Something to think about! – Google + shutting down and your blog connection.

I am sure that you  have seen a number of reports on the shutting down of Google+ social network following its cover up of a breach in March this year, resulting in the exposure of the personal data of up to 500,000 internet users. They say that no sensitive data such as bank details or other private information was at risk, but any exposure of private information such as name, address, date of birth, past employment history, photographs or current activities, lends itself to identity theft and fraud.

However, this process according to the tech reports is going to take ten months, and from my perspective the rot has already set in.

In the last couple of months I have noticed an increase in spam on any posts that have been connected from my blog automatically and I have blocked and reported those spammers immediately. However, since the announcement last week, things have deteriorated further. This morning I went in to respond to comments to find that on the posts that were connected in the last few days there were a lot of comments, at least 25% of which were either sexual or derogatory in nature.

Being that is going to take ten months to fully close the site there is clearly going to be an increase in this activity, especially if your account is marked public.

It is disappointing as most of us have several hundred followers or thousands on Google +, but if you take a look at those followers, you will probably find that you are also connected on either Facebook or Twitter, or other sites you use. It was the case with my following there so I have taken decision to stop using the account completely.

One of the problems is that Google has a hand in most things you do online… such as Gmail, Youtube and other services we routinely use everyday. I don’t want to compromise those so here is what you might like to think about doing to protect your privacy and to minimise the spam activity.

You can limit the use of your account by going to settings where you will find a number of options regarding sharing you data on Google +.

  • Go into your profile and click on the pencil to edit the various blocks of information.
  • Delete all non essential data from your profile including birthdate, location, past work history, links to your other sites, an email addresses other than Gmail.
  • If you continue to post on Google + you might want to change who can comment or share by marking it as private rather than public.

On your blog

  • Disconnect Google + from your publicize settings. – you can find these on the side of your current posts.
  • Click on Edit and remove the Google + on any posts you have already scheduled. And click update.

  • To remove Google + from automatic sharing in the future you need to go to your Settings – then click on sharing. You will see a note at the top Publicize and click on the visit WordPress.com sharing page.

  • And click the button to the right of Google + and it will come up with a blue connect button.

 

  • Going forward your post will no longer be automatically posted to Google +

To disconnect the sharing button from the bottom of your post go to the same settings, sharing.

  • Click on the Google + button in the enabled services and drag and drop up into the available services. This will no longer allow readers to share your post to Google +.

I appreciate that this sounds drastic, especially if you have become dependent on using Google + to promote your work. However, things are not going to improve over the next ten months as they go through the closure of the site and you might like to take action sooner rather than later.

I now focus on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to share my posts, and if you are not already a member of LinkedIn then you might consider it. I first joined when I was working many years ago, and in those days, it was a job site basically, where you could showcase your skills and experience.

These days you will find that those authors who consider their writing as a business (as we all should) are populating the site and they are keen to connect.

There are some excellent tutorials on how to tailor your profile and here is a link to one that is quite comprehensive.

https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/blog/2016/11/07/ca-beginners-guide-to-linkedin/

If you are already on LinkedIn then would be very happy to connect: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1/

I hope you have found useful and I am sure if we were connected on Google + we are also connected elsewhere.. so we won’t lose touch. Thanks Sally.

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82 thoughts on “Something to think about! – Google + shutting down and your blog connection.

  1. Thanks for the head’s up, Sally. I hesitated to get involved with Google + and now I’m glad I did. It’s crazy out there, we have to stay on top of these things! I deleted my Facebook account a couple of years ago and with the continued issues they have been having, I’m surprised that they still have the following that they do.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I didn’t know about this although I do have Google +. I did share to it when I remembered to as I thought it was good to have stuff available on Google. I will disconnect my sharing as I think it is automatic. Thank you for letting us know, Sally. Much appreciated.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not sure how I feel about G+ shutting down. I belong to several private communities that are pretty valuable, no spam. But the public ones–not so much. They aren’t closing for education accounts, which is good. Teachers have lots of internal and private groups on G+

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think google+ should wait. Facebook is going to go under with the crap they’re pulling. They have swung the pendulum to the far left instead of finding a middle ground. Their following is getting smaller and I’m seeing more on google+

