There has been lots of discussion on Google+, speculation about the future direction of the platform, how to best use it, but also what it means for the future of Blogger. What does Blogger have to do with it? Well, it seems that some influencers (such as +Mike Elgan with over 2 million followers) have decided that they like the idea of blogging on Google+, which then transitioned into if they’re using it for blogging, then Google should move resources from Blogger to Google+ and let Blogger fade away.
- Complete brand control and design
- Support for data outside linear date posts (static pages, label categories)
- External gadgets and JQuery support
- Custom top level domain support
- Paid advertising
- Anonymous commenting
- Content with a longer lifespan (Google+ content has a lifespan) and is indexed by non-Google search engines
Back to Mike Elgan’s strategy. I understand the strategy, and the desire to get Google to put more resources into the platform that you’ve decided to take advantage of. If you’re going to dedicate yourself to using a platform, you want to get the most out of it. It enables you to quickly build Authority while engaging your fans/readers/customers very directly.
But in my opinion this puts lots of eggs in one basket, while also subjecting your content and audience to a brand that is not under your control, links that you don’t control, and a content platform with content that expires.
Is your blog You or your Blog?
This is an important distinction to make, and to some extent it might push you in different directions. For example, this blog post is being written by David Kutcher, but in my role as the President of Confluent Forms LLC. Confluent Forms is the “Publisher” of the content and David is the “Author” of the content. David’s entire identify is not my role with Confluent Forms, and in fact I blog for multiple properties (such as Blogger Xpertise), and some of my posts on Google+ might have nothing to do with either of these properties and be more personal in nature. At the same time, acknowledging me as the verified author will have benefits in Google soon with the additional of rel=author and the bonuses that an author’s social network has towards the placement in SERP rankings, not to mention the Social Authority that you can build as an individual through circles, shares, +1s, and more.
This might be different for you if You are your Blog. What I mean by this is if your blog is publicly acknowledge as “The Blog of Your Name”, where you are the primary and perhaps only author, and the content is seen as coming directly from you. If this is the case, chances are there is very little separation between You the Author and You the Publisher (unlike my first case). In this case, I agree, there might be less of a desire to essentially “blog” in two places, however it’s worth considering this strategy, as well as the bullet-pointed list at the top of this post.
I’m using Google+ for my company, but also me personally.
Confluent Forms is set up as a Google Local Page, while I have a separate account with my name on it. The company page is then linked to our Blogger website, taking advantage of the Google+ functional link in Blogger. This has a few advantages: combined with the Google+ Page gadget in Blogger it adds rel=publisher data, adds a social follow functionality (similar to Facebook’s Like Box), prompts for auto-sharing when you submit your post, and in Google+ allows you to interact with people as your company and not as an individual.
With my personal Google+ account I continue the conversation as myself. Sure, I share and re-share posts that my company has made on the blog, but it’s also a way for me to join conversations, build up my personal Authority, and engage people that might read, share, and +1 my blog’s posts. I’m able to take advantage of Authority, AuthorRank, PublisherRank, and PageRank, as well as make a search engine friendly site that brings in visitors from far outside my circles, and brings them into my Circles.
Using Blogger as the “home base” for your long-term, branded content enables you to establish your content strategy, take advantage of search engine structured content and social sharing, and still build authority by sharing and engaging on Google+.
Curious to see some examples of what we’ve done using Blogger?