Jul 18, 2011 119 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Everyone is on Google+ or G+, as it's fondly called now. If you want to master this newest social networking mecca, then you need to learn the tricks of the trade. As most of us are in the exploring and experimenting stage on G+, listed below are a few pointers, that will aid you in using the social platform better and faster.

Tip 1: Sorting Out Circles – The Circles are the center of attention on G+ (no pun intended here). The idea of sorting out people into 'can't live without them' – 'they make my work easier' – 'we guys think alike' – 'I don't know what to do with these people', is quite appealing to most of us. In other words, you can divide people into 'Family', 'Friends', 'Colleagues', 'Acquaintances' and almost any other category you can think of. You can add people from Hotmail/Yahoo contacts and also from the 'Suggestions' box displayed on the right hand side of the page. How to bring the Facebook contacts to G+ ? There are a few Firefox and Google Chrome extensions that will do the job. Move your contacts to Yahoo first and then bring them to Google+.

Tip 2: Sharing With Chosen Circles- You share 'posts' on Google+ (not status updates or tweets). Once you put up something, you can choose which 'Circle' you want to share the update with, their names will appear underneath the post in blue. If the post is 'Public' (it is written in Green), anyone can see it in or outside your circles. Once you have put up a post, there will be gray circle with a triangle in it in the top right corner. Click on it for the dropdown menu. From here you can- edit, delete or link to a post or disable comments on a post. More importantly, if you choose 'Disable reshare' then, no one can share it.

Tip 3: Handy Shortcuts For A Post: These are a few keyboard shortcuts, that you have seen before in Gmail too.

  • Hit the 'Space bar' to scroll down the news stream
  • Press 'Shift + Space bar' to scroll up the news stream
  • Hit the 'Q' button to move the page up or down. Allows you to see Chat Option.
  • Hit on 'Enter' to start a comment
  • Press 'Tab', and then 'Enter' to submit a comment
  • Hit 'J' button to go down one post
  • Hit 'K' button to go up one post

Here are some simple codes, that will make posting faster on G+ 
For boldface, put asterisks  before and after the *Word* – Word
For italics, put underscores before and after the _Word_  – Word
For strikethrough, put hyphen before and after the -Word- Word

Tip 4: Share Your Blogs: You can blog on G+ too. Start from concise 250 words posts. You can also redirect your domain to Google+. Redirecting your root domain helps you spread yourself. You may do so easily, as it's shown in this example- 'example-domain.com/+redirect'.

(COURTESY- toddrjordan.com )

Tip 5: Editing comments on others posts: You can see what are the people in your Circles up to, via the stream. You can choose the Circles you want to see on your stream or the news feed. This way, it won't be clogged with updates from people, you have no interest in. When you comment on others' posts, you can edit or delete them, from the icons given below the 'comment here bar'. So, if you want to edit what you wrote, maybe rectify spelling mistakes, then make use of the edit options.

(Courtesy- tech-exclusive.com )

Tip 6:  Plus 1 A Post: Like a friend's post, or their picture? Then click on the '+1' to like it. Your name will be shown underneath the post saying that you have +1'ed it, and the author of the post will get a notification that you like their work. However, the post in question will not be shared on your news feed. For people in your Circles to see it, you must 'Share' it. 

Tip 7: Muting a Post: Your stream showing one particular post all the time, then you can 'Mute' it. This means that it will no longer see it. This also works, if you have commented or +1ed a post, then you will get a notification every time someone else comments on the post. The flow of continuous notifications can get irritating. In this case, you can go to the 'Menu' in upper right hand corner of the post and select 'Mute this post'. This will tell Google Plus to stop bugging you with it even when there's new activity, and will prevent your ever seeing this post in your stream or notifications bar again.

Tip 8: The 'Limited' Sharing: You can know, whether something that was shared with you is public/open to all or with a select few. There will be a 'Limited' icon at the top of the post, click on it to see who all are in tune with a particular post, and seeing your comments on it.

Tip 9 Chatting Tips: Google+ allows you to chat with people in your Circles. The Chat application is at the bottom of the Left Navigation, and a simple click activates it. The application is very similar to G-Talk, and you need a Google Chat Plugin for the same. The most interesting feature is that you can choose who you chat with. Identify the Circles, with which you want to chat with. These people will be able to see you online, and chat with you. However, for the chat to take place, the other person must also have enabled Chat with you.

(COURTESY- wikihow.com )

Tip 10: Instant Messaging: This can be a bit tricky, as G+ doesn't have a direct personal message option like Twitter or Facebook. For this too, you have to take the 'Post' route. Key in whatever you want to message, like you would do, if you wanted to Post. After writing, click on the Share button and share it with one chosen person only. Your 'Post' will become a message as it will be seen by the concerned person only. Now, how can you make sure, they don't send it to someone else? Well, you can 'Disable Reshare' by going to the menu on the upper right hand corner of the post and selecting the "Disable Reshare" option.

