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
- invites someone to comment even without reading the post you are sharing
- piques someone’s interest enough to cause them to click over for more
- 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.