The Value of Google Collections 1 Week In

Google Collections was introduced on May 4th, one week ago. As I noted at the time there were three constituencies that needed to be addressed for it to be successful; Content Creators & Curators, Content Consumers and of course Google themselves. And as I pointed out, Google’s marketing would be the difference.

Google will obviously take care of themselves and content consumer value will be determined by usage trends over time. I can however speak to its value so far, at least in terms of follower counts (and to a lesser extent engagement) from my point of view as a Content Creator & Curator.

For rollout I created 6 Collections. I subsequently merged the Apple collection into the Mobile Local collection. My typical follower growth up to the introduction of Collections had been very, very consistent at about 100 new followers per week. 

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 4.37.56 PM

On May 4th I had 17,636 followers and all of them were privy to my collections so they had the same. My follower count today is 17,706.

My collections and their current follower count:

Google My Business – Tips & Tools 17,705
Local Search – tips, tactics and news 17,701
Scenes of Rural New York – Barns, Nature and More 17,682
Reviews & Reputation for the SMB 17,700
Apple & Local Search – deleted and content merged with Mobile Local Search
Mobile Local Search 18,524

Note that while most of my collections track my follower growth pretty closely, Mobile Local Search showed a large jump. Why? Because it was a featured collection and was (is) being promoted by Google.

In terms of interactions I can anecdotally say that +1s are up but comments are not.  Site traffic from G+ for the week is up about 4x over the previous week although it is way to early to tell the long term impact on that front. So for me, the benefit has been real if not overwhelming despite several annoying “features” and the lack of availability on iOS. And I think, for other creator/curator types that had their Collections highlighted, probably likewise.

Regardless, it confirms for me my previous conclusion: Collections is a nice but not spectacular feature that can benefit Creators, Curators and Consumers but ONLY if Google promotes it. Otherwise, it is just a me too feature with no significant added value other than that data gained by Google in understanding the world better.

I am curious if you have created Collections what your experience has been.



Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
The Value of Google Collections 1 Week In by

4 thoughts on “The Value of Google Collections 1 Week In”

  1. Thanks for the one week review. It would be interesting to track this after a month just to see if there is a marked difference.

    It has an appeal inside Google+. Does it make a difference outside of Google +? I wouldn’t know.

    Can smb’s use this? I’ll jump in with a prospective answer based on my own experiences, but correct or edit if you think I’m off on this.

    It matters for an smb if you have a local google + following. On that basis though I wonder about its effectiveness. I view FB as far more visible on a social basis and on a local social basis.

    In any case, thanks for the review.

  2. @Dave
    Most smb’s would benefit most from a G+ following that was truly local in nature. IE potential in market searchers that could buy from the business and because they are followers see the posts of the business in both + AND in search.

    However, the scale of G+ (~300 million) is not enough for that to happen. For the local business have a significant access to a large number of local purchasers, G+ would need the billion + scale of Facebook.

    Like I noted before, if these collections were local in nature and Google chose (not by some arbitrary algo) to show them along with the local results… good things could happen.

  3. I created a collection for photos etc. of overwater bungalows, and honestly did nothing at all to promote it, and got 746 followers. That’s a big number, considering how few G+ connections I have.

  4. @Michael
    That is interesting. Are many of the new followers US based or foreign based?

    I just visited your Collection. Since you create it public to start all of your current followers are following the Collection automatically. If you don’t want current followers to see the content of the Collection, just new people that follow it, you need to Edit the Collection and change the People that have you in circles automatically follow this collection setting.

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