Top Three Ways to Look Like a Spammer on Google Plus

Top Three Ways to Look Like a Spammer on Google Plus

Obviously you don’t want to be a spammer or appear to be one on Google Plus, so take note of these three actions and steer clear. Most offenders are innocently making mistakes because they don’t know any better. But these three no-nos will turn off potential followers, alienate your existing audience, get your posts flagged as spam, and might even get you banned from Google Plus altogether.

1. Tick the also send email to box when sharing

Ticking the also send email box (bottom right in the image below), generally results in ticking off the people who get the notifications. Many people will automatically mute or even block you at the first offense, especially if they don’t know you. Get enough people muting or blocking you, and Google will delete your entire account.


What happens when you tick the box

Depending on that person’s settings, they may receive an email that you shared something with them. At a minimum, they will receive a notification under the red bell area.

The only time you should use that box is when you know a person wants to be notified. If they haven’t expressly asked for notifications, or if you don’t know this person intimately enough to send them a text message, do not tick the box.

As a general rule, don’t use that feature. Share public. End of story.

2. Share the same thing to multiple communities in quick succession

You might not know this, but when you share the same thing to more than one community, it is almost always flagged as spam. This is an automatic feature of Google Plus; it’s not a matter of the community moderator being mean.

A post flagged as spam is simply invisible to the community. However it will show up on your posts page if the group is public. So if someone is checking out your profile, imagine what he sees — a whole screen full of the same thing over and over. Major turn off.

These multiple community posts can also show up in the streams of people who are members of the same group or communities you are posting to. Again, this makes you look like a broken record, and a desperate one, too, especially if that share is link litter.

The solution is to post the information or question in a different way for each community and space it out over at least a half day each.

3. Link dump (AKA link litter)

This mistake is normally a result of ingrained habits picked up from Facebook and Twitter where short posts are favored. Google Plus is a different animal, and short, meaningless posts that pander for a click are not well received compared to longer, more meaningful ones that allow the conversation to remain on G+.

Whether the link you are sharing is your own or someone else’s, avoid these kinds of introductions in the text area:

  • Check out my latest post.
  • This is really cool.
  • I liked this. You should read it.
  • I posted today. Click to see it.

When you share, provide something in the introduction area that

  1. invites someone to comment even without reading the post you are sharing
  2. piques someone’s interest enough to cause them to click over for more
  3. gives context for the share, telling why it’s great, how someone would benefit from it, etc.

In other words, initiate an actual conversation on Google Plus and let the link be an extra add-on and not the sole purpose of posting. When you are pandering for traffic, it’s obvious, and while it might be acceptable on other platforms, it’s spammy on G+.

If you have any questions about these three spammy behaviors, fire away! I’ll do my best to answer them here in the comments.

  • I just noticed an email dated Aug 4th from Google+ saying “We’ve determined that your comments may be in violation…” (due to spam) yet didn’t provide the offending text. How can I ask Google to provide the material in violation so that I can know what it is I posted?

  • So google things I’m a spammer because I posted the same poll to two different communities. Will I ever be able to post normally again or is this like a mark for life? Thanks.

  • Is it possible to have a ‘stalker’ mark posts as spam, so much so…that subsequent posts are nearly all ‘greyed out’? (marked as spam) I believe that this is happening to me.
    I had several grey out before a mod became involved on a test post. Then ‘poof” nothing upon our 2nd test post. (this had happen to only 4 postings prior)

  • Hi Jimmie
    I have a question regarding the positioning of comments in youtube. When you post a reply or make a comment , how are the position of the comments determined? Its fairly clear when you choose to sort by newest comments first, but unless you choose this option , and leave it as default, how does google determine which comment appears on top?
    Many thanks

  • thank you so much jimmie for your revealing this spamming info …i have just fallen foul of this very annoying problem and have just been informed of a two week suspension …what i find so frustrating is ..i had received a warning a week previous to the suspension ..underneath the warning is a reply post i duly wrote back asking if the admins could clarify my crime i can correct the problem for future usage ..i had no reply back from them ..and a week later received the two week suspension i consider myself of average intelligence but reading through the notification sent to me by the admins of g+ made absolutely no sense at all to a first time offender such as i think i am ..could google +not make out individual notifications to fit the crime commited instead of a blanket notification? it would save a lot of unnecessary suspensions …

  • My posts are being marked as spam in Google+.How do I detect that?

    • I don’t think you can detect that in an obvious way. The best idea would be to prevent it from happening by not posting anything that might be considered spammy.

    • Hello, so google+ put me on their spam folder, now I can only post one time in only 3 communities. Because I made a mistake before of over sharing the same post. Now that I know the rules, I share differently with different post. But still google+ won’t let me share with more than 3 per day in 3 communities. I don’t do double posting anymore, I make sure it’s different from the other but google+ won’t lift up their ban to me. 🙁 I hope you understand my blabbering. I want to avoid being in their spam section.

