Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Google Plus

Google Plus Getting Started Guide

Are you new to Google Plus and need help getting started with the network? This page was made with you in mind! This intro course is provided FREE to everyone to show the quality of work that has been put into organizing our course material. All links from this course lead to paid course material, please click here to read more about this course and sign up.

What is Google+?

Google Plus acts as a “social layer” for Google, the world’s largest search engine company, and is integrated into its every product and service, such as Search, Android, YouTube, Chrome, Local and Drive.

At its core, Google Plus is an interest-based platform where like-minded individuals communicate, collaborate and create as a community. Unlike other social media networks, this platform gives you an unparalleled opportunity to forge meaningful, long-term relationships by consistently engaging with peers and other industry experts.

Table of Contents

Note for First Time Users: Use the following links to jump to the sections you need assistance with. This structure is used throughout all training modules. After “jumping” to the section, you can also use the bottom right arrow in your browser to jump back to the top of the page if you want.

  1. Why is Google+ Important?
  2. The time to join Google+ is now!
  3. Registering your Google+ account.
  4. Don’t be a bluehead!
  5. What are circles? Why do I need them?
  6. How do I share something?
  7. How to increase engagement.
  8. The +1 button explained.
  9. The share button explained.
  10. What is a mention?
  11. Google+ reshare etiquette.
  12. Google+ formatting options.
  13. Google+ Pages for beginners.
  14. Google+ hashtags explained.
  15. Google+ Communities explained.
  16. The basics of Google Hangouts.
  17. Muting or blocking a person on Google+.

Why is Google Plus Important

Google Plus is unique because it functions as a micro-blogging, video-conferencing and community-based forum all at once. Consequently, it offers multiple ways to share your content with an interested audience. Features such as Circles and Communities enable users to take control of whom they interact with by allowing them to organize and sort their connections. Its free video-chat service, Hangouts on Air (or HOA), personalizes “virtual” relationships in a manner that is educational, entertaining and engaging. Further, a feature such as Google Plus Local allows local businesses to improve their brand visibility and interact with their customers on a social level.

The greatest advantage of being on Google Plus is perhaps that it is backed by a powerful brand like Google. While there is no proven evidence of a direct correlation between social signals on this network and search engine result page (SERP) rankings YET, the Hummingbird update has made it clear that authority and reputation play a powerful role while ranking websites.

Google Plus posts are indexed by search engines, and its Profiles and Pages are treated much like any other website and given a PageRank by Google. Hence, any inbound links that lead to your Profiles and/or Pages act as powerful social signals, having the potential to impact your search engine results page ranking. Finally, Google Authorship is a powerful tool to lend a face to an author’s name, thereby building credibility and reputation.

Overall, Google Plus offers several versatile, cost-effective and easy-to-use tools that will position you as an expert in your industry and considerably strengthen your brand.

The Time to Join Google+ is NOW

Google Plus has over 540 million active monthly subscribers across all Google services and 300 million active users to the Google Plus stream, second next to only Facebook, having overtaken Twitter in January 2013. Clearly, this social network is poised for explosive growth.

However, Google Plus is still in the “early adopter” stage. Despite the aforementioned benefits, this platform is referred to as a “ghost town,” having not been embraced with the same zeal as Facebook, Twitter or even Pinterest by the “mainstream” audience. But, like with most products and services, becoming an early adopter of Google Plus will give you the much needed edge over your competitors.

With its abundance of free tools and connection opportunities, Google Plus is the ideal platform to become known as a thought leader for your industry. Getting in early will allow you to establish authority and trust with other pioneers. In today’s customer-centric, socially-driven world, creating transparent, trust-based relationships is one of the most powerful assets for any business. This way, you will always be a step ahead of the late entrants who wouldn’t have fully comprehended the tremendous potential of Google Plus as a social media marketing network for businesses.

Now is the right time for you to join this fun, friendly and favorable community. Jump onto the Google Plus bandwagon today and experience the immense reach, visibility and connectivity benefits of Google’s social media layer.

Registering Your Google+ Account

The process is rather simple. If you don’t have a Google account, get one. Otherwise, click here to be taken to a screen like this:

Join Google+

The boxes should be filled out for you already, you just need to click that blue “Upgrade” button and you’re account will go live. From there, Google will ask you to add people from your address book and show you how to get started.

Don’t Be a Bluehead!

Don't Be a BlueheadThe absolute worst thing you can do is leave your profile photo the default bluehead. I highly recommend an actual clear face photo, either professionally photographed or you performing or doing one of your favorite hobbies and/or family-friendly activities.

Updating your cover photo will increase interest in you, interest in your profile and interest in your content. In social media, interest, which leads to networking, is everything!

Later on, I’ll be teaching you about circle sharing and for me and several of my circle sharing buddies, we actually make it a point to remove blueheads! This means that people I have gathered and were going to make my hot circle share got removed just because they didn’t update their profile photo!

What are circles? Why do I need them?

Think of Google Circles as categories. You likely have many interests in life and finding people to fit those interests on Google Plus is easy and fun with a quick Google Plus search. With Circles, you can categorize people by your interests.

Create many circle groups around your interests, business(es), and more. There’s no limit to the amount of circle groups you can create, so go nuts. Trust me, as you grow your Google Plus, you’ll want to be able to take advantage of other advanced features we will be going over in this mastermind course.

Begin managing your circles on Google+ – Click here.

How Do I Share Something on Google+?

Sharing a Post on Google+Using the animated GIF I created for you on the left, you will need to find the small arrow icon on the bottom of the post you’d like to share, then click the share button to share this post.

In my example here, I chose to share it to Public but you can share a post to a community or share the post privately to whatever circle groups you have.

If you choose “Your Circles” as your share option, then the post would be available for viewing by anyone that you have in any circle group.

If you choose “Extended Circles” then your post would be available for viewing from all of your circles and all of their circles as well. Your extended circles include people in your circles’ circles. Content shared with your extended circles will be visible on your posts tab to people who have access.

Getting back to communities, it is a little trickier, but if you know the community you’d like to share a post to, just click the share icon, remove whatever Google has in the “To” box and begin typing your community that you’d like to share to. Some communities have categories within them that you would need to select from before you can share to that community.

How to Increase Engagement

Google Plus is a social networking platform and, because of that, engagement is your key to success. This platform was founded on the principles of learning, sharing, caring and growing as a community. The most successful Plussers generously share other people’s content and take pleasure in watching others strengthen their brand.

In other words, knowledge-hoarding has no place on Google Plus.

To this end, the social signals addressed in this section allow you to endorse someone else’s work in public. They act as wonderful networking tools because appreciating the content of others will get more people to check out YOUR profile and posts. Relationship-building is very important to succeed in today’s social world, and the following signals will allow you to create the ‘right’ relationships the ‘right’ way. As a side note, when social signals gain more prominence in search engine ranking, these features will become even more crucial to improve your online visibility and build authority.

The +1 Button Explained

Google+ + IconPlus One (+1) is a ‘virtual recommendation’ and the Google Plus way of saying, “I like this post” or “I agree with this post.” The author of the post will then be sent a notification that their post was ‘+1’d’ by you. When you share a useful post from a website outside Google Plus, say from a blog, by clicking on the “G+” social media icon, you are automatically +1’ing’ that post. Higher number of +1s indicates that the post resonates with more people.

Plus One also acts like a bookmark because Google Plus stores all the pages that you have +1ed from around the web in your Profile. You can choose to display your selections to others by modifying your Google Settings.

The Share Button Explained

Google+ Share IconBy sharing content, you are going one step ahead of the +1. Instead of just ‘liking’ a post, you are now ‘recommending’ a post to your Followers, thereby improving the visibility of that post. A notification will be sent to the person whose post you are sharing. As mentioned above, the basis of Google Plus is ‘sharing’. The more you share, the more people will notice you. It is, therefore, one of the most effective techniques to build connections in this community.

In fact, it is strongly recommended that newcomers on Google Plus spend the first month or two just sharing other people’s content. While sharing a post, don’t just click on the share button and make your post. Instead, add your own comments and thoughts to the original post (while sharing), so you will be looked upon as an independent thinker.

As your reputation grows and you build a network of interested followers, you can then start posting your own content along with sharing other content that interests you. With appropriate content and connections, your posts will soon start getting engaged with, including shares, plusses, and comments. This unique give-and-take relationship on Google Plus is one of its strongest differentiating qualities and cannot be found on any other social media platform.

What is a Mention?

Google+ Mentions

“Mentioning” or tagging someone is arguably the strongest social signal of Google Plus, and is used when you want to acknowledge someone’s contribution (in public or private). It acts like an alarm by grabbing the attention of the person being mentioned.