Tip 11: Managing Notifications: You will see the new Notifications, when someone commented on your post, or added you to their Circle, or tagged a photo of you, on the Google+ Bar, right hand side. The number of notifications will be flagged in Red. Now, the amazing thing about G+ is, that you can comment on status updates right within the notifications menu-you don't have to go to another page for that! The drop down can display the entire stream on that post, right there in the notifications drop down menu. You can go right or left through new or old notifications if you want.

(COURTESY- snaphow.com )

Tip 12: Sharing On Facebook and Twitter: You can use Chrome Extensions to add functionality to Google+. You can share Google+ content on Facebook or Twitter. Let the old buddies know what you have been up to on G+. The Google+ Facebook extension lets you share and you can install the  extension directly from Google Web Store. Just go to- http://crossrider.com/install/519-google-facebook and get extension.

There is another option for integrating G+ with Facebook or Twitter. Go to- https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/oenpjldbckebacipkfbcoppmiflglnib
and download the app. This extension will add a 'Share On' tab below your posts. On clicking this you can choose, where you want this post to show. This little tab can let you share on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Tumblr.

Tip 13: Sharing Photos And Videos on Google+ : You can share a photo in many ways, wither through a post in the news stream, or upload them from the G+ bar (you need to click on the camera icon from the share box, then click on 'Share' to add it to the stream). You can also do it from the 'Upload Photos' option from your home page. You can add name tags to a photo by opening it in 'lightbox' view and roving the mouse over the picture will pop up a 'click to name' option. All you have to do is type the desired name in the box, and the picture is tagged. Google+ and Picasa Web Albums are connected. You can upload unlimited videos of 15 minutes duration each on Google+.

Tip 14: Managing Your Google+ Profile: Choose how you want to come across on Google+. Select the 'View Profile' option and then choose to 'Edit Profile'. Now, Google+ is preety amazing at privacy. You can choose to share every information on the Profile list differently. So, from your bio, to your photos, or your links, or to a very different – 'bragging rights' section; you can choose what you want to be visible to whom. Once you fill up any detail on your profile, you will get a drop down menu about who you want to share it with -'Anyone on the Web' or with , specific circles, extended circles, or even individual people or not at all. After Saving, do not forget to click 'Done Editing' at the top of your profile page, to successfully apply the changes made.

(Courtesy-tothepc.com )

Tip 15: How Others See Your Profile: Once you have done up your profile, you can easily see how it has come out. It's obvious that you have chosen different people to see different sections of your profile. You can see how each of them sees your profile, as a user. For the same, reach the profile page from the Google bar at the top- View profile route. There, you will see a 'View Profile As' box, in the category bar across the top. Now, key in the name of the user you want, and you will see your profile as they see it. Double check what you have shared and all.

Tip 16:  Privacy Settings: Most of us need to control what we share, hence the need for better privacy. You can access your Privacy Settings by clicking on the tiny spoke wheel thing on the top right corner. You can change your notification settings by clicking on Google+ Settings. You can choose when do you want to be notified- when you are tagged in a photo, or someone mentions you in a post, or adds you to a circle. There are currently 11 notification options available.

Tip 17: Photo/Albums Privacy Settings: Once you share a photo, you can do it with anyone on the web, or with people in your circles as well as to anyone in their circles, or a customised list of people or only you. You can specify whether to include photos on your profile or not. You may also set up your  photo tag approval settings, so that you know where you are when someone tags you in a photo.

Tip 18: Protecting Your Circles: So, you are worried what might people think, if they got to know what Circle you added them to? Then breathe easy, they won't know. People will be notified that you have added them to a Circle, but will not know which one. When someone visits your profile, they see 'Your name..has these in his Circles'- this is like a friend list that is displayed for visitors.

But, if you don't want people to know who all you are connected to, then you can Edit your settings. On the 'Edit Profile' page, there is a section- 'In circles.' ( your name). Click on the Globe icon there- to bring up an options box to let you customize who can see information about your circles. Unselecting the top box will make information about who's in your circles totally private.

(Courtesy- comptricks.com )

Tip 19: Creating your own URL:  This one takes the cake for vanity.If the big, long  URL of your Google Plus profile bothers you, then you can shorten it. You can customise your URL by signing up at  Google Plus Nick.

Tip 20: Accounting Switching: The Google+ bar allows for multi account switching. For that you must have enabled multi sign-in, then you can switch between the accounts using the G+ bar. Click on your name on the Google bar and from the drop down menu, select 'Switch Account'

Google+ is working on other features as we speak-like integration with YouTube, or Options for business pages. But for all newbies, the social platform has quite enough options to keep busy for a while. The more you like the interface- the more 'plussed' you are!

Top 20 Google Plus Tips & Tricks!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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