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi Sal. Thanks bunches for clarifying the weirdness going on with Google. I too have noticed an abundant rise in my spam this past month or so. I’m going to disconnect my Google from sharing posts too. Sad, but necessary. Are you still going to send your posts to Google with different setting:? Like friends only? And I’m including this post in my next ‘Writer’s Tips’ post too. I’ll let you know when that goes out. ❤ xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Debby.. no I have stopped sending posts now all together. Even though they are marked private, I have no idea how secure that really is now. I had about 900 followers but I did a quick scan and to be honest nearly all of them are connected on Twitter or Facebook, the blog or all three. The top referrers to the blog are WordPress Reader – search engines such as Bing, Google (not affected) etc, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Yahoo… in the year that comes to 100,000… and Google + was only 920. which is a fraction of the others. So I will focus on those and make better use of the wordpress reader and Twitter. hugs ♥

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks for doing the FBI work Sal. I’m doing the same now too. ❤ While we're on the topic of weird social media findings. Have you noticed you've lost an odd amount of Twitter followers this past month? In the last 6 years I usually gain at least 100 followers a week. I've been losing several hundred this past month. Now I know Twitter had been closing accounts and searching out bots because of elections, but this is weird! 😦 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have been losing them too.. around 500 in the last few weeks.. They are cleaning house… I don’t follow a lot of those who connect once I have seen what they post.. or in some cases don’t post or who clearly are not George Clooney, Brad Pitt or Prince Harry! Losing those is no great loss. Hopefully things will settle down after November 6th and the votes have been counted. Fingers crossed. ♥♥

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly my thoughts Sal. I do know that I post more politically than you so I suspected it had something to do with that,. but now that you say you’re losing some too, I have to think it’s a major house cleaning by Twitter. ❤ xx

        Liked by 1 person

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  8. Sally, thank you for your post. It’s very helpful to know even though I don’t use Google+. I don’t trust Google with everything they’re doing. I’m still new to Twitter and built a little over 1,000 followers, but being sick for two weeks without checking, when I do check the last couple day, I lost 70 followers (in two weeks). I’m glad to find out the same thing happened to you and Debby.
    My Facebook is still for family and friends. Once by book is out, I’ll create a author’s page.

    Thank you again, Sally. You’re always so informative. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. I always thought Google + was better than commentators gave it credit for and that it didn’t have some of the flaws that other sites did. I pooh-pooed the predicted demise from two or three years ago. Now I have seen one of the groups I participated in filled with porn and the folks that run G+ don’t care. Now I know why. LinkedIn will die next as it finds one way after another to f**k up the groups there. I became the owner of group that was running out of control a few years ago there but I’m trying to figure out whether Facebook is the place to go but after all the issues they’ve had in the last couple years that seems a debatable proposition as well. I had planned on getting there this year but haven’t quite made it. I wouldn’t invest time in LinkedIn if you aren’t already there–they have MANY restrictions on promotion and more coming on communicating with others. It might be good for job seekers, but for writers? NO.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your input John.. I use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn but I have been there for 15 years or so and have mainly authors that I am connected to. My main referrer to my blog is WordPress reader followed by FB and Twitter. I find that the other platforms that popped up just duplicated the connections I had on those three anyway. It takes time to maintain them all and I have decided to focus primarily on FB and Twitter. I will see how that goes… Sally

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  12. Good info. I have not seen any uptick in spam on my blog, but I am not active with Google +, and am not a high-profile blog in any case. I am hesitant to shut off the blog shares to Google +, as I assume that will mean the people who follow me there will no longer see new posts. A majority of my followers use Google + and that worries me.

    I’m also wondering what this means for Blogger. Should I be moving to WordPress? I hate the thought of the hassle (and learning a new platform), but I’ll admit that WP seems like a better platform in any case. Wish I’d gone that way back when I started.

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  13. I’ve always found Google+ a bit of a ghost town, Sally. Very little traffic from it, and nothing from the groups I belonged to. I’d heard the news about it closing, but not about the reasons why.

    I’ve not noticed an increase in spam comments recently. As I moderate all comments first, spam should not get through anyway. I’ll keep checking, though. The last real spam problem I had was comments from Outlook.com email addresses whenever I published a new post. I’d get hundreds of them, all ending up in my WordPress spam folder. However, WordPress seems to have solved that problem now.

    It’s unfortunate that these social media platforms are leaking personal information or being hacked without us knowing about it. It’s one of the reasons why I also deleted my Facebook account.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sally, I’m so disappointed Google+ is disappearing. And even more shocked to hear of data breaches. Thank you for alerting us (me) to the issues you’ve experienced. I’ll be saving this link so I can update my settings.

    Liked by 1 person

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