In order to ‘mention’ someone, just type ‘+’ followed by that person’s name. A notification is immediately sent to that person who will then, hopefully, return the favor by acknowledging you. If you are mentioning people who don’t have you in their circles yet, this action might sufficiently interest them to check out your profile and follow you back. That is, a simple plus sign has the potential to result in another beautiful and beneficial connection!

Tagging someone is also a way of expressing gratitude on this platform, and is particularly powerful while sharing a post. When you tag original authors while sharing posts, you will not only arouse their interest, it is also your way of sending them a ‘personal Thank You note’ for some fantastic content. If you are re-sharing a shared post, mention the original author and the person who shared that original post. If a post has been shared multiple times, mention the original author and one or two other people who shared that post.

To sum up, +1, mention and share are highly useful engagement tools on Google Plus for creating mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with a relevant and rapt audience that is willing to soak up more of your content.

Google Plus Reshare Etiquette

One of the strange ways Google Plus works is if you reshare a share, the middle-man will not be credited or shown in your post. Huh? Let me explain:

Google+ Reshare EtiquetteLets say you came across this post on the left in Google Plus. You find it valuable and want to share it on to your audience in Google Plus.

Obviously, you’d hit the share button, type a great description like I did, and share it on. But what happens to “Scott Buehler” in this case? His post was a share of Jason T. Wiser’s original post.

What would happen is Jason’s post would appear under your comment and leave me completely out of the equation. That’s where reshare etiquette comes in to play. When you come across a post you want to share and it was already shared by someone else (Scott Buehler in this case), you should:

  • Click the share button and type your description.
  • In the description, you should include: H/T +ScottBuehler
  • Then share the post.

H/T means Hat Tip. This is telling your audience that you found this original post from a share that Scott Buehler posted on his stream and you are thanking Scott for helping you discover the content.

What this will do is cause me to get a notification that I was mentioned which I will likely return a comment thanking you for the H/T.

Google Plus Formatting Options

Google+ Formatting Options

As you can see in the screenshot above, there are three ways to format text for your Google Plus posts.

  • *Bold* – Using asterisks will bold the text.
  • _Italics_ – Using underscores will make the text have italics.
  • -Strikethrough- – Using dash with cause a strike-through effect.

Formatting DemoI posted the above rich text demo to a private post to show the outcome of the above post. As you can see to the left, once posted to Google Plus, the text has the intended bold, italics, and strike-through effects we wanted.

Use formatting as much as possible to create attention-grabbing headlines and to make the text flow better for the average reader.

Google Plus Pages for Beginners

Google+ Pages

While Google Plus Profiles represent individuals, Google Plus Pages represent ‘entities’. An entity could include a brand, product, organization, local business, cause or other categories. However, much like Google Profiles, Pages too are ideal to position you as a thought leader. These are excellent opportunities for entities to showcase themselves in a manner that is unique, fun and memorable. You can manage up to 50 business pages using a single Google account, and each page can have up to 50 managers.

With the prevalence of Internet in our lives, it has almost become a norm to search for businesses online before deciding whether to connect with them. Google Pages makes it easy for customers to find your business on different channels, such as Search, Mobile, Google Plus or Maps, using any device. Take care to fill the About section of your Page completely because this will enable current and potential clients to get in touch with you at the right time and right place.

In addition, the world has gone social and ‘talking’ to your customers has become a necessity. Google Plus Pages allow you to engage in an interactive dialogue with your audience and build a loyal following. For instance, features such as Reviews help you immediately understand how the world perceives you. A well-maintained Google Plus Page will be responsive and proactively address any issues. By consistently keeping in touch with customers, a business can give rise to brand advocates who will happily recommend and share your content across the web.

Bottom line, customers want to feel like they matter and Google Plus Pages guide entities towards achieving this goal!

Creating a Google+ Page

Introduction to Creating Google Pages

Google Plus Pages allow entities, such as brands, organizations and causes, to have an engaging public presence online and especially on Google Plus. With similar interactivity and privacy features as a Google Plus Profile, Google Plus Pages has the potential to strengthen your brand considerably.

Creating a Google Plus page is a simple and FREE process that only requires a Gmail ID. The various types of pages allowed are:

  • Local business or Place Page
  • Product or Brand Page
  • Company, Institution, or Organization Page
  • Arts, Entertainment, or Sports Page
  • Other (Use if your page doesn’t fit in another category)

As mentioned in the Why Is Google Plus Important section, Google Plus Local is a powerful tool for local businesses because it allows you to gain valuable real estate on Google and communicate in a personalized and proactive way with your current and potential customers. But before creating a Local Business or Place page, it has to first be verified by Google. They do this by sending a verification pin – either via phone or mail. It should be noted that this pin is valid only for 30 days. Once you verify your page using the pin, you are allowed to create a Local Business or Place page.

Apart from the additional verification step for the Local Business or Place page, most of the remaining steps are the same for the rest of the pages. You will be asked to select a Category (this step is not there for the Others page), select a Page name, provide a link to an external website, select the appropriate audience and accept the terms and conditions. Voila – you have created a page!

By default, the Google Plus Pages settings are public. But you can control the visibility for many profile features and posts, adjust notification settings and choose your audience.

Google Plus provides you with an effective, feature-rich platform and a user-friendly interface to vitalize the online presence of entities. Take advantage of this opportunity to create an enviable brand perception and reputation in the minds of your audience.

Fill in the About Section of a Google Plus Page

The About section is the ‘soul’ of your Google Plus Page, and gives entities an opportunity to create a strong brand perception in the minds of their audience. This is your chance to communicate your personality, values and accomplishments by striking a balance between brevity and detail.

As depicted in the following screenshot, there are four sub-sections in the About tab: People, Story, Contact Information and Links.

Google+ About Section

Let us look at each separately:

People

Gives you an immediate insight into your Circle counts

Story

This is the most important sub-section because it allows you to convey the essence of your entity. Use a clear and concise tagline – with the appropriate keywords – that quickly tells your audience who you are. This tagline is displayed in your hovercard, which is like your Google Plus business card and comes up every time somebody hovers the mouse over your Profile Picture. Hence, extra care must be taken to depict your company in the best possible way.

On the other hand, the Description section is the place to get imaginative! One of the best features of Google Plus is that it offers unlimited space for the Description. Hence, utilize this opportunity to position your entity as imaginative, innovative and interactive. Again, sprinkle the most important keywords without coming off as spammy.

Contact Information

Filling out your contact information thoroughly makes it easy for others to find you.

Links

Make sure you enter the link to your website. You could also add links to other pages that appeal to you in order to give a more complete picture of your entity’s interests.

To sum up, filling in the About section completely is key to improving the reach and connectivity of an entity. So be creative, honest and comprehensive.

Sharing a page to your main profile for exposure

There are multiple ways to increase the visibility and exposure of a Google Plus Page, one of which is to share it to your Google Plus Profile. This is especially beneficial if your Profile is followed by a large number of people.

Most Plussers tend to look at your Profile before deciding whether to circle you. Hence, specifying the link to your Page on your Profile might encourage visitors to check out your Page too.

We tend to shy away from Google Plus Pages because they represent ‘entities’ or ‘brands’. There is a natural level of distrust associated with them. On the contrary, Profiles represent people, and therefore seem more ‘human’, which automatically draws more visitors.

Hence, it makes sense to utilize the power Google Plus Profiles to promote Google Plus Pages.

Google Plus Hashtags Explained

Hashtags are useful inside Google Plus because they help you find posts that use them and also help you organize your own posts that use them. As an example, I’ve started my Hyperball shared circle to reward people who are active in my posts as well as a way to help people populate their Google Plus feeds. In my posts, I use the hashtag #hyperball so that people can find my circle shares easily.

  • How to create a hashtag? Simply use “pound” in front of the word. Using #extremenetworker in your post, when published, will create the link #extremenetworker.
  • How can I use hashtags? You can click them from other posts to see topics posted with the hashtag or use the Google Plus search to see them in action. Try a search on your interests and you’ll likely see many posts using hashtags.

Extreme Networker

When you do a search on Google Plus, you’ll see a grey search bar below the search field that allows you to filter your results. If you’d like to see what your circled friends are posting with that hashtag, click the More option then “From your circles” as shown in the screenshot above.

There are many ways you can use hashtags in Google Plus. You can create your own, use them privately, categorize all of your posts, and however else you feel they might be of value to you.

Hashtags

In the interest of most exposure to your posts, the first 3 hashtags are the most important because they are given priority in the actual post as shown above (on the upper right). Personally, I rarely exceed using more than 3 hashtags per posting, however, my circle shares I do use a lot more. Depending on how many words you use in your post, even if you use no hashtags at all, Google Plus will automatically add their own most relevant hashtags to your post (unless you specifically say not to in preferences).

