10 Google+ Tips You Should Know About

By now, you are probably sick and tired of all the news about Google+, especially if you weren’t lucky enough to receive an invite before they were temporarily closed off on Wednesday. Luckily, thanks to @prithi, I was able to obtain an invite. So far, Google+ is definitely a step ahead of its predecