Are You Sharing Article Links to Google Plus? It’s Time to Stop It

Do you merely link your article to Google Plus every time you write a blog post?  If so, you are missing a BIG opportunity to showcase your article. 

Are You Sharing Article Links to Google Plus? It's Time to Stop It

Why? Because images attached to links on Google Plus are small. They are not showcased. They are lost in a stream of great imagery.  In this post, I show you a simple way to get your content noticed, and join in on the Google Plus image-fest!

Because, yes, if you are just posting your image via the link to Google Plus – it’s time you stopped. Trust me, it’s getting lost in the newsfeed, and there is a better way.

And the better way will result in more attention to your post and that, my friend, will lead to more traffic to your website.  Which is what we all want, right ?

Here’s the scenario.  For a long time, I was posting my links to Google+ just like everyone else. It’s easy from your social media scheduling tool, right?  Just upload the link, post it to Google+…..Sorted.

Not so, it would seem.

You see, the thing is, that Google Plus is HIGHLY visual. It is one of the most image-centric platforms on the web. I mean, even their cover photo is a massive 2120 x 1192 pixels.  And your profile photo a tiny 270 x 270 pixels.  Now that is some big time real estate at the top of your profile. But we will get to that another time.

What I am wanting you to take notice of is the newsfeed:  In the Google Plus Newsfeed, linked images are shown with a very small photo and a link description.  If you are linking your articles, I need you to not do that anymore.


Because the images are soooooo small.

Check this out:

Image showing links getting lost on Google Plus - Socially Sorted Blog
Even a small image stands out against a sea of “meh” links

With so many people (including me, yes I will admit I was lazy!) posting links to their articles the easy way, it’s easy to stand out.  In the image above, even the small image stands out against a sea of links.

So what happens when you do it differently and what do you need to do?  Well, instead of just uploading the link, do this:

  1. Go to your G+ account and upload the photo. 
  2. Add a great description and put the link IN your description – it’s clickable.
  3. Boom. You have a photo that is soooooo much bigger than the image on your article link would have been.

It’s just like this.  In the following image, note the carrot image from this blog post vs the teeny tiny red link image from this blog post.  Big difference, hey?

Image showing an uploaded image vs a linked image on Google plus - Socially Sorted Blog Post

Same type of blog post. Same clickable link.  But one stands out a LOT more on the G+ newsfeed.

It doesn’t take much to upload an image. Virgin does it well with this image:

Image showing Virgin Image on Google Plus on Socially Sorted Blog
Yes Sir Richard. It definitely makes a splash on G+

It’s that easy.  Upload an image, add the link in your description, and you too can make a splash.

As you can see, a whole bunch of image sizes work on G+.  Heck, anything is better than a teeny tiny article link photo, right?  But if you want to find out more about ideal image sizes, check out this post.

Go on now, head on over to your newsfeed and take a look. Switch to the “All” newsfeed and see what you see….do the big photos stand out? Oh yes, they do.

I hope your photos get to join them!

Are you going to start taking the extra few minutes to upload your photos to G+?  If you do, and it works for you, be sure to let me know in the comments below!  

Create Traffic Driving Images

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, a Top 10 Social Media Blog Winner in 2015 & 2016, and winner of the 2014 Best Australian Blogs Competition (Business Category). Donna helps businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs use visual social media and content strategy to get more traffic, shares and sales in their business. She is a contributor to Entrepreneur Online and Social Media Examiner and has been featured in Forbes, NBC, Yahoo, the Huffington Pos, Entrepreneur and Problogger.
  • Social Media Training School

    Again…. another gem of a post by you Donna. A wealth of information who is always willing to share you knowledge to the benefit of others. Yes, I have taken the lazy option as well, but will be much better now after the insight you have offered.

  • Social Media Training School

    Again…. What an absolute gem of a post by you Donna. You are always a wealth of information who is always willing to share you knowledge to the benefit of others.
    Yes, I have taken the lazy option as well, but will be much better now
    after the insight you have offered.

    • Thanks! It’s definitely worth the effort, even for your most important posts – and only takes a minute!

  • Caitlin Van Essen

    Wow! Great info thanks heaps. Heading over to sort out my Google + posts pronto

  • Gary

    For me, it’s just a matter of convenience. I’m cross-pollinating from my blog to G+, Twitter and my FB feeds. I’d rather the quick links to just go through rather than uploading graphics across three platforms in order to gain real estate.

    • For sure Gary – great point – and yes if it is a matter of convenience, then by all means post the link – I am sure there will be times then I may do that if pressed for time or it is tricky by mobile but for my new posts or images I want to share I will still upload them as an image as well. It’s an added option but a good one. Thanks for sharing!

  • Carolyn M

    YES! What a great lesson for today. I don’t think I’ve ever uploaded a picture to G+ and now I will follow your directions and be better for it! Thanks for teaching us how to do this! I signed up for your newsletter! High Five!

    • Thanks so much Carolyn – that means a lot. Have fun with it …and just quietly my best tips are on the newsletter so stay tuned!

