No More Google + Entries on Giveaways

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.”

My Opinion:

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.


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About the Author

Erika is a happily married mom with four energetic children. With a love for Jesus, photography, organizing, and encouraging other moms, she stays busy and definitely does not have it all together.


  1. abi conner says:

    I’m here to stay! Forget about the google + button!

  2. I just heard about this too…not sure what to think! I am surprised they haven’t done the same thing for GFC with giveaways! So annoying…what do they care anyways…personally I am liking linky followers way better than GFC, and facebook way better than Google Plus! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi Erika, I follow you on twitter (still haven’t given into the google conspiracy)….anyway I clicked on you from there – and I think this is my first comment on your bloggy space. I read your post – smiled cause it said lots of what I think – and I think it’s a valuable post that I learned from – so I’ll be retweeting you – and ignoring the g+ button (cause I think google wants to take over the universe – it’s kinda the new Microsoft( God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours.

  4. Yea, it does take the “social” part out of it doesn’t it? You’d think they would encourage more use, not less. Shared on twitter.

  5. I think it is absurd as well. I kinda like my Google+ as a short list news feed. So I like it, but this news is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. I will continue to follow you on google+ .

  6. I am in total agreement! SUCKS

  7. funny I have a post with the same info in it. :) Bummer huh, 1st GFC now this!

  8. I do not understand the issue Google+ is having but whatever. Like you only have it to promote my blog posts, giveaways, ect. I still haven’t really been able to get into it.

  9. kristen t says:

    i am probably the only weirdo out there that doesn’t have facebook ro twitter. ALL of the couponing is done through google+( i am sort of new tothis, less than a year) and i refuse to give in and make a facebook account. I hate when i see contests that are only facebook or twitter linked since i can’t do them. It disappoints me greatly that i wont be able to participate in most contests because of the lack of google entries now.
    This is the way i foun your blog, and mostly all the other blogs i have in my circles. :-(
    I like google + but its hindering business’ability to promote things that could bring more traffic to google +, which is hurting them in the process..

  10. I totally agree with you! I’ll also be removing the follow on G+ option from my giveaways.

  11. Suprised to hear, but not shocked. Seems like every time I turn around lately its something else! It’s like the wizard behind the screen on the Wizard of Oz! lol (blowing steam, now off to take the Google+ option off my giveaway. Seriously they are missing the chance of more users. I have plenty of options without listing that. Drop by if you like for my latest giveaway & I’ll be sharing this! Thanks for the heads up!

  12. MommaMary says:

    I got kicked off twitter for the same reason, they called the entries unsolicited and I was not communicating with anyone. I have yet been able to communicate with twitter regarding this, just keep getting form emails.

    • That’s strange. They should really get back to you. I got kicked off my personal Facebook a few years ago for no reason. I appealed and it took many, many emails and 2 weeks before they finally let me back on. And I was lucky. I think that’s what people dislike the most about these “groups” – it’s the whole no-explanation, you don’t know what you did “wrong,” and no matter of recourse.

  13. I personally haven’t seen any noticeable changes with Goggle+ I say not to worry about the button 😀

    • Some are concerned that, since it’s Google, if we don’t follow their rules, they could take away our Page Rank, which is unfortunately a big deal in the PR aspect of blogging. That’s why I’m stopping. I wish it wasn’t so though!

  14. brooke t says:

    and i bet they fizzle out in the next couple months becuase of this!

  15. I felt the same way when I first heard about Google+. Just one more thing to keep up with and learn how to use! I’m bummed I went ahead and created an account a couple weeks ago to use to enter giveaways and now find they have a rule against that. I don’t have a facebook account either (they kicked me out last week and wouldn’t let me back in unless I entered my cell # or gave out my Govt id #. No thanks!)

    • That’s crazy – you shouldn’t have to give personal info like that to have a Facebook account! What’s wrong with these people?!

  16. I tend to neglect my G+ page because of the lack of syndication options such as Networked Blogs on Facebook. Looks like I might just totally forget about G+ in this situation.

  17. Melissa Say What? says:

    I’m not a Google+ fan and I rarely use it except to follow people to enter giveaways and very, very rarely share a blog post. I guess they don’t want it to turn into a Facebook, but quite frankly despite the regular changes, I’m happy with Facebook. I’m starting to gear more towards Twitter for the blog aspect of it.

  18. One of the only reasons I use my google+ account is for the giveaways. Like a few others have said I may just forget I have it now.

  19. Allison Downes says:

    that is just pure ridiculous! Google is the WORST and I mean WORST company EVER! They have the most horrible customer service and are extremely rude….

  20. Only one thing to say to that Erika! BUMMER! :(

  21. A company I work with said it’s only for asking for a +1 for an entry, but it’s okay to have an entry to Add to Circles. IDK!!! Very vague.

  22. Seriously? Seriously!!!?? If social media doesn’t want to be an entry they should lose the publicity they get from us. Everyone who had thousands of followers lost them and now we have to start over. The only gripe I have is IF pr is going to require this in our stats they should understand it better too.

    Your post is well written.

  23. Cassiopeia says:

    Thanks so much for this information! I’m beginning a new blog and have been struggling with which social networks to spend time on. There are really too many!

    I’ve felt that Google + didn’t really become everything that they had hoped it would, and this is confirmation for me.

    So glad to have someone who knows what’s what to share their expertise with the rest of us! Kudos to you.

  24. What about third party apps such as Rafflecopter and GiveawayTools


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