Google Plus Communities Explained

You can think of Google Plus Communities like Facebook Groups. In that sense, the community on Google Plus is the “forum” and Internet discussion section based around thousands of topics. You can find communities that discuss art, science, literature, social media, amusing memes, animations, music and many more.

Searching Communities

All you need to do is search Google Plus for a topic that interests you, and then click on the Communities link in the navigation bar to find communities on that topic. Or, you can browse all communities on Google Plus and find ones that interest you as well. In the example above, I’ve searched for “tigers” to bring up a listing of communities that have “tiger” in their name. After finding a community that you want to join, click on the community to be taken to its page and click the “Join Community” button to be added.

Once you find some awesome communities based around your interests, I highly recommend circling people that provide excellent content. This way, you can follow their posts on your main feed and engage their content. The more you engage with them, the more you become part of the community and the more popular you’ll become (often, they will circle you back if you post great content too).

With Communities, you can create Private Communities or Public Communities.

  • Private Communities – These communities are geared to be an exclusive group of permitted people. As a creator, you can mark these to not be searchable within Google Plus or you can allow them to be searchable but members must ask to join to be a part of the community. An example of this use: A company wants a central location for all of their employees to discuss topics, rant, suggest, and more, but hide the topics from the general public and Google Plus users.
  • Public Communities – As it sounds, these communities are open to the public. The communities are searchable within Google Plus search and as a creator, you can leave the community open for anyone to join or you can set it so that users must request to join and be approved before they can contribute to the community.

The Basics of Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts are a way for you to video-chat with one or more people directly with other Google account owners. Besides video chats, you can also engage other members in group conversations, chat, and so much more. Take a look at Google’s Hangout video:

Hangout operators can also do “Hangouts on Air” and record the entire session directly to YouTube to share and view later which is an amazing feature. The Hangout possibilities are endless. Strike up a conversation with a group of people you find interesting, have weekend gatherings, heck, play a few games together in a hangout session. The best part about hangout is, once you have a decent following, you can start your own hangouts and make yourself an authority on a topic that interests you. If you know a topic extremely well and want to share your knowledge, starting hangout sessions might be your ticket to fame on Google Plus.

Muting or Blocking a Person on Google Plus

Once you get a decent following, it is inevitable that you will start receiving SPAM or unwanted content from people on Google Plus.

Muting or Blocking a Person

Using the diagram above, you will need to browse to the person’s main profile then click the down arrow and select either:

  • Mute <person>
  • Report / block <person>

If you click the Report option, you will receive the screen above to select the options you want to use to block the person.

Comments

    • says

      Thanks for commenting Louis, you are actually my first comment on this relaunched website! I found you on Google Plus and added you to my next hyperball as a token of my gratitude. Thanks for sharing this with your feed as well.

      • Yana Ames says

        Hi Scott, I was just wondering why nobody can see my posts anywhere but on my page? I sometimes want to share something with a community, no spamming or anything, and my account is new. Nobody can see my posts!!! Why can that be and how do I fix it? Please help!!! Thanks a lot, Yana.

        • says

          You’ll need followers for them to see your content. Start adding value to other people’s posts in your niche(s) and you’ll start to see followers to your profile, it works the same way on Twitter, G+, Facebook and more. If you continue to add posts but not reach out to the community at large, you’ll have a hard time getting traction.

  1. Barry says

    Great post, nailed it to a “t”. The communities in G+ are filled with people who actually engage in that subject and you end up learning alot of stuff you didn’t know or think of.

    • says

      Barry, I love chatting it up in Communities in my spare time. I haven’t even encountered any bad moderators along the way (unlike Reddit, them people love to show their authority). I totally agree with you!

    • Monk says

      Thanks to Scott for a helpful post. I’ve replied to your comment Barry because I saw the G+ magic word; ‘engage’. People really do on G+, and it’s a joy.

  2. says

    Nicely put together Scott… looking forward to being included in your next circle share. Hope you are enjoying Hangouts… the Magical Communications Tool ;-)

    • says

      Thanks Michael! Trying hard over here but you are right, I’m doing everything that I talked about in this guide with huge success. I pointed this out in the guide, but I went from 50 some circles to 4,500 now in less than two months. Not too bad really.

      Now if I can get a strategy together for Facebook and Twitter. Having a tough time with those.

      • Rebecca says

        Hi Scott. I’m very new at this. Thanks for some info. You mentioned Facebook. Is there an easy way to move photos from G+ to Facebook?

        • says

          Rebecca, FriendsPlusMe has a service that allows you to automatically share new photos to Facebook profile(s) or pages and several other social media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn. However, there’s costs involved.

  3. says

    Hi there Scott Buehler. Your posting on Google+ got me here!

    Just want to say, I like the in-depth your going through. (I say it with envy, I wish I had time to really share some of my thoughts.) At The Fik Initiative we’ve got a few posts covering some basics on Google+, but I wanted to comment here just to underline something: Communities are incredible.

    My next G+ article will be about them. But I won’t spoil more than that now though! :-)

    • says

      Hey Les, glad to help! Hyperball is my themed use of the shared circle. I use them to reward my active users on Google Plus and they sure do appreciate it. Every week I get a lot of nice comments from people who didn’t even know shared circles exist. Love it.

    • says

      Thanks Andrew. These strategies all have helped me grow nearly 4,500 followers (circlers) on Google+ since I started. Unlike paid versions of getting circles, my increase is real people who engage my content which is incredible. I’ve got more engagement from my 4,500 than guys with nearly 40,000.

      • Jacob carpenter says

        TIt is probably pretty obvious but I’m on my iPhone and I was wondering how I look at how many followers/views I have? Thanks
        Ps great job on the article you went in depth and in detail on everything

  4. Scott Scowcroft says

    I love sharing valuable information about G+ (of course always with attribution), and posts such as your’s here, Scott, ranks in the top 5% of great resources to share. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting.

  5. says

    Terrific post Scott!

    Always happy to see a quickie guide to this lovely social media platform.

    Any social media platform requires mastering, engagement and being very consistent over a long period of time. Perhaps some folks found G+ to be a Ghost Town because they were expecting the immediate and high engagement found on Facebook?

    I’ve been welcomed and embraced here on G+ … but I think it’s because I go out and engage others. Kinda like moving to a new neighborhood – you gotta go out and say howdy and find out what everyone’s up to.

    Thanks to Ronnie Bincer (yoo hoo Ronnie!) I’m a huge fan of Hangouts on Air and just started a new weekly show.

    And I love the communities, especially Lead With Giants.

    I believe every social media platform provides a business owner with the opportunity to expand their territory and serve more people. For my line of work, Twitter and Pinterest drive the most traffic while Facebook provides me with wonderful ‘focus group’ feedback. I’ve only been engaged on G+ 8 months… so it’s still too soon to see a significant lift… I’ll keep you posted!

    Your new devoted fan,

    Ande

  6. steve noble says

    Incredibly useful resource as im working in a developing nation for a publishing company whose directors have a strong print prejudice. ..as we are currently developing a social media strategy this information has been invaluable. Thanks for your hard work.

  7. says

    Scott! This is an awesome guide to G+ – the best I’ve seen yet. I appreciate all the hard work you put into creating it and helping us all learn more.

    See you on G+
    Lisa

  8. terri benson says

    thank you for clarifying a lot of things. i do have a question..
    how do i delete a page..the way they word it, i will lose ALL pages and I.D. if i try to delete. i have 3 extra pages from when i was still learning
    how to create communities, etc.. i’d like to delete at least 2.
    thanx again, terri

    • says

      Hey Terri, it’s quite simple really.

      To delete a page on your Google Site:
      – Go to the page you want to delete.
      – Click the More drop-down menu.
      – Select Delete page.
      – Confirm you want to delete the page by clicking Delete.

      If you decide you want the page after deletion, you have 30 days to recover it.

  9. Maureen Serafini says

    Oh my word you put soooo much work into this. A wealth of information!
    Thank you. you are the man!

  10. says

    Yes been on it for 2 years now, made my career in social media. Glad to see you getting on the gravy train. By far the most explosive network for traffic. Great post.

    • says

      Thanks Justin. You were one of my first idols on Google Plus when I got started along with about 5 others. People I watched, noted, and attempted to mimic when I had about 70 circlers to my name. Man how time flies when you are working your tail off. :)

  11. says

    Hey Scott, great guide. I appreciate all the information about communities. I’m new to Google+ (only a few months) and hadn’t got involved with communities yet.

