You might have heard people buzzing about Ripples. “Ripple, me, man!” “Dude, you should Ripple that article.” “Did you Ripple me, or are you just glad to see me?” No? You haven’t heard any of this? Well, you will… Soon. Google is always doing something with their services, and the newest one coming from the Google+ camp is the ability to Ripple. Here’s what you need to know about Google+ Ripples and why you should start doing it yourself.
What the heck is a Google Ripple, anyway?
Glad you asked.
Google Ripples is a new graphical component to Google+… When you click the menu arrow in the upper right hand corner of a Google+ post, you’re now given the option to “View Ripples.” Ripples is a visualization that charts the chain reaction that occurs when content is shared on Google+.
Broken down even further, Google Ripples is a really cool way to view who has shared what content, within which circles, across the Google+ network. Think of it like the sharing functionality of Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. Those social networks show you WHO has reposted or favorited content, but it doesn’t so much connect you with new people nor does it establish you as a thought-leader in quite the same way a Google Ripple does.
So with the basics drawn…
Why Should You Participate in Google Ripples?
The short answer: Because you should.
The long answer: Google+ is positioned to become much larger and much more influential over the course of the next few years (find source).
Google Ripples is a completely new and visual way to get your name out there as an industry / thought leader, and it’s to your benefit to start and join conversations. Take for instance Search Engine Land: This is possibly one of the most influential sites for professionals, both established and aspiring, in the digital marketing world. When Search Engine Land posts a new article and it is engaging and relevant, their readers are inclined to share it. And they should. But with Google Ripples, the influence of that share becomes exponentially more important. Take for instance the following Google Ripples screenshot.
See that? Now SEO Inc. is clearly connected directly to an industry leader like SEL, and everyone else who shares this (or doesn’t) will see that and think you’re pretty great too. (How could you not be if you’re sharing such amazing content?)
How are Google Ripples better than Facebook shares and Twitter RTs?
Here’s where it gets interesting… Google Ripples, while not completely unlike Facebook shares and Twitter RTs bridge the gap between the share and the visualization of the share. If you’re a product, at all, of the Internet generation, you are most likely a fan of the ever-popular infographic. This is your chance to basically make your own just by sharing (or starting) a conversation.
But going beyond this, the whole concept of Google Ripples is still relatively unknown by most people. And a good number of publications, while having a mass of followers, are only just starting to see the Ripples. For instance, Fast Company, a personal fave, has 16MM+ views of their profile, but relatively few shares, causing only small ripples for their content. Since I shared an article recently, my name is now in bright lights (or a tiny circle clear to all).
But as with any growing social media network, this functionality will not only get more popular, but it will get better. Even after all this time, the sharing functionality on Facebook is booooooring.
Of course, there are already many people utilizing Google Ripples, and you will see, depending on content and those engaging with it, some vast difference. While above we shared some sites that are still green when it comes to their readers adding to their Ripples, others are quite expansive and impressive. Check out the Dalai Llama.
This could be for one of many reasons; different use of Google+ for people reading sites like Fast Company and Search Engine Land, fewer chances for such engagement and shares, and / or not as many SEO specialists seeking enlightenment. Whatever the case may be, Google Ripples of this magnitude is amazingly fun to look at and explore.
One final thing to consider as a takeaway: Before you post a link to an article you like from a website you visit regularly, head to that site’s G+ page to see if they’ve published the content already. If so, share that original article and get in their Google Ripples.