Yesterday, I heard some news through the blogging community. Google + has a new policy that says it’s against the rules to use Google + Circles as a giveaway entry option.
What Google Says:
The exact wording is found on the Google Buttons Policy page:
“Publishers may not promote prizes, monies, or monetary equivalents in exchange for Google+ Button clicks.”
That sounds like they’re talking about the +1 button (you know the tiny button.) But according to their definition of “Google + Button”, that includes the Google + circles too:
“Add to Circles Button — This button is a means for Publishers to enable Google+ users to quickly add the Publisher’s Google+ page to the user’s circles directly via a widget on the Publisher’s website. After clicking the Add to Circles Button the user indicates the circle to which he would like to add that Publisher.”
You want to know what I said when Google + first came on the scene? I don’t have time for yet another network to keep up with! I eventually gave in and joined the Google + club, simply because, in the blogging community, it’s important to stay up-to-date and active with the latest and greatest. Only Google+ wasn’t the greatest. It’s not another Facebook or Twitter, as they were aiming for.
I use Google +, but only for promoting my posts. I add my latest giveaway or article to Facebook and then paste the link into Google +. That’s it. I never use it beyond that. If you found my blog through Google +, I’d love to hear from you because honestly, I don’t think any of you have. Facebook? Sure. Twitter? Definitely. Pinterest? Yes. But Google +? I have my doubts.
From what I understand (and definitely believe), Google + is struggling as it is and to make a policy like this is just absurd. Why should Google care if someone follows a user based on a contest? I can understand them not wanting people to hold contests ON Google+, but adding new followers? Isn’t that what a social networking community is all about?
I just don’t get it. But hey it’s Google. Google is mysterious like that. Maybe they are trying to kill Google + because they have something else up their sleeve. Who knows.
What Does This Mean For Me?
I’ve removed the Google+ follow option from my giveaways. There are still a few group giveaway events that I’m a part of and I’ll let those continue until they end in a week or so. But after that, adding me to your Google + circle will no longer get you an extra entry. For now, I’m still going to share posts on Google + and I hope you’ll keep me in your own circle, but unfortunately it won’t help you win that prize. Sorry, folks, it’s not me; it’s Google.
— Erika (@Erika105) March 21, 2012