    I do have one question about the + count number that appears on my page. My count fluctuates up and down on the same day. My ‘score’ might go up +70 then later in the day or the next day it is down +38.

    The number of people that have me circled has either gone up or remained the same. Are people coming back and removing +1’s from posts? Do you know how this is calculated?

      • says

        Scott, I believe I have figured it out. It is persons that circles you then +1’s several of your posts to gain attention. Then after you circle them back they come back and un-circle you and remove the +1’s. Blatant spam techniques.

        I was traveling a couple days and didn’t access my Google+ page and the notifications showed someone with a lot of activity but when I went to the post to verify the activity it was all gone. Not enough time in the day.

  12. Steve Hoge says

    2.5 flavors of text formatting seems pretty thin functionality to be considered “rich text.” Can’t figure out why Google doesn’t open this up and allow at least BBcode-style formatting and inline media. Am I the only one missing this? At least media posts in replies would be a plus – even FB allows that these days.

    • says

      Steve, for BBcode, that is subject to debate I’d imagine. For me, I prefer the clean easy-to-read text with no colors. I do like the idea of allowing media in post replies though. That’d come in handy when I want to show someone how to do something with a screenshot.

      • Steve Hoge says

        Well, I think we could agree that colored and blinking text styles have certainly been abused!

        But the ability to indent, change fonts, sizes and justification are key to readability in postings that are more than just a few lines, may include quotations and references, subheadings and lists, etc. These are legitimate formatting tools that every blogger (and the more sophisticated BB user) employs, but are inaccessible to G+ posters.

        But perhaps Google means to intentionally distinguish between G+ and Blogger content?

  13. says

    Scott, this was an all in one package here! You covered about everything that I could think of on G+. There is one aspect that I’m still researching on the images, and you can let me know what you think: Images are very important, and when you share a cute doggy pictures, then there’s not much need for wording or text. However, what do you think when sharing a blog post? Is a picture the only thing that you would need? ie, when you share your post, a picture usually pops up, but I have found that writing certain words can get the most out of your updates on G+ what do you think?

  14. Marie Anne says

    Extremely helpful information, and I’ll be sharing this. I’ve been on G+ for some time but never did much with it before, and only in recent weeks started giving it more attention. The information in this article will be very useful.

    • says

      Marie Anne, Google Plus is fun fun fun for me. The network connections I’ve had from Google Plus far outweigh anything else I’ve tried. I’ve picked up 50+ real friends from there and thousands of fans. I’m testing to see if I can turn that into a raging success to my new project at Animammals and it is working very well.

  15. says

    Hey Scott! I recently created a google plus page about a week ago. I am unable to add people to my circles, or to plus one and share most post? I am allowed to follow other pages, is there a requirement of followers to a page before one can begin to add other “people” to circles? Thanks a lot!

  16. David says

    Hi. How do I share a picture directly with my G+ page, not the profile page? Lets say I have a G+ profile David Vlk. I upload my pictures from my mobile to this page. As David Vlk I have created a G+ page called Zkusebny.com. Now how do I upload pictures from David Vlk to the page Zkusebny.com? Thanks for helping me.

    • says

      David, on the top left of the Google Plus page at plus.google.com, hover your mouse over “Home >” then click pages. From there, you can “Manage This Page” which will then allow you to share photos, website links, and whatever else.

      You can also get to your page on the upper right by clicking your Avatar icon then selecting the page. The only thing about this method is you’ll need to wait for the page to fully load and then click “Manage This Page” when it finally appears at the top. Once you click that, you can then add content.

      Either way, once you get there to where you are able to manage the page, I recommend bookmarking the URL so that you can quickly return to the page with management already enabled. That’s what I do! :)

      • David says

        Sorry, but I believe that what you suggest is not a solution to my problem. I need to be able to add pictures from my profile page to my G+ page. So following your instructions when I go to manage page, I see there an option to add photo, but I can select only photos that are on the account I am currently managing. What I am trying to get is a better way than having to upload pictures to 2 different profiles / page I have. I have David Vlk and as David Vlk I have created a page Zkusebny.com. I automatically upload pictures from my mobile to David Vlk. And I want to share them with Zkusebny.com.

        • says

          David, sorry, misunderstood. This is tough to explain, but you’d need to be in “Manage Page” mode and then visit your main profile. From there, you can directly share from your main profile to your page using the share arrow button. It will be a share though, so your main profile will appear with the image. There’s no way to directly post an image from your main profile to your page because they are treated as separate entities in G+.

  17. says

    Scott, i think i have a similar problem to Chadwick Halse. For the past couple weeks, whenever I try to add people back who have added me, a red pop up bar comes up stating that I have reached my limit. My confusion is I see that you have over 27k in your circles with over 2700 followers. I have 1700 followers and under 5000 in circles. How do I correct this issue as I thought the purpose of google plus is to add people and increase the numbers in your circles. You can check my page and see the error message

    • says

      Grace, Google Plus has daily soft limits and a global hard limit of 5,000 maximum. It is important to try to maintain a ratio of more people circling you than you circle. I saw a Grace Walker profile on Google Plus that has me circled (perhaps you) which has 4,500 people in their circles but only 1,700+ circling the account. In these cases, I always recommend removing several thousand people if possible and work on getting more people circling you.

  18. says

    Scott, this guide is awesome! I have a number of marketing bibles from the likes of Neil Patel and the Kissmetrics guys but this one is right up there with the best!

    We used your techniques to gain more followers and we have literally doubled our following in the last two weeks from 7k to 14k. We kept the content funny and visually engaging and some of the gifs and memes we post went crazy viral!

    Great work and thank you!

    Luke

  19. says

    Hi Scott

    I’m having an issue where I post a photo into 6 or 7 different communities, but the last one or two communities that I choose to post don’t even get any views and therefore no +1’s.
    The other communities all respond well to the pic with dozens of +1’s and some comments. Is there a limit to the number of communities you can post to in one time period?

    Thanks for the blog post
    Dave

    • says

      Hey Dave, I believe you are hitting a spam flag. On the last two that you post, go back to the community and see if you see a line drawn in the name/date area of the post. If you see the line, that means the post was marked as spam.

      In general, I only reshare a post of mine 3x or so with good results. I don’t like to push the limits too much.

      • says

        Thanks Scott

        I’ve checked those posts by going back to the community and searching for my name to bring the post up – there is no line through my name or date…?

        However, I suspect it probably is a spam thing. I will try to choose fewer communities for the next one. Let me know If you find out any more information about it.

        Incidentally, is there any way of sharing to multiple communities at once? At the moment I do it manually by creating a new post for each one.

        Thanks
        Dave

        • says

          Hard to judge, I don’t have sufficient data here to give you an answer on why certain communities aren’t engaging. I don’t know if the communities themselves are typically engaging, or if the community is looking for a specific niche to engage with and your content doesn’t fit the bill. Like I said, unsure. LOL.

          As for sharing, I do it manually. But like I said, I only do 3 or so (if any at all).

          • says

            Ok thanks. It’s not an engagement issue because on other occasions I get lots of engagement from those communities.
            When I look at the post details the stats show 0 views which is not really possible when posting to something like the Photography community with over 70,000 members. All my other posts have ~1000 views.

            Anyway, I will take your advice! Appreciate the quick responses.
            Thanks
            Dave

          • says

            Hello Scott, I’m very new to Google Plus and really appreciate your instructions. I have two problems and I wonder if you’d be able to help?

            1. I have some notifications but can’t access them. The coloured ball just keeps going round when I click on it but nothing happens….should I be doing something else?

            2. If I share a post to ‘public and circles’ and then again with a community, the post is duplicated on my profile page. Is there a way to hide the second copy as it looks a bit of a mess?

            Thanks for your help! All the best, Jessica

          • says

            Jessica, 1) Make sure you don’t have JavaScript turned off in your browser. Notifications are displayed in an overlay. As a workaround, try going to the main notifications URL in this link.

            2) Yep! There’s a way to hide your shares to communities. Go to Google+ Settings then near the bottom, find the Profile section and uncheck “Show your Google+ communities posts on the Posts tab of your Google+ profile.”

          • says

            Thanks for your help Scott, that’s really kind of you. I haven’t found where the javascript thing is yet but will keep searching!

  20. joe says

    Hi Scott,

    If I have a team that has teams of people and we seek to do hangouts what’s our best bet? In other words I don’t want to have to manually list all people on our various teams in google plus myself and then invite them to a hangout. It would take forever. I would rather have a single link that’s connected to a single circle so that I can send an aweber broadcast to all the teams so that all the team members can sign up for the prospective circle. is this possible as I didn’t see anyway to do it.

