Why I dumped Google plus comments after one week?

Why I added Google Plus Comments ?

Google announced Google plus comments on April 18th 2013 for blogger platform.You can read this post by Google for details of it.Below image shows Google Plus Comments in action.I have logged into my Gmail account.I also have Google Plus account.If I visit a website with Google plus comments then my information will be auto populated just like Facebook Comments.

Google Plus Comments Demo
Google Plus Comments Demo

There was no official comment about support for other platforms like WordPress.But WordPress community is fantastic.Soon after above announcement WordPress plugins were created for adding Google Plus comments.Many posts were written to add Google Plus comments without plugin as well.Many websites started using Google Plus Comments on their website.

I was happy with performance of Facebook Comments and default WordPress Comments.But recently I thought to give Google plus comments a try.I added Google Plus Comments couple of weeks ago.The main reason of using Google plus comments were SEO benefits.

I had decent success with Google plus sharing buttons.It does not have same number of sharing as that of Facebook but is certainly better performance than Twitter.This success inspired me to try comments on this site as well.I am listing search engine optimization benefits of Google plus comments

Google Plus Comments Benefits

  • A visitor making comments using it can share the post on Google Plus.According to SEOMOZ Google Search Ranking signals Google Plus has high impact on ranking.Number of Google plus shares have positive correlation with good search engine ranking.They are better than Facebook shares in this matter.A shared post will also bring referral traffic back to your site.
  • Google can easily get idea about interactivity of a post.Comments are measure of interactivity.Good amount of comments made using this platform Interactive and engaging post is sign of good interesting content.Good quality content is always preferred by search engines.
  • You can have only 5000 friends on Facebook.But there is no limitation as such in Google Plus.You can have as many number of people in your circle.Any number of people can have you in their circles.So greater is chance of a content visible to more number of people if shared on Google Plus.
  • Google certainly can differentiate real and fake Google plus profiles.Comments made by real profiles will increase value of your content in eyes of Google.
  • It will also help in personalized search ranking.Personalized search is search made in Google if you are logged into Gmail account.

Seeing above benefits I thought to try it.

How I added Google Plus Comments ?

I used below code to add Google Plus Comments on my website

<h3>Comment using Gmail/Google Plus</h3>
<script src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script>
<div id="plusonecomments"></div>
<script>
    var id = 'plusonecomments';
    var url = window.location;
    gapi.comments.render(id, {
        'href': url,
        'first_party_property': 'BLOGGER',
        'view_type': 'FILTERED_POSTMOD',
	'height':200,
        'width': 600
    });
</script>

You can post this piece of code the place you want to display comment box.The above method works for all platforms.You can set width and height of comment box by setting height and width parameters.In above case I have set it to 600 and 200.

In case you are using WordPress then you need to edit comments.php file of your theme.You can search for comment_form.This line displays WordPress comment form.You can add Google plus comments code above comment_form line.That would display Google plus comments above WordPress Comments form.

In case you are using WordPress and not comfortable modifying the theme files then you can use Google+ Comments.In case you want Google plus comments along with Facebook comments and WordPress Comments you can use Comments Evolved for WordPress plugin.

My Experience with Google Plus Comments

Lack of Comments

I used Google plus comments on this site for one week along with Facebook Comments and WordPress Comments.The first position was given to Google Plus Comment,Second Position to Facebook Comments and last one to WordPress Comments.So I gave maximum exposure to Google Plus comments.I was expecting decent performance.But I had some setback experience.

WordPress Comments performed better than Facebook Comments.Facebook Comments performed better than Google Plus comments.This was expected by me.To make comment using Google Plus you should have Google plus profile.Gmail is very popular but Google plus is not.Facebook is very popular so it outperformed Google plus.

Most of the commenter using WordPress comments had Gmail account.But they preferred using WordPress comments instead of Google Plus Comments.This mean either they do not have Google plus profile or they do not prefer commenting using that profile.Whatever be the reason it did not worked well for me.

One thing is worth mentioning here.The number of comments made did not saw major drop.Visitors used Facebook Comments and WordPress comments as before.But number of comments made using Google plus was too way less despite giving it a premium spot.

Comment Moderation

Moderating Google plus comments is also difficult.It does not have centralized moderating facility as in Facebook Comments.Visitors share their queries and experiences in comment.They expect a reply.If there is no reply then they might turn to other similar websites posting their queries.So simple easy moderation facility is important.

Earlier I gave up Livefyre because of bad moderation experience.We might see improvement in moderation feature of Google Plus comments in near future.I have not tried this on Blogger platform.It can be better for Blogger.But it is certainly not good for other platforms.

User Experience

There is no configuration parameter to restrict number of comments to be shown.Like We can configure Facebook comments to show n number of comments.After that visitor can load extra comments by clicking on Load More.Similar feature is missing in Google Plus Comments.This pushes down other comment system way too low.

Also if there is no comment made using Google plus comments then also it shows lot of blank space below comment form.This also pushes down other comments.Lot of blank space is certainly not good for visitor experience.I tried to counter this by minimizing width parameter.But that did not work out.

Exporting Google Plus Comments to WordPress

None of the plugins mentioned above export Google plus comments to your WordPress database.The code method shared above does not export the comments back to your database.This is really important.In case you might dump using it then you will lose all the comments.

Conclusion

All the reasons mentioned above forced me not to use Google Plus Comments on this site.But I am keeping track of the updates.If these issues are taken care of then I will be inclined to use it.Since it was launched on 18th April 2013 it is still new.It will take time to mature.

But in case you want to use it on your website then I would recommend using WordPress Comments along with Google plus comments.Many of your visitors will not have Google Plus account.Many will not prefer using it for commenting.So using both is preferable.

I would like to know your experience as well.Consider sharing this post in case you found this useful.

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