Facebook Sucks: Google+ Blows Away Facebook for User Visibility

by Jon Cilley on Feb 14, 2012
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So why does Google+ – in my opinion – work so much better for smaller businesses than Facebook?

Why can unknowns become known so much easier on Google+?

There are a couple reasons. Let’s start with the most important:

Google Search.

Of course, like all social media platforms, Google+ has its very own search feature. But what makes this feature fundamentally different from Facebook is how it is utilized.

For instance, I want each of you reading this to go into Facebook’s search engine and type one simple word: “photos.” What you will find are pages that have this keyword within the title of the page, maybe someone named “photo,” and four relevant photos from your friend’s recent posts. You won’t even see every page relating to photos or content, you’ll just see the ones who thought to put it in the main name of the page.

One thing you won’t see is a photo from an unknown content provider, the very thing you would want someone to see – if you are looking for exposure.

What you will see is the very thing your News Feed should have produced in the first place: content from your friends – which is hidden and tucked below at the very bottom.

What you have here is a very closed system.

Putting friends first, not content.

This makes it very hard for individuals or brands that are not known commodities to reach new followers.

Now I want you to type the same word “photos” into Google+’s search engine. What you will find is exactly what you searched for: photos.

You will see two different options, “most recent” and “best of.” Most, if not all of the search results, are from individuals the current user does not know – if these posts have been posted publicly.

Also, right from these search results the user can then add individuals or pages to their circles. They can click “best of” to see which content is getting the most engagement and visibility, and if you agree with the magnitude of engagement a particular post has acquired you can add right from these results as well.

This is how the unknown becomes known: putting content first.

This is virtually impossible on Facebook, which relies on a one-to-one friend network to expand word-of-mouth endorsements. Because of this, Facebook provides a virtual speed bump for the rapid expansion of content that might deserve the added visibility.

Google+ is a search-first social network. Facebook is a friend-first social network.

Just notice when you first type something into Facebook. Friends popup first, and you have to scroll down with the arrow keys or cursor to get to search results as opposed to friends. On Google+ it’s the opposite, a keyword search appears first before individuals in your circles.

Shared Circles

The next reason Google+ increases the ability to rapidly expand your follower base is “Shared Circles.”

Getting in a shared circle can be an additional way to gain followers and grow visibility for the content you produce. Because the framework of Google+ makes it much more appealing to add individuals you may not know than Facebook, an individual might not hesitate to add a shared circle containing hundreds of individuals relating to their interests. Getting in one of these is usually a gift that keeps on giving.

Also, relating this back to Google+ search, people can find your shared circles without even following you beforehand – again, if it is shared publicly.

So if you want to grow followers and increase engagement on the content you produce: first create great content, second post it publicly, and third do it on Google+.

Facebook sucks.

Post Author

Writer and owner of The Connected Monster, a blog site devoted to Android, Apple, social media, gadgets, and other tech-related topics....

  • Now if only people used Google+ ;)

  • Anonymous

    Well, that’s given me a whole new look at G+. I have been meaning to get to grips with it and give it more time but…now maybe I’ll take another look at it.

    Thanks for the wake up call!

    Andy Moore

  • Amandah

    I’m drifting towards Google+. I’m not sure if I should create a business page in addition to my ‘regular’ profile. I see many solopreneurs creating a ‘regular’ Google+ page instead of business pages. Facebook still feels like MySpace to me. I think they should let companies create fan pages without having to create a personal or business page. This doesn’t make sense to me.

  • For some small businesses, marginal increases in traffic can mean a significant increase in revenue. Not everyone needs the hundreds of milions which Facebook offers.

  • I’m hearing more and more that Google Plus might become really effective for connecting businesses with customers and corroborators. Being on Facebook will probably stay important, but G+ may be the place to work out of.

  • CoMoJoe

    Nice work, Jon. I published a piece yesterday that took Facebook to task for its lack of friendliness toward businesses. You go into more detail why Google+ is a better choice. I’ll share your entry with my audience. http://bit.ly/xL8y2g

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  • Thanks, Jon. Good overview of the advantages of Google+.  I agree with @twitter-14471522:disqus … now I just have to wait for more friends to join it!

  • Elizabeth

    Great article! I didn’t know all that much about G+ before reading, but now I’ll be sure to check it out. 

  • Kathy

    I’m with you, Amandah. Not sure if I should have business G+ page as well as personal. I created one, but I’m just learning how it all works… 

  • Great post with some excellent insight. Although I’m aware of how big Google Plus can be I’ve found it difficult to go around ensuring I use G+ in the best way possible. 
    This post has certainly helped me understand that better. Thanks!MJField

  • You make some very good points, Jon.  I love Facebook but the search feature frustrates the heck out of me.  Thanks very much for the article.  I will be sharing it a lot.  

  • Henry A. Otero

    You don’t HAVE to wait for more friends to join G+… that’s the whole point! Search for people with the same interests as you and begin interacting with them. I’ve made tons of new friends via my TV Show pages like +the walking dead, +fringe circle, +spartacus circle etc

  • Anonymous

    Nice article. Google + search and how they have implemented it just blows facebook away. It stills lack content for people to take full advantage of this. Google+ integration with services like Google music and Google Calendar are extremely rough or in complete. 