    Thanks, joe

  21. says

    Thanks for this guide!

    I have an observation about text formatting. I’ve noticed that sometimes the functions don’t work. I was frustrated because if my title or word had punctuation in it such as, *Let Your Students’ Artistic Abilities Shine*, the bold functioning is ignored and the asterisk shows up in the post. Same if I try to use an ! or ? at the end of a sentence. I found that I have to put the finishing asterisk before the ! and it works. Based on that I reformatted my sentence as *Let Your Students*’ *Artistic Abilities Shine* and the entire text was completely bolded.

    I hadn’t seen this addressed so I thought I would put it out there for anyone who was wondering why it wasn’t working for them.

  22. Esa Riihonen says

    Google Plus Post Formatting.

    Does anybody have any idea how to turn off this “fine” feature or protect a “connected” minus sign from being interpreted as a strike through command?

    This totally ruins any text of type:
    “The temperature was from -20 C to -35 C”

    And in Finnish at least there are rules that require hyphenation characters to be written connected to a piece of text => total chaos.

    To me this feature seems like not very well thought of.

  23. Esa Riihonen says

    Oooooops sorry that I didn’t actually check the temperature example: the system actually works OK with numbers. But the problem is still real for the other reasons mentioned.

  24. says

    Hi!

    This is a wonderful article! I really learned a lot about how to use google plus!

    I will take to heart what you said here and try and implement it in my google plus profile and hopefully will grow it!

    Thanks again for this totally awesome post!

  25. says

    Hi Scott,

    This has truly been the most useful G+ guides I have come across. Thank you! I have a question that I have not found an answer to, yet. I have a personal account on G+ linked to my work email, and also manage 5 other pages related to the business I work for. When others add me to their circles, do they see all the activity on those other pages, or do they need to add each of my pages to their circles in order to see them? If it’s the latter, I wonder what the idea of having pages is all about. Wouldn’t it just be the same to create a different profile for each? I hope you can help. Thank you so much for taking the time!

    Jen

    • says

      Hey Jen! When others add your personal profile to circles, they will not see what you are doing on your pages in their stream. In order for them to see what you are posting on these pages, you need to have an effective strategy to get people to circle your pages. For me, pages are all about connecting websites to Google Plus, posting relevant content to the page niche, and reaching out to others. Hint: Share your page on your main stream with a reason WHY someone should circle you there.

      I wouldn’t recommend using a second Google Plus account. That is what pages are there for. You also shouldn’t register a Google Plus account with a business name.

      Personal Account > Business Page

      Why do I use pages? Well, when I find myself posting about a topic that doesn’t interest my main audience much, I register a page and post that content there. I then use the page to circle people I know would find that content amazing. I currently have around 25 pages, most I post to about once a week, but some I post daily to.

      • says

        That was extremely helpful. Thanks! One more question, then:

        So…I have two google+ accounts because I have two google email accounts and did not fully understand G+ at that time, so I set up both thinking that I could easily delete one later….finding out that it’s not that easy, right? I don’t want two google+ accounts, and I would rather combine the two. Is there any way to do that? I am finding that when I want to share a status or post something, I am often on the profile that I do NOT want to be in and it’s causing me some confusion. Also, I have more followers on the first account I created…I would like those followers to be on the other account where I have created pages. Help? …thanks so much!

  26. says

    Any idea how to make words and sentences BOLD in the ‘About this Community’ section of a community I help moderate? I’ve tried the asteriks and also html “” but can’t

    Thanks!

    • says

      Michael, it isn’t possible in communities. They do offer styling capabilities for page about sections but not communities. If you have a community you know of that does have formatting, I’d love to take a look.

  27. says

    Nice Google Plus guide Scott. I’ve got a couple of new clients who are still on the fence post on whether to expand their SMM to include G+ so I wanted to find a source that explains what G+ is and how to use it and the business benefits they can expect to yield. I’m going to send them here to read this guide post which will bring them up to speed on the 5 W’s of G+. Nice work! Neil

  28. says

    Hi Scott,

    What I’m trying to do is to build a popular G Plus page for my business, should I be concentrating on my business page or main page?

    Thanks in advance,
    Matt.

    • says

      Matt, build both at the same time. The reason I say that is because if you have a strong profile, you can promote your business page postings on your profile for extra punch.

  29. says

    Hi Scott,

    Thank you very much for this very helpful Google plus Ultimate Guide of yours. 300watches really needs this right now. Will surely implement these.

    Thank you once again.

    Sincerely,
    Ilya “300watches”

  30. Ali says

    Hi,

    Can you please let me know, why google give me the message of “You have reached the maximum number of Plus pages.”, when i try to create the youtueb channel

  31. says

    Hi Scott! I know you already have a plethora of comments here saying how helpful and wonderful this article of yours is, but it is so helpful and so wonderful that I can’t help but add my comments to the mix as well :) I’m so grateful to be a part of your circles on Google+ and so happy to be a part of your Tiger community — I absolutely love all the beautiful and stunning tiger pics I get to see in it :) Thank you for taking the time to write such an in-depth but easy to understand and put into action piece about Google Plus. I can’t say enough nice things about G+ and the true sense of community there and I look forward to getting to know you better in the amazing community that is Google+! Wishing you a happy weekend :)

    • says

      Hey Katherine! We’ve been sharing each other on Twitter lately, so fun! I love guides written in this style so I learned how to do it and most of my stuff is written like this now. People really seem to identify with it because they can drop right where they want to read. Glad to help you out!

  32. Pops says

    In your topic Share, Share, Share, Share, Share, and Share Some More! I was wondering if there is a limit to how many shares and posts you can do, as i post regular topics from websites every day,but i now get”Your post was not shared. Please try again.”this happens when i post 50 or more posts consecutively I’ve looked at the help topics and found nothing or missed it somewhere a long the line.It didn’t do this before and has started in the last week or so.Its making me feel like saying good bye Google+ Please help if you can,I’ve ask Google if there is a problem but as you probably know they never get back to you.Help.

    • says

      Pops, I’d need to see what you are doing. If you are link dumping posts to Google Plus via websites, I can see how they would limit that activity. Try downloading an image from the article and then doing an image share on Google Plus along with a link to the article within the description. Might have far better results (in my experience).

      • Tad Toring says

        Your post was not shared. Please try again. This is a problem that no one in the world has the answer to. I would be amazed if you did. It happens frequently. I don’t post porn or break the rules, and usually post only to my Friends group and Public when appropriate. I just started posting today, and it popped up. “Please try again.” does not work, so it rather is a waste of time and rather rude of Google to encourage it. Please Help. Thanks, Tad

        • says

          Hey Tad, I’ve seen this before in certain browsers for whatever reason. Either the service was down and not available to be posted to or try a different browser (I recommend Chrome, obviously the browser is quickest on Google’s services). Sometimes browser plugins interfere as well.

    • joe says

      Hi,

      Is there a way to import a list of emails, like 2,500, into one of your circles in google plus? What is the most efficient way to get a list of emails into google plus account with the objective to notify them of future hangouts right before the hangout happens?

      Thanks, joe

      • says

        Hey Joe, I’m not aware of a direct method. I know the reverse is possible, you can add people to circles and have them appear in Google Contacts for export, but not all profiles make their email public.

        I think even if this were possible, you’d probably have a 10-20% success rate of adding the emails to circles because of privacy settings.

        • joe says

          Hi Scott,

          Doing my first hangout. is it true that anyone who attends a hangout has to be a google plus member? Even if they’re given the you tube link to watch it live?

          Secondly, am i right in saying that panel members are given the url from the address bar after the hangout is scheduled and that non panel members are given the youtube link from the bottom right corner?

          Thanks, joe

          • says

            Joe, if they have a YouTube link to watch live, they don’t need to be a Google Plus member.

            As for your second comment, the user is presented the hangout event link when they are logged in to their Google Plus account and you either 1) invite them, 2) they have you in their circles and see the event in the main stream, or 3) they check the events section of Google Plus. YouTube people will see the YouTube event only if they are subscribed and looking for it on the account that is hosting the event (as far as I know, not a YouTube expert).

  33. New to Google Plus says

    I am trying to figure first of all if I have been banned from posting to a couple of communities that I belong to.

    I have two Google+ profiles. When I post from one account to the community and search for that post from the other profile in the same community searching by the account name of the first profile nothing comes up.

    So assuming I got banned, how can I communicate directly with moderators or for that matter anyone. How can one have a direct communication with another user?

    I was also wondering in general what constitutes spam in most communities and on Google+. I want to post my own stuff but also have no problem in participating in the community.

