How to Find People to Circle on Google Plus

Google Plus is now the second largest social network and growing quickly with 500 million registered users and an estimated 343 million active monthly users (January 2013)That is an impressive achievement given that Google Plus only launched in June 2011. But how can you find people to follow? In this article I discuss some of my favorite methods for finding new people to “circle” on Google Plus.

Google Plus Search

By searching for keywords, phrases or even hashtags at Google Plus you can find people who are posting and commenting about topics that interest you.

Google Plus Communities

G+ Communities are a great place to find people interested in the same topics as you. I tend to add those people who are more active in the discussions taking place.

Circle Count

Circle Count ranks Google Plus users according to how many followers they have. They also have some additional metrics that measure the influence of a person, such as the average number of +1s, comments or reshares a person gets for each post. You can browse the most popular people and, if your profile isn’t already being tracked, you can easily add yourself!

How to Find People to Circle on Google Plus

GPlusData

GPlusData is now tracking more than 105 million Google+ users and 1.5 million Pages. In addition to being a great way to find people using their search feature, you can get some excellent data on your account.

Recommended Users

This is a listing of recommended and elite Google Plus users. If you are looking for some very high profile people to circle, you will find some here.

FindPeopleOnPlus

With this site you can search for people by multiple criteria including occupation, gender, age, and even relationship status!

Add People from Shared Circles

Google Plus allows people to share circles they have created. So it’s easy to add a whole circle of people at once if you find a circle that is a great match. Check out my other post on how to find shared circles on Google Plus. learn more about social media tools at http://platformpundit.com/7-tools-for-managing-your-twitter-followers/

GPlus Rank

Gplus-Rank is designed to you find people who write solid articles, have worthwhile news to share, and even find the most interesting people. It does this through a voting system. I’m currently having trouble adding myself there, so I don’t think I’ll be getting many votes. I still found some interesting people to follow.

SocialStatistics

For now, this tool seems to be more of a statistics tool than actually finding people, but if you want to carefully consider who you circle then this is an excellent tool to check them out.

Circle+ Extension for Chrome Browser

Once you start using these tools you might get tired of adding people to your circles one by one! The Circle+ extension for the Chrome browser is quite powerful. Go to a web page and you can click a button to automatically add all the Google Plus-ers on that page to one of your circles.  I do recommend that people use this extension carefully. Remember the key to success with Google Plus is to build circles with people whom you find interesting. Google may restrict your account if you use a tool like this to aggressively follow too many people at once.

Don’t forget… there is also a limit of 5,000 people you can circle.

Did I miss any other good tools for finding people on Google Plus? Please let me know in the comments section below.

Google Discontinues Google Authorship

Google has announced that it is discontinuing its Google Authorship program. Practically this means that the search engine will no longer be tracking data from content using the rel=author markup.

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller had this to say, “I’ve been involved since we first started testing authorship markup and displaying it in search results. We’ve gotten lots of useful feedback from all kinds of webmasters and users, and we’ve tweaked, updated, and honed recognition and displaying of authorship information. Unfortunately, we’ve also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results. With this in mind, we’ve made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results.” 

When Google Authorship was introduced search results would show an author’s profile photo and the number of people who had circled them. Google Authorship was a way for authors to identify themselves as the content creators for display purposes. The image here shows a historical snapshot of such a result.

Google Discontinues Google Authorship

In discontinuing this feature Google explained that including Authorship in the search results did not affect the amount of traffic to sites. But more importantly many blog and web site owners felt the process for markup and linking was too complex to implement. A recent study by Stone Temple Consulting discovered that 70% of authors made no effort in connecting their content with authorship.

The author profile images were actually dropped back in June. At the time Mueller stated in a Google+ post that the decision to remove the photos was to simplify “the way authorship is shown in mobile and desktop search results.” Now the bylines are gone too.”

Mueller adds, “It’s also worth mentioning that Search users will still see Google+ posts from friends and pages when they’re relevant to the query — both in the main results, and on the right-hand side. Today’s authorship change doesn’t impact these social features.”

For more on this latest development and how it affects you I recommend these two excellent articles:

In this YouTube video Maile Ohye from Google advises your startup as if she had only 10 minutes as your SEO consultant. Just a few of the recommendations she makes:

  • Choose if you want your visitors to see your site at domain.com or www.domain.com
  • Verify ownership of your site with Google Webmaster Tools
  • Perform a domain background check
  • Include analytics code
  • Consider customer personas in your site design strategy
  • Include relevant keywords naturally.
  • and more… there’s a lot packed into this short ten minute video.