, but facts are facts. SEO does work and it will work in the future, big time!!!

      • Rob August 29, 2011 at 11:10 am #

        Thank you Joseph.

        Yes, I saw that post. and I highly recommend that everyone clicks through to read it – thanks for posting here Jo. ๐Ÿ™‚


        • Ralph August 29, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

          Hey Rob – Jo’s up to some really cool new stuff in that thread (as are you on this one, my friend). I just read the whole thing, it’s a must read for any SEOer or would-be SEOer!

          Let the debate rage on! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Cristina Ansbjerg September 6, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    I totally agree with you Rob.

    When I first heard about the new social media platform, Google+, my immediate thought was: “Another one??”
    I ignored all the “I have free invites, email me if you are interested” for one month. I also ignored as long as I could all the tweets saying “Twitter seems empty. Everybody is on G+ now”
    But after that month I couldn’t help it and joined G+. My thoughts? It’s more of the same. You can find exactly the same people you find on Twitter and Facebook and the only difference is people posting .gif files and videos.

    Btw, Twitter wasn’t “empty” because of Google+ but because it was summer in the northern hemisphere.

    • Rob September 6, 2011 at 9:07 am #

      Hi Christina,

      Well said!

      It’s easy to get carried away sometimes with details and features that a new product brings and I include myself in that. But the extra stuff Google+ has brought with it is on a much flatter innovation curve than Facebook was on a few years ago (or Google itself was on with search 10 years ago for that matter).

      In addition, the extra features are surely very “low barriers to entry” so if they do become popular then Facebook/Twiiter can easily add them to their own platforms very easily.

      Anyway, as I’ve said we could be totally wrong Christina! Who knows, but right now I think you’re right on the money.

      Very good point about the northern hemisphere summer too ๐Ÿ™‚


  17. Jesse August 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Well, I know it’s an old post, but Rob predicted that Google+ would be gone in a year…and here we are, a year later, and Google+ is still kickin’. Maybe need to polish up that crystal ball there Rob! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    All joking aside, one year later, what do you think the prognosis for Google+ survival to be in the future?

    • Rob August 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      Hi Jessie, Still not impressed on Google+. I’m prepared to be proven wrong but honestly I can’t see it happening long term for them. Of my non internet marketing friends I virtually know nobody who uses it, but they all are plugged into FB! Cheers, Rob.

  18. Barry January 6, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    Hi Rob

    I’m working through your 15 Steps To Success and I think your message is this:

    1. Find a profitable niche
    2. Set up a website
    3. Build an email list
    4. Promote appropriate and high quality products (either your own or affiliate products).

    It’s taken me a lot of flitting around from one get-rich-quick and the-latest-internet-fad product to get the idea! And also wasted loads of time and money in the process!

    However I think there is a positive upside to this experience; it makes you realise what skills and qualities you need to be a successful online marketer.

    Almost like a kind of ‘rite of passage’ wouldn’t you say? I wonder how many marketers have had a similar journey…

    Kind regards
    Barry (the other one, not Mr Wood!)

    • Rob January 7, 2014 at 8:44 am #

      Hi Barry,

      Yes, “Rite of passage” is a good way of describing it. Unfortunately, that can involve a lot of frustration and failure for many people, including myself when I began! The articles here on the blog and content in the members area are designed to fix that.

      Kind regards,


      • Brian Elliott January 14, 2014 at 2:50 am #

        Hello Rob, I joined about 3 months ago and have not seen much to excite me, however I noticed a new post today that affects all those that do a lot of business using Youtube. All Youtube users must have the same username as there Google+ account. This is to stop video makers from using keywords as their URL/username. (do we believe that or might it be googles answer to drive traffic to Google+ !!!! I will check the starting date Rob, unless you are already aware of it. Brian

  19. John April 24, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

    Well said Rob. I think your 4 point blueprint says it all – it could not be any more succinct than this.

    Cheers – John F

    • Rob April 25, 2015 at 8:58 am #

      Thank John – appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

      Cheers, Rob.

  20. Andrew J Titcombe April 25, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    A perceptive piece Rob Thanks I am an early adopter of such things (I was a “buzz” adopter and had forgotten all about it) and have spent many hours feeding the Google+ machine with nothing to show. Less interaction In fact much less interaction than Facebook (even Linkedin) and yet some “gurus”: soldier on. I am glad I tried it but think my time here has been generally wasted, Google will need to let a lot of people down ….gently if and when they pull the plug

    • Rob April 26, 2015 at 9:27 am #

      Thanks for you comment Andrew – great to get your views.

      Cheers, Rob

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