  • Janie at BfB

    Brilliant tip. Thanks

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  • Wow , Guy Kawasaki never mention this tips in his both e-books on Google+
    Thanks for your great tips .

    • Thanks so much – that’s quite an honour to be listed in the same sentence as Guy – he’s a smart guy and is a rockstar on G+…I think there are still advantages to posting a link over not posting at all (ie you get the google juice of a link) but you are competing against a lof of other links – so I like focusing on engagement and helping people see your content in the first place by throwing some great images into the mix! Let me know if you have some success with it!

  • George

    Good one

  • Amrik

    Now, that’s what I call worthful article. Great tip. I will try it very soon.

    • Hey Amrik – that’s what I call a wonderful comment and great feedback. Thanks so much!

  • Hey Donna, I took your advice to-day and got twice as many shares. Thank you!!! Ian

    • Ian, my friend! That is just awesome! I am finding the same thing, actually – about double the engaement, +1s and shares! I am sure links are great, and if pressed for time I will still use some, but going the extra mile to upload even a few photos makes a difference. I am definitely drawn to the images. Chuffed that it worked for you!

  • The same trick also works on Facebook though it’s less effective there because FB puts less emphasis on images. Still, some pages do better with views and clicks if they upload link shares as images. Something to test.

    • Oh absolutely Jonathan – I have posted about the advantages of using imagery on Facebook, as I find that it is great for engagement and shares (text is still great for reach)…so it was part of the reason why I made the effort to check out whether images work really well on G+ as it is very image-centric. Glad to hear you are testing and playing with it. When you get the balance right, images can be very powerful.

  • Great post Donna! Had never even given it any thought! Definitely will from now on.

    • Thanks Cas – I just couldn’t get over the difference in the image sizes. Already I am seeing double the engagement and my readers are too – ie +1s and shares. A straight link is always great as far as Google is concerned, and I will continue to use them (especially if pressed for time) but images are definitely driving traffic over on G+. That’s why the photographers love it so much!

  • Hey Donna, I have read that sharing links in text doesn’t give you Google juice like a regular link post. So I guess we should share them both ways then!

    • Hey Louise – for sure, I have heard that too and it makes sense that Google would like links. The issue I have is that there are so many posts and boog posts that you can wait and hope that people find you by organic or direct search on Google, or go where they are hanging out and grab their attention, and I know that you agree that images work for that. I totally agree with you though, a mix of links and image+link posts is a great idea to catch both methods of driving traffic…and let’s be realistic….ha ha…there will be times when I am busy and will still post a link, but I will always try to use an image if I can.

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  • catherine holt

    I have been tpssing up what to do with this one for a while! I didn’t like how the images were so much smaller when adding the post with the link, but then I was adding the link for the Google juice! It would be great if there was a way to upload the photo and also have an option to upload the link….but I have been playing with this and not found it yet!

    • You are right Catherine – it is a toss up with the Google Juice – but then I figure it this way – most of my quality traffic is from shares of posts on blogs and social media and not so much from searches on Google, so I think a mix is best, but I will definitely be doing a lot of uploaded images. I am sure there will be times when I am busy and a link will be great, and perhaps I will still do that to mix it up, but I am really going to start making a concerted effort to post more images on G+, for sure! I gotta say, I am surprised that they don’t make the link images bigger, given how much emphasis G+ places on images…

  • Love this! Thanks for sharing. Now to find the time to upload the image and then the link 🙂

    • ha ha yes, it takes time, that’s for sure, but not hugely long. I would suggest just starting with your priority posts and then go from there. I will still be posting links, especially if I am mobile, but I will gradually switch over to more images.

  • Hi, visuals grab more people attention to click the content and YES! when it comes to image G+ sucks. You’ve shared wonderful tips. Thanks.

    • You are welcome – glad you found it useful!

  • You are welcome – glad you found it useful!

  • Thanks for this reminder. I just heard from a client looking for a better way to put out more links to an article. He’s read that more links get more readers.

    I answered that it probably is true. Makes sense that you get more clicks with more ads. But that’s meida, not social.

    Since I started creating an individual post for each community I’m involved with, I know I’m getting fewer impressions, and occasionally less clicks as I don’t always take the time to get to it all. The difference in readership is that the people arriving are more apt to engage, meaning I take more time to answer comments and all those pesky leads and sales from people who know me and learn to trust me. 🙂

    • You have mentioned the holy grail of marketing right there Warren – having your clients know and trust you! ha ha. I tend to get better results with the images so I will see how I go but I will continue to post links occasionally too as a comparison. It is strange that they don’t make the link images bigger really – G+ is such a visual platform and they seem to love photos so it would make sense to make the link images bigger!

  • Different strategies really depends on the platform that we use. Time consuming yet challenging, this is what Google + wants us to do, give time and accept the challenge. Creating another promotional content that can attract viewers is another thing that we need to consider. Thanks for this interesting post, its very helpful in driving traffic and building connections.

