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What Google+ Communities are all about

Now that I've learned about Google+ Communities, I have decided that they aren't for me, or my clients. But you may like them. This is how they work:

Anybody on Google+ can create a community, about anything. It's a page that allows anyone to post on it (unlike a regular Google+ page). If you're familiar with Facebook "walls", it kind'a feels like that. If it's a community about gardening, for example, people post photos of their flowers, along with comments.

I've taken the time to read the community rules for the different pages that I have experimented with, and while they vary, the underlying theme is the same - this is for fun. Promoting yourself, and using a community as an excuse to post links to a blog, is considered very bad form. And I can understand why. These communities are very tempting to businesses, who see a perfect demographic group to start selling to.

Since I am suggesting organic SEO for my clients, the last thing I want is for them to suddenly appear as a pushy salesman in a community. I have seen this sort of thing "In Real Life" (as if the internet isn't real life!) with a gardening community here in the Phoenix area. A group of like-minded people started meeting to discuss cycads (my favorite plant, and yours, too, no doubt!) and in no time the group was infested with people who were trying to sell stuff. Our meetings quickly turned into just setting up one sales meeting after another for these people.

Yes, I want my clients to have a presence on the internet. I want them to have a Google+ profile and blog about their business. But I don't want them making a pest of themselves where they are not wanted. And businesses are as unwanted in a Google+ Community as pop-up ads.

But the communities are fun. If you like that sort of thing, and maybe seeing some beautiful photos of gardens, by all means join a Google+ Community. Hopefully the moderator will be able to control the people who would turn it into a big sales event. If not, you can skip over those posts, making a mental note to not do that.