As you probably know by now, Google has shuttered Google+. I had put some effort into building a presence in Google+, and even taught about using it for generating traffic in my Instant Traffic Formula course. But it was a side project for me, sharing to there what I was already sharing to Facebook.
A colleague of mine, however, lamented to me that he was losing a lot of top placements. Meaning that he had posted extensively to Google+ over the years, and his Google+ submissions actually would show up in the regular Google search results. All down the drain.
I hope you have learned the lesson from this, even if you never spent time on Google+.
The lesson is simple but brutal: You do not own ANYTHING on a 3rd-party platform.
Your Google rankings, your Facebook page’s Likes, your Pinterest posts, even your domain name are not, and never will be, yours.
You can use them for now, but Google can change their algorithm or penalize you and kill your traffic (has happened to me). Facebook can stop letting you reach most of your Likes (happened to everybody) or kick you off because they don’t like your politics. The social media platform you invested in can get closed down (been there a few times).
And even your domain name — note when you first got it you “registered” it, you didn’t “buy” it! If you infringe on someone’s trademark they can take it from you pretty easily. And yes, it happened to me, though my choice of domain name in that case was foolish, not malicious. Didn’t matter of course.
Simply put, all good things come to an end.
There is only ONE online asset that you truly OWN, and THAT has to be what you focus on building: your contacts list.
A contact list consists of 2 things:
- A way of contacting people (email addresses, phone numbers, etc.)
- Permission to contact them that way
Simple enough, right?
So just remember: as much as possible, whatever you do on a third-party platform must lead potential contacts as quickly as possible to an opportunity to join your contacts list, with a good reason to do so.
A simple example: Google traffic goes to your site, where you push hardest to get the visitors to sign up for one of your email lists, NOT to click on an ad for another site. Once they sign up for your list you can sell them stuff at your leisure. But if they click an ad and leave your site without joining your list they are probably gone forever.
You can and should make more money from your email lists than from ads on your site. If you are not there yet you need to work on that too, because once you get there you will be able to increase your earnings and also to hedge against the catastrophic loss of an “asset” that you built up on someone else’s platform.
This way you lower your risk and increase your profits at the same time.