    Thanks in advance to the forum for any advise that can be given,

    New to Google Plus

  34. Carmen Mandich says

    Exactly what I needed to learn more about circles and to convince others to join in! Clear, simple and people-friendly……… Precisely what I was looking for. Thanks so much for sharing and looking forward to having others join in the experience of a lifetime!

  35. says

    Hi Scott,

    Happiest of Holidays to you & your family !!

    Your article was fantastic – thank you for all the hard work – it really helps the newbies like myself. I’m beginning to implement your suggestions – I’ve been a YouTube partner for years but only been active on Google+ for a month.

    I see you in the “Circle Me Up” community & I always share your posts. I must say I’m having a great deal of fun on Google+. I’ve just started posting my storm chasing pics (I have thousands of them).

    Once again, thanks and keep up the great work !

    Regards,

    Tyler

  36. says

    Scott, you did an incredible job on your Beginner’s Guide for Google+. I wish I had found this on day one, would have saved me so much time and effort. But thanks a zillion, thanks to people like you, it’s fun to try new things every day!

  37. says

    wow Scott this is a fabulous resource and i bet a hard work but at the same time i know n that hard since we all enjoy Google Plus, anyways Thanks for the hard work you put into this, Scott.
    It is very appreciated.

    +TonyVelazquezH

  38. Kriti says

    Hey!

    Can you please tell me how to disable updates from people i have in my circle from my Google+ PAGE!!
    I’ve literally tried everything. But it just doesn’t seem to work. I dont want any updates from the people on my home page.

  39. Julie Blackledge says

    Thank you for the hard work you have put into creating this information, as a person unfamiliar with the abbreviation world of the internet ( a little like walking into your first physics lesson when i was at school lol ) your straight talking explanations of features and for me the pictures :) have helped me understand how g+ works and alleviated some of the fears i had of upsetting someone by doing something wrong, you are a star thank you.
    PS only covered this section i am sure i will be back to cover more…..

  40. Vic says

    Great guide but I stumbled here in the process of finding a way to disable the “Suggestions List” within Google+… any ideas?

  41. Timothy Chirillo says

    Hi Scott,

    May I ask you a question ? It may sound dumb, but here it goes- I have over 500 followers to my page, but not much activity. Am I sharing it correctly? When I post publicly, do all my followers see it?

    • says

      Timothy, it depends on the settings of the Google Plus user. As a user, you can place circles in “hidden from stream” circles (see the stream management section). For the most part, you need to focus on making your content more engaging. Ask questions, upload a photo instead of direct linking to the articles (if linking), and try to use photos that pop. Lastly, it helps to act as the page (upper right, switch to page) and search out content that is relevant to you and comment/mention people like crazy. You should also do a community search and find 10+ communities to join as the page and try to stay regular there to make yourself an authority in your niche. Just a few ideas (I go over all this in my Plus Mastermind course.

  42. Ellen says

    I use goggle plus as a teaching project. Is there a way to delete old posts and private messages to students from last year in bulk and not one at a time?

    • says

      Ellen, unfortunately, no. I’ve always done this manually. I’d suggest creating separate PAGES (not new profile) for each school year. Then you can just delete the page and start a new one. You can create a page from your G+ profile here.

  43. says

    Thanks! Lots of great tips. Did not know you could look up hashtags for only your posts – which will be a great way for me to save posts I want to read later. Also liked all the suggestions for taming the news feed.

  44. Peter says

    i created a Gmail address this week for job applications. Within an hour a friend of mine put me in their circle. I didn’t even know he or I had Google Plus. I have since downgraded the account but how did he know to i was on Google Plus when I hadn’t told anybody about my new email address? How do i prevent this from happening if i decide to make another account in the future? Thanks.

    • says

      Peter, I’d suggest posting this to the Google+ Help community. Not sure how that happened, usually when someone has you in the contacts and that contact connects to G+, they will be alerted. The only other way is that they searched you by name on the network and added you this way.

  45. Sharon Torrey says

    Hi Scott,

    This might seem like a silly question but I’ve searched and can’t find an answer – hopefully this will help others as well…
    I have many gmail accounts, but I only want ONE active on google plus – how do I turn off my other email addresses so that people don’t see the wrong one?

    i.e: I’m coming up in my own google plus as a person to add to my circles because I can’t figure out how to turn off g+ for that email, lol

    Also, I’ve got people that have added me using my other email – how do I transfer them out of the circles on that address to my new one and let them know I’ve done this?

    Thanks in advance

    • says

      Sharon, you will want to carefully (and I can’t stress that enough) go through your Gmail accounts and DELETE the Google Plus accounts you do not want. Go to Google Plus settings under the account(s) you want to remove then At the bottom of the screen, find the heading Disable Google+. Under the heading, at the end of the phrase “Delete your entire Google profile here”, click “here”.

      Just please make sure you delete the accounts carefully. You don’t want to delete an account you want to keep!

      There is no way to transfer the people from one account to the other. They will need to be notified manually to circle the right profile.

  46. Muhammad says

    Hi Scott

    Great post. I’m new to the Google+ scene and I have a question which you might have already dealt with. I set up a page, but when I add a youtube video (for example) via the Google+ option, it doesn’t share it on the page that I set up. It shares it to a different page! And the confusing part is that that page has it’s own gmail login, but is somehow connected to my main gmail account.

    I remember being asked to set up this new gmail login somewhere along the line. I would like just one manageable page, where all my shared g+ items are posted.

    What have I done wrong?

    • says

      Muhammad, that usually means the YouTube account is connected to the other page. I’d have to have full access to your accounts to diagnose this unfortunately. I’d disconnect the connection on YouTube’s side and follow this help page to reconnect it to the right page. Best of luck!

      • Muhammad says

        Thanks for the help. I’m trying the disconnect part now. If I’ve got this right, there’s a Google+ profile and a Google+ page. I need to connect my Youtube to the Google+ profile.

        Hopefully it’s gona sort out the confusion!

  47. Michael Henderson says

    Hi,

    Someone created a google + local business account, (could have been me) sometime ago and now cannot remember the email address of the ‘owner” . Obviously, only one owner is permitted per business but I cannot find which email address owns it. Is there a way to do this?

  48. Nathan Brook says

    I’m glad you found the post useful. Embedding on Google Plus is a relatively new feature. Facebook and Google Plus seem to be rolling out a lot of updates lately.

  49. melissa says

    An excellent article. I just stumbled upon your informative blog. I have really enjoyed reading your very well written blog post.

  50. Randy Crumley says

    Great tips. Unfortunatly, I can’t filter the hashtags as shown. The ‘More” drop down doesn’t have those options, only “following” and “stream layout” I was really looking forward to using # as a way for people at my business to search community posts w/in the company. I wonder if this is because of an update to google plus since the writing of this article, or if I am missing something…

  51. says

    Wow, Scott,

    Fantastic. So much here I don’t have time now to go through it all but I’ll be coming back. I got an invite somehow back in the beginning but have neglected it all this time. What a dork! Haha, I’ve got 19 people in circles. Let’s see what I can do about that. Thanks!

  52. says

    Thanks for the tips and ideas. I am behind the 8 ball when it comes to Google+. My business offerings are targeted towards a national audience and not just locally and still working on gaining popularity with the Googlemeister.

    • says

      Hey Andrew, great day and good health to you. For my personally, I do not have a single local page because all of my business is international and done via the Internet. There are advantages to having a local page, such as advertising options, however, all of my targeting and things is done to attract leads, buyers, and of course, sales. Definitely consider my course, only $97 now. It would help you out big time.

  53. says

    Thank you for such a great resource! I have had my page for several months now and didn’t understand how to use it. This tutorial is fantastic!

  54. says

    What a great write-up Scott. I made sure to share on Google+ ha
    Im in the world of SEO and Social and have never come across your website. I am certainly going to follow you.
    Thanks

  55. says

    A couple questions (may seem remedial)….. In my notification status I see I have a +1 on my post. I go to that post and there is no +1…. Is that particular person liking my content then unliking it? What is the motivation to that. And second, When I share general content do I want to share it with ALL circles? And if I share it to “hyperball” for example, does everyone within that circle get a notification under the bell that I shared something specifically with them?

    • says

      Nathan, I’ll see this +1 issue several times myself and yes, there are times when people are plussing posts that they mistakenly plus and then unplus from their main stream. When you share general content, you want to share that content to “Public” only. That will make your content visible to all of your circles and to the general public INCLUDING Google search. If you share to a specific circle, yes, they will see a notification that you shared a post with them.

  56. Jim Stauder says

    Scott,

    Facebook has the ability to keep a page unpublished which is good for setting up a new Facebook business page until you get it designed the way you want it before you roll it out. Facebook instructions say “Unpublished Pages are only visible to the people who manage the Page. You can unpublish your Page at any time. Unpublishing your Page will hide it from the public, including the people who like your Page.”