    But as anyone who takes a look at Google knows they have the tools and services to blow Facebook away in every department.

    If this is a feature battle Google wins hands down. Sadly it not, the battle relies on getting people to use Google plus an that a hard thing to get people to do. 

  • Vera Woods

    This is great stuff, I know Google+ will take off eventually so would love to know how to use it and be ready for when it does. Do you have any recommendations

  • Nice, bookmarked

  • William MATAR

    I love Google Plus from Lebanon Middle East!

  • Great Info….I’m beginning to learn the nuances of G+…Thanks

  • Nice article, Jon – especially the headline, which I find a little out of context. While I agree with you that content is king, I think it’s more important to know what the goal of a small business being on Facebook and/or Google+ is, or social media in general. 

    For example, the small wine shop down the street from me in CT isn’t going to need to create content for someone looking for wine in OR or CA, so a Facebook page allows them to engage with fans, and ultimately customers, in their own and surrounding communities. If their goals were to become a large national distributor and/or thought leader in the wine space then yes, their content and presence would be better served on Google+. 

    While I certainly don’t disagree that G+ is extremely important for business and people to get their name out there, be recognizable, etc, to dismiss having a Facebook page because you can’t search for it, or because “it sucks,” would be wrong in my opinion. 

    Thanks again for the article, Jon!

  • Deeno

    Who uses Google+?

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  • Zac

    You can get the Google+ experience on Facebook by deleting everyone except those who work in social media.

  • Google+ obviously has an edge over FB because of search. The search plus results will attract businesses and brands to use G+ extensively.  

  • Michael_smith

    A great article on the benefits and superiority of Google+ over Facebook I found posted on … Google+ …

  • Panch

    Great post, Interestingly though you have twitter, facebook & linked in links on this page but NO google plus ?

  • Never had a facebook page until I started in with G+ several weeks ago.  Google plus has me quite intrigued whereas quite frankly I’m still trying to figure out what the point of facebook is supposed to be.  BTW also started in on twitter at the same time–haven’t checked back in after first couple of days seems utterly and completely pointless?   

  • By the way I love how the title of this article displays in my firefox tab as “Facebook Sucks: Google + Blows…”    good stuff….

  • Seriously? What a terrible article. The only thing that Google+ offers is an ugly layout and a terrible user interface.. the tumbleweeds do liven up the place though, I suppose.

  • Haha. Nice.

  • Touche.

  • Gmail users who are in tech, social as of right now. And photogs.

  • Thanks Andy.

  • I think Jon laid out a lot of valid points. Everyone has their opinion, but listing a few concrete reasons might be better than saying something just sucks. 

  • Twitter is a tough one to get started on. I think it takes a good month of daily use to get the real experience. But that is tough to ask of anyone. Using on mobile is a nice intro. 

    I have had similar issues with Facebook. I think it just depends. Some people have positive and negative expereiences on all three.

  • We have tested Google+ share buttons twice. For us it gets less use. For others it gets more. Everyone should test.

  • Haha. Yup, that sounds right.

  • Competition is a good thing.  Hopefully FB and G+ will continue to evolve though competition.

  • Absolutely…. that’s Google’s strength, and they are doing a great job of leveraging it with G+.  Took them a few times to get social media right, but I think they got it this time.

  •  I get the sense that Facebook is more about people who miss Junior High School than anything.  I’m a busy, married 40+ year old man who doesn’t have a lot of “friends” (I’m busy and largely self-entertaining) and has no interest whatever in his or anyone else’s “social” standing.  My initial take is that given this, Facebook is of little utility to me.  Indeed, when I log onto Facebook there is never–ever–anything of any interest or relevance to me.  When I log into G+ there is always something of interest in “what’s hot,” plus searching is much easier, plus I can take an active hand in crafting Google Search results.  Plus I don’t have to already be “in” with the “cool kids” to join in on the conversation.   It’s almost shaping up to look like a P.C. v. Mac thing with Facebook being for “cool” kids and G+ for the adults with jobs.  That said, (1) I’ve only been using FB and G+ for a few weeks, and (2) it certainly does seem that photographers and social media gurus or would-be gurus are heavily overrepresented on G+.  Hopefully that will change over time. 

  • G+ is already at 90 million users.  They are growing far faster than Facebook or Twitter did in their early stages.

  • I love how stereotypes come about. P.C v. Mac huh? with the Mac users being the “cool kids” ??? … hmmm, then how would the “cool kid” “Mac” users pay for their higher priced toys if they had no “Jobs” … sorry that was what I pulled out of your comment Buck, but it just makes me laugh cause I work my tail off to be able to purchase my cool Mac toys ;-)

  • Google has a competitive edge on Facebook by its search.  I do use google+ and love it more than Facebook.

  • Gest

    You are just as bad…. you cater to the almighty facebook by adding the facebook button.