    • Thanks guys – I think you are right – it is all about driving traffic and building connections!

  • Lynne

    Great information, thanks! Wasn’t aware of that! Now I can make sure that my images are seen clearly and have the impact that they are ought to have.

    • Cheers Lynne – glad you found it useful. Google Plus is definitely very imagecentric – I hope that they make the links more “visible” someday soon too….

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  • Great tips Donna!! Am now changing how I do it.

    • Thanks Caz! From the feedback I am getting, many readers are seeing more engagement with uploaded images (50% increase reported by some) – I am surprised that G+ doesn’t showcase linked images more given how image-centric they are, but let’s hope it changes. But for you guys with lots of great travel images, it sure is worth experimenting with whether you get more engagement, shares etc. Let me know how it goes!

  • I always do this for Facebook. I was worried doing this with G+. Will it negatively impact the SEO benefits if you don’t use the link function?

    • Hey Jen – I too have heard that G+ has some google juice bonuses for links but it is a toss up for me between hoping that the google juice sends people to my site and the article gets found amongst a million other articles fighting for keyword and google search OR finding people where they hang out….and so far I am getting a lot more success taking content to people where they hang out…so I am still experimenting but a lot of readers are saying that they are getting a great response from uploading images too, so I think it is worth a shot, and perhaps mix it up a bit!

      • Thanks for that feedback. I think I’ll give it a go with the images.

  • Am new to Google+ so still finding my feet. Great pointer, I will upload in the future I didn’t realise they are so small. Still trying to find out the difference between +1 and share, to me they look like they do the same thing, post to your profile which I assumed will be seen by people who have added you to your circle, or is it public. Clueless hehe

    • Never Clueless Sassy (and you can’t be clueless with a name like Sassy! ha ha). Do a scan of your G+ newsfeed and you will see what stands out. Photographers LOVE G+ for how it showcases images. In a way it is similar to Facebook but you get to see what everyone posts – there is no “culling” of what gets shown. And it is even more visual! Have fun with it.

  • Sonja Sandholm-Pound

    Thanks for the info. I’m just venturing into adding Google+ to my marketing – great to know about image size and how to post blogs. Thanks.

    • You are welcome Sonja. Starting out on G+ if you can keep imagery in mind you are off on the right foot! Have fun with it!

  • Dimitra Decorasylum

    I was wondering how some of my g+ contacts were posting big photos of their posts when mine were tiny. Thanks to your article, I now know how they did it and after stop using the “easy way”, my blog posts’ cover images are bigger and more visible. Many thanks and greetings from Greece!

    • Awesome Dimitra…and a big hello to Greece! I have not been there for many years but hope to get back there soon with my family. Have fun with the bigger images, and let me know how it goes!

  • Sonja Sandholm-Pound

    thank you! I am new to google+ and appreciate any tips. This was perfect, as I was just about to post my first blog link. Did as you suggested and it looks great.

    • That’s great Sonja! Thanks so much for letting me know! Have fun with G+!

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  • Zainninsar

    Hi, thats exactly what i do on facebook and my organic reach and hence results icreased by four times! But as facebook is on road to suicide and have killed almost all organic reach so i am going to move to G+ and your tips are spot on i can affirm that by my FB experience. But here’s a question! How reach works on G+ ?

    • Glad to hear you are doing some good things on Facebook! I think on G+ is it less about reach and more about building community and circles to share with and engage with – all posts are (currently) seen in the newsfeed on G+ so it is not so much like FB where maybe 5-10% of your community see your posts, because of the way reach works. all posts are shown so I guess it is different over there… and hopefully it will stay that way!

  • mel

    That’s a nifty tip that your’e sharing to the public ;). Small change big improvement. 🙂

    • Thanks Mel – I think a mix of both is good – Google definitely rates article links in Google+ but then again attention is snared with big photos, so mix it up!

  • I would say it is an excellent article. To be honest, I have learned this technique a few
    months back, and it has definitely worked for me.

    I write technical articles and my focus was to write about the subject with few good examples and images. Until I realized when I publish it on the social media, it needs to be more visible and visually appealing.

    This is what makes my work stand out in the crowd, and the chances are that they will read my

    Thank you.


    • Thanks Arun – Great to hear – though I have to say that I do a bit of both now – the article links definitely get featured on google, and the images stand out, so I try to share the link as well as a great image from each post – the best of both worlds!

      • Thank you maam, for a great article with a great response. I love your articles, its very encouraging and refreshing.

  • Andrij Harasewych

    Except that now – update the article – link shares are better!

  • James McAllister

    HOW do you make the BIG PHOTO a link to your web site instead of a link to the photo? FB makes this V E R Y easy to do. Why doesn’t Google +?

  • Aasiyah Michelle B

    This is a great article however I am trying to write a description to the photo but I can’t find the area where I do this. It only has CAPTION, which is not linking my site to the photo. Please help.. I’m thinking this doesn’t apply today but I could be wrong. Thank you

  • It is an Interesting idea…