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.
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.