    Does Google + have something similar where you can work on the design and keep it unpublished before you roll it out. I am trying to coordinate the roll out of several updated social media sites as well a a website and would like to create my Google + business page but not “publish” it until I’m ready for the coordinated rollout.

    • says

      Hey Jim, Google+ doesn’t have an unpublish/publish option on their pages. However, I will say, your pages will go unseen by the masses until you are ready because your pages need content, circles, and engagement to be seen anyway. So, create the page, configure the page cover and photo images, configure the settings, and then start engaging others.

      In your case, setup the page and leave it be until you are ready for rollout.

      • Jim Stauder says

        Scott, Thanks for responding. That saves me a lot of time trying to find an “unpublish” option that doesn’t exist.

        One more question: Once I set up a business page, can the Follow buttons, g+ share and g+1 buttons (on my website) be tied to the business page (as opposed to my “personal profile page”). Do you recommend any other “buttons/badges” other than those three for websites?

        • says

          Hey Jim! Create your badges from the Google Plus Badges page here. If you create a badge for your page, then yes, all the plusses received on the badge apply to your page’s plus count. Additionally, if you verify your site to your page, then all plusses from your various posts apply to the page plus count as well.

  57. Raees Hussain says

    Hello Scott,
    I have a question for u…
    Whenever I am embedding a link to Google Plus, my name is written instead of title. How should I remove my name?

    • says

      Raees, when you embed a link and create a post with a link, Google Plus sends a crawler to your site and pulls your site’s meta title for the link. If your meta title has your name in it, then that is what would show. Hope that is what you are asking.

  58. says

    Hello – Maybe you can help me figure something out? Why are all my shares from other sites being posted as “shared privately”? I’m viewing the two ways my page shows and 90% of everything I’ve shared is missing from the public view. Mainly the only thing showing up are youtube “likes”. I have no idea how to fix this – Thank you if you can help.

  59. Liz Ross says

    Thank you so much for posting all of this information. You made total sense of something that on its own is utterly confusing. Much appreciated!!!

  60. says

    Scott,

    I must say I’m REALLY impressed with your Google+ insight and I have to tell you I have been like a deer in the headlights when it comes to mastering the Google details – I have tried to weed out what I call the “Google duplication ” effect that happened to me with my personal account and a connected network marketing Google account and I’m willing to bet it will take me reading your details over and over and over to be able to get them “cleaned up”, but at least I have a place to start! I’ll go over the comments and your replies and see if I can’t get “clarity”! Keep up the efforts!

    Bruce

  61. says

    Scott- Thanks so much for this guide. I have been getting headaches trying to sort out all the information about Google+. This gives me a great starting point to go forward with my project to improve my Google+ page. With all the push for professionals, such as myself, to have a greater presence on Google+, it’s a daunting task to get starter. Thanks again.

    Robert

  62. Elizabeth says

    i have one question. if someone adds u to their circle. but u dont add them back can they still talk to u?…

  63. Michelle says

    How can I find out the time/date when a post was made on Google+? (I am the manager of the page in question but someone else made the post)

    • says

      Older posts just show the date right underneath your page name on the post. Newer posts will show just the time of the post if it was on the same day.

  64. Edward Williams says

    Hi Scott, Great that you have explained so much in plain language. I still don’t get G+ even though I have used it for a long time now. What is the point of it? Also why is it so badly laid out? I always feel that a site should be explained as one person would explain it to another, but the layout is hidden and uses only known to the Techies that put it together. When we can get our Grandmothers to use it then we will know that it works.
    Regards

    • says

      What’s the point of any social media? To be social and share what interests you. Just like Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, they are what you make them to be. On Google+, you’ll want to circle people with interests similar to you and engage on their posts to introduce yourself to them. Google+ is unique in that you can create circle groups and circle people in those groups. This offers a lot of unique abilities such as sharing content to just those people or filtering to see just those people’s posts, etc.

      See, most people think Facebook is just for families to share photos. That’s wrong. You can focus your Facebook towards your marketing friends and turn it into a way to gain leads, sales and business. Same goes for Twitter where you can follow people in a specific niche and even use lists to see posts based around other niches as well. The point of social networking is to make them work for you and what you need.

      I personally enjoy the layout of G+. The upper left “Home” button is the gateway to everything that the network has to offer. Meanwhile, the content on the main page is based from people you circle and engage with.

  65. Alex M says

    I have been trying to find an answer to this question and maybe you can help me.

    I have a G+ community and a Page. A lot of people post things on the community but I want these posts to also show up on the Page. I have tried sharing some of the posts FROM the community TO the page but they do not show up.

    I am pulling my hair trying to figure this one out. Is it at all possible? How do you share a post from a community to the page used to create that community? You would think they would be totally interconnected but no.

    Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide

    • says

      Alex,

      1) Switch from your profile to your page on the upper right.
      2) While under your page, go to your community (not through a bookmark as that likely will use your profile).
      3) Click the share icon under a post.
      4) Verify your page icon is still showing on the share window.
      5) Make sure it is set to “Public” and not a private share.
      6) Type description
      7) Share.

      If you need me to do a hangout to show you this process, I’d be glad to. Contact me.

  66. Ain says

    Hi, scott. I’m a new google plus user.

    I wrote reviews about some malls in my city, but it won’t show up on my google reviews tab. I go to setting and checked the reviews tab to be shown to visitors but my friends can’t see my reviews tab. I can’t even see my own reviews on my reviews tab. It says “No reviews published yet.” What do I do?? Pretty desperate :(

    • says

      Ain, go to the Google Plus Account Settings under Profile and make sure “Reviews” is checked. Make sure that when you submit reviews, that you are doing it under the right profile. If you login to gmail that is associated with another abandoned account, then when you submit a review, it’d go under that account.

  67. Chandra Carter says

    Hi! Thanks for the post. Can people in your circle or who have you in their circles see all of the pages you visit? How much privacy do you have online when you are in a circle? Thanks!

    • says

      Chandra, no, people cannot see what you are looking at even when they circle you or you circle them. The only clues would be if you commented and therefore came up in Google+ search.

  68. says

    I found this post while searching for “what’s the point of google plus”.

    I haven’t been very active with my google plus profile but you gave me some good ideas so I think I’ll stick with it a little longer.

    Thanks,

    – Bronson

  69. Bob Wyman says

    Started reading this decided you must work for Google. I cannot use youtube because of Google. The comments section is a butt-kissing extravaganza. Google is limiting my Freedom of Speech.
    I do not care about “social media”, hashtags or news feeds. You know how stupid you all look with the glow of your ‘driod backlight in your faces at night walking downtown or living life in a high-tech that makes you one-handed and unable to talk? I have seen you all arguing something in a bar and forgetting you have search engines in your damn hands. Plus I have seen you boys all huddled together watching a movie on a smart a** phone…. f*** it….

  70. Dwayne says

    Hello Scott,

    Thanks for the post and nicely put together.

    Google hangouts is now becoming ubiquitous, with it being included, as standard, with all new smartphone devices running the latest software version of Android, so all you need to do is make sure your next device is running the latest version or just get a Nexus or Motorola device as they will always be up to date.

    Another important thing to note is that your email, messaging and video’s will follow you no matter what device you are using, PC or MAC, Smartphone or Tablet it doesn’t matter as long as you have Hangout installed, you can pick up your conversation right where you left off.

    Dwayne.

  71. Vedant Jain says

    Hey sir!
    Great guide
    how to know in what circle my friend has added me in ?
    I have added him in acquaintances.
    I want to know in which he added me up !
    Regards and Thanks

  72. Kat says

    I appreciate this info, but I still have no idea to see what I”VE posted (ie: my history).
    Any thoughts. Google Help is NO HELP.
    Thank you

    • says

      Visit your profile in Google Plus to see what was posted by you. Login > Click your face icon on the upper right > view profile. That’s your content. You can also use search to refine what you are looking for by including your name plus the term.

  73. Christine says

    What does the little greyed out circle that has one or two arrows inside of it, beside some people’s names mean? I don’t have it by my name but almost everyone else in my circles does. On the home page, some have just an arrow going left some have one going each way.

    • says

      That indicates who follows who. One left arrow means you circle them but they do not circle you back while the other indicates a mutual circle where both parties have each other circled. On desktop PCs and Macs, you will see a tooltip appear when you hover your mouse over this icon that explains what the icon means.

  74. steve says

    Gotta say, Nobody I know is using google plus so no matter how useful it potentially is, if my friends aren’t into it, it isn’t useful. Even with your excellent explanation, it remains very confusing and complicated. Not something I can convince someone else like my mom or wife to use. FB may not have all the options but it is the defacto place where everyone is.

