Bloggers have long used “see related posts” widgets to try and keep readers inside their own site. Now, Google+ is lending a hand in that regard with their new Google+ Recommendation Button.
The button is the same one you’re used to seeing, but now, when you hover, you get a suggested list of additional articles for your reading pleasure. Nifty. Here’s how it looks on MarketingPilgrim.
1. Not every site with a Google+ button has the option. It’s supposed to happen automatically, but perhaps there are different kinds of buttons, or perhaps the roll out is still happening. If it’s not working on your site, you should try updating your code to the latest and greatest before panicking.
2. They’re recommended posts, not related posts. I don’t know how Google chooses what to show but other than the fact that they reside on the same site, I didn’t see any rhyme or reason to the choices. They aren’t related by topic. It’s a mix of older topics and newer ones (a real plus) and in spite of what you see here, they aren’t related by author.
3. And speaking of authors, I tested this on sites where I write and the recommendation dropdown never suggested other articles by me. My feelings are hurt by this. I don’t know why Google+ doesn’t like me.
4. I’ve seen a mention that this works even if you’re not logged in to Google+ but that isn’t true. You have to be logged in because (I think) the engine is trying to match you up with stories your friends have seen or promoted. That could be why my own work doesn’t show up in the list.
Anyway, all of that is nitpicking. The new Google+ recommendation button is an excellent tool for content producers. If you’re producing good content, then the button should help raise your page hits and time on site as well as your social sharing numbers. There’s no bad in that.