Google Plus: “What’s Hot” and the Power of Sharing

Google Plus “What’s Hot” is a section where you can find interesting posts that are chosen by an undefined Google algorithm. Google Plus debuted in the summer of 2011 and its user base grown nicely. The platform now has over 500 million registered users, with over 135 million of them being active. As someone that is on Google Plus daily, I can feel the activity increasing, especially over the last two months.

What’s Hot

The “What’s Hot” section is probably not what you’re expecting. It’s called “What’s Hot” on mobile (at least on the iPad), but called “Explore” from a laptop or desktop. I think most would anticipate that it would only include posts that have been +1’ed and shared hundreds if not thousands of times. While I’d say about 50-60% of the content falls into this bucket, the remaining posts fall under 100 +1’s. The good news is you and I can get something to the “What’s Hot” section. While I haven’t pinpointed the Google Algorithm, I think they want a variety of subject matter. Once in the “What’s Hot” area good things usually happen. A lot more eyeballs see the posts in “What’s Hot” and generally you’ll see a nice pop in +1’s, shares, and comments.

The image below was captured today 1/19/2013. As you can see nestled in with posts from NBC News (with 500+ comments and 529 +1’s) and The Verge (500+ comments and 708 +1’s) is a post on the “Magnectic Pogo Cable – Magnector” with a very modest 4 comments and 6 +1’s. In all likelihood, this post just hit shortly before I viewed. Checking back a few hours later the post was no longer in “What’s Hot”. In order to stay in the section the post needs to gain +1’s, shares, and comments at an unknown rate, but it has to move. I’m sure the activity of the user posting and how many circles he/she is in is part of the mix.

Google Plus: “What’s Hot” and the Power of Sharing image Google Whats Hot

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The Power of Sharing

Last Saturday there was a post from the Marketing, Social Media, and Tech site SteamFeed authored by Robert Caruso. I’m a contributor to SteamFeed and know Robert. As with most posts there wasn’t much G Plus +1 love a day after it had been published. At the time there were only 2 +1’s in the share bar. The article talked about the biggest mistakes small businesses make in social media. I enjoyed the article and found it provided a lot of value. My thinking was this piece could get to “What’s Hot” and take off. Well about 25 minutes after posting it was in “What’s Hot”. It stayed there for a while, and was in the 2nd spot for a good chunk of time.

Here’s the tally a week later:

+1’s 442

Shares 162

Comments 72

+1 Share Bar 779

Google Plus: “What’s Hot” and the Power of Sharing image Robert Caruso SteamFeed on Google Plus

Boom!!! From +2 to a more deserving 779, and a great reason to share posts you enjoy on Google Plus.

Here’s one more example. This article was from the site ARKarthick and was actually a guest post authored by Nischala Murthy Kaushik. An incredible article that came out right after New Year’s Day. The piece is so powerful and stirring. I highly recommend you read both articles when you get a chance, they are linked.

Google Plus: “What’s Hot” and the Power of Sharing image Arkarthick Blog Post From Google Plus Whats Hot

I recommend you start participating on Google Plus if you’re not already. Dive in and comment, +1, and Share.

I hope you found value in this post. If so, please share and comment. I look forward to hearing from you.

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