    I find myself simply using hangouts for video and photos for backup. (I enjoy all the fun things it does with the photos.)

    I just don’t think Google plus will ever make it on a mass scale.

    • says

      Hey Steve, appreciate your views on the G+ network man, I really do. In the past, about 1 year after G+ launched, I had the same thought process that it was a ghost town with nobody I knew on there, however, after I started using it, I met hundreds of new people, 50+ or so I now call friends just from that network alone. I guess what I am getting at is use it as a clean slate, try to meet new people with common interests and you may find you’ll enjoy it more.

      Of course, if you don’t want to meet new people and you have no interest in getting traffic to a website, then I’d probably agree with you that G+ doesn’t suit your needs.

  75. Brad says

    Google authorship is dead as of August 28,2014. This is one of the things I don’t like about Google services. Because most services are in Beta, or considered “experiments”, Google tends to remove useful services with little warning. This habit is a failing on Google’s part, and makes me leery to use their offerings.

    • says

      Hey Brad, I already put up a notification on my Authorship Guide making everyone aware. I don’t think Google fully understands how shaky they are making everyone using their products. Why would someone invest months and years into their social network if they feel it’ll be removed? Hopefully Google will do something to instill trust back into their products.

  76. says

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for this – very insightful! It seems that you have to have a personal Google+ page before you can have a business page. I’ve just set up my blog page in addition to my personal one, but don’t feel the need to keep up my personal one – if I did I would essentially be posting the same content to both, but I’d rather post under my site name! Is there a way to simplify the dashboard and keep to just the one business page?

    • says

      Brit, just like Facebook, you have to login to your personal account to access your pages. It’s perfectly acceptable to not use your personal profile and make all of your updates on your page.

  77. Kevin says

    I’m continually getting an error message when I try to post that says “Your post was not shared. Please try again.” But trying again doesn’t work. If I ever get this message, that post isn’t going up. It doesn’t happen every time I post, but it happens routinely. Any suggestions?

  78. Tim Mooney says

    Hi Scott, Like most people I recently had an SEO company approach me and explain lots I didn’t realise about the importance of G+ and my websites/business etc. I thought I was getting led down the path to a heavy ongoing $$ commitment so didn’t take it any further with them. But I did listen. I have read your tips article and now understand a little more about G+ etc. I also understand that I need to get into this and combine it with my website and a way of thinking from now on.

    I think I need a guru ‘to hold my hand’ and I really don’t know where to start without spending big bucks. My website is WP based and I do it myself. Any thoughts or guidance would be greatly appreciated Scott. You can go direct to my email if preferred. Best regards Tim

  79. McLain Harvey says

    Hi Scott,
    Great article! I have a question for you regarding my business’s google+ page that I though you might be a able to help me with. Every day a camera blog posts an ad on our page. It looks like we are the ones that are posting it, but we are not. I have tried to change our password several times hoping that would fix it, but they are still able to post as if it were us posting. Here is the link to our timeline: https://plus.google.com/+Pixsterphotobooth/posts Do you mind taking a look and telling me what you think the issue is.

    • says

      Hey there, sorry I missed this. I hope you were able to get this resolved. Off the top of my head, I’d suggest looking at your admin/contributor section for people that don’t belong as well as checking your website for plugins that may be posting to G+ automatically.

  80. Eric says

    Great summary Scott, thank you. I am interested in garnering Canadian leads, but I can’t find a way to filter Google+ groups by geography. Am I missing something? Thanks for your advice.
    p.s. I especially liked how you showed about *formatting*!

    • says

      Search doesn’t allow you to filter by geography, so you are left searching for “Canada” along with your search term. There’s NOTHING wrong with creating your own niche community if you feel it is warranted.

  81. Shirinda Rivoni Romario says

    Hi I’m Rivoni.I love goole very much that’s why I would like to join it.When I see people’s photos on google it makes me happy,that’s why I want peole to see me too.

  82. Kelly says

    I feel like I’m missing something. I am trying to drop Facebook because I’m just getting tired of it. So I’m posting things and looking at the posts in Google+. Every post I see there is a + sign with a number. I assume that means someone likes the post or the photograph. I’m a photographer and have posted photos also. Doesn’t the + with the number mean that someone likes the photo or post? I post photos but never see that anyone has “liked it”…meaning there will be +1, +2, +3, etc. Isn’t that what would happen? Am I doing something wrong? Someone must like at least one of my photographs. Thanks for any info and input.

    • says

      Kelly, that’s correct, if you see +100 that means 100 people clicked the + icon. If you hover your mouse over the upper right of your posts and click the chevron icon, you’ll have an option to “View Post Activity” where you can then see who has shared, plussed and commented on your post.

  83. Carmen says

    Hello Scott,

    I’ve been on Google + for a while and I think now I’m understanding a little more but sometimes I feel I don’t know anything. If I plus a comment that someone comment on my picture what exact does it mean? I think it means thanks or that I liked the comment. Is this correct.
    I like Google a lot because of all the different interest of people and places. Besides this guide is there like a Google+ for dummies?

  84. Monty says

    Hi Scott, thanks for this awesome post. I am posting my contents on FB which is very senseless as competition of FB pages is being increasing day by day. Whereas G+ helps to build quality plus like minded audience.

  85. Jessica says

    Hello!
    Thank you so much for this wonderful crash course! I am a stay-at-home mom and starting blogging about parenting and technology to stay sane. Well, as sane as can be expected with a 21 month old! Hehehe! Yesterday, I posted to a Google Plus Community for the first time, just as a test. I was wondering, is there a way to see how many people opened my article to read it?
    Thank you!

  86. Emmy says

    Hey scott,I have one question to ask u,here it goes, how can I view or see every comments and feedbacks given to me? I use galaxy tab 3.

  87. says

    Hi Scott!

    First thank you for this. I’m one of those who thought G+ is a wasteland hihihi!

    Anyway, I have a simple question. Please please help me. Under the Profile Picture, a short description appears. What do I do so that what appears there is my tagline or short introduction and NOT where I went to school at.

    Really will appreciate your feedback

    • says

      Hey Verna! Go under your profile by clicking your icon on the upper right > view profile. Now click the “About” tab that displays just under your cover photo. Under “Story” you’ll want to edit that and enter your tagline and bio. The tagline is what will appear on your “Hover Card” as I explained in this guide. Also make edits to the rest of the sections here to update them with accurate information.

      As for the education line on your main profile page, I’ve hacked mine up to show “Attends Continued Marketing Studies” where I put “Continued Marketing Studies” in the education section on the about page along with my description. Hope this helps!

  88. Yana says

    Hi Scott,
    I hear about it a lot, lots of people have the same problem as I do. On Google+ you join the community where you’re allowed to share pix and vids. You share a video or a picture that answers every requirement of the community (like a pic of your dog for example in a funny hat or a picture of a nail art for the nail art community) and NOBODY sees it, even though YOU can see your own picture as well as other people’s posts. But when your friends on G+ go check out that community they can’t see your post at all, even though they sit right next to you and see it through your account. Do you know what I mean? And you don’t get +s, cause nobody sees your posts. That is SO frustrating. Also no spamming or overposting or anything like that. Some people’s accounts are brand new, still they have the same problem. Do you have any idea why this could be? Thanks .))

    • says

      Hey Yana, yes, I know the problem, your posts are being automatically marked as SPAM on the community by Google’s filters. Not sure if you are using links, a lot of hashtags, or if your account has been frequently marked by other G+ members as spam, but for whatever reason, that is why they aren’t seeing your posts. When marked, an administrator has to review your post and approve it for visibility before other members will actually see it.

  89. says

    Hello Scott,

    Great article! New to google plus. Totally confused regarding sharing blog posts to communities. Finally figured out how to share my blogger blog posts publicly by simply clicking share after I create them. Yet, not sure if anyone else is seeing them although there on my google plus account profile page.

    Meanwhile, while trying to figure that out, I would like to join a like-minded community to share my blogger blog posts and meet people. However, confused about this process too. For instance, when I click join community, then share what’s new there are options such as photos and links. I want the ease of sharing my posts to communities but seems like I have to manually share by clicking on a photo or link. Haven’t tried but does the link option only show a link? Or, would it show the blog post I want to share on that particular community page?

    Also, does google plus have the ability for automatically sharing your blogger posts to a list of your communities?

    Thanks. Any info most appreciative.
    June

  90. says

    My google plus page for my business is set to private. Every time I post from my website it goes to private. Why and how do I change this I can’t find any correct info out there anywhere.

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