    • You can find out if you’re considered a spammer by posting in a community and then opening Chrome in an Incognito Window and looking to where you posted. If your post is not there then your text or photo has been caught in the spam filter. Most moderators are pretty quick at fishing your material out of the filter and unfortunately you’ll never know that there’s a problem until one day when you’re notified that you are suspended.

  • So much to learn – and unlearn – on Google. One question your post triggered (and I’ve been pondering for some time):

    When I share a post, it automatically gives me the option of sharing with:

    – your circles
    – public
    – extended circles

    I just hit “share” and hope I’m doing the right thing.

    Should I just share with “public”?

    I haven’t spent much time on Google learning the ropes, but this post (and your other Google posts) are giving me a taste of what could be.

    Thanks for your help!

  • GREAT advice, Jimmie. I’m definitely guilty of at least a few instances of the second and too many to mention of the third. And I REALLY hate litterers…go figure. 😛

  • Hi Jimmie,
    What should I do if I have been considered as a spammer? Is there any way to reconcile?
    Thanks for sharing!

    • What a great question, Adelien. I’d say if you’ve been posting in spammy ways, try to clean up your posts page by deleting the duplicate community posts. They probably aren’t showing up in the communities anyway. If you have link litter, you could edit those posts with stronger introductions or delete them altogether. If the matter is notifying people when sharing, just stop doing it.

  • Hi Jimmie

    You rockstar! Thanks for taking the time to write these great tips. I get a fairly large amount of mail via G+often from the same community! I have never considered it as spam! although it did become quite irritating. I confess to muting one person because of the sheer volumes not because I thought she wasn’t sharing good content – I eventually stopped reading the posts *embarrassed*

    Point #1 is very helpful, thank you. One wonders why Google allows for it, if there’s a good chance it will be marked as spam. Perhaps Google needs to rethink that aspect. Ah the powers that be… 🙂

    Warmest regards

  • Thank you! Thank you! I’m trying to learn the ins and outs of G+ and I have been using it more like Facebook. I need to know these tips!

  • Excellent tips. Thank you so much for sharing your insights as I navigate the world of G+. I’m learning that it is definitely a different animal than other social media!

    • Jimmie Lanley

      You are welcome, Kat! Yes, it is quite different. And it takes some getting used to the way of operating on G+ especially when we bring in habits that do work on other platforms but don’t work on G+.

  • Hi Jl,

    I think I’m definitely guilty of some of those offenses. This was good. I do so much online that I do tend to post the information a lot to different groups. I love good information and am wanting to share so much with so many that it becomes more fun and business goes out the window. Until….you see 12 in a row. I see your point: is there a way to disable that?

    One all too familiar phrase you said reminded me of reading through some of the good stuff that comes through each group. Feeling like you know people puts the guard down and makes me want to share. (I’ve never been a fb fan and recently only built a profile) Then I just throw a one or two liner out there in between dishes, lunch making and running to the computer to see what I’m missing. lol

    Ex: The cute little puppy pics that come through…. ya know, you see the pic, go make a sandwich still thinking about the puppy and bam! in the middle of the sandwich you’re thinking you have to share this thought with the world because it’s too funny.
    Sometimes I go back and see those little one or too words and think “is that all you can come up with?” and it might say ” awwww” or “too cute for words”.

    As far as the search engines go, things have changed so much so many times over the years that unless you’re completely devoted to or have a team that can keep up with the mundane things on the back-end, it’s too much to keep up with. The search engines think too much and don’t let us explore and have fun.

    I remember when google used to have fun. Is there room for more fun?

    …thinking that I’m glad I found this article today to help keep me on the right track.
    Enjoying life but always making ripples….. 🙁

    • Jimmie Lanley

      Rita, inside settings, you do have an option for “Show your Google+ communities posts on the Posts tab of your Google+ profile.” Here is more information straight from Google. That will make your profile look better, but it won’t keep those multiple community postings from being flagged as spam, so you really need to change your practice. I mean, if it’s flagged as spam, no one is seeing it. Do that enough, and Google might revoke your account. So space it out. Share to a different group each day. And vary how you share it.

  • Thank you – very helpful. I love how Google + want the content in the post and not just some redirect to a link.

  • I also found your post on Pinterest. I pinned and tweeted this! Seriously, #3 was priceless in my book. I have a new way of looking at the way I share on google + now! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Found your post on Pinterest. I could not agree more on your three points. I think the biggest adjustment I made coming to G+ was learning how to properly introduce a link. Plussers definitely want more than a title.

    The effort was totally worth it though, because I have found that the intros to my posts are getting stronger as a nice side benefit of working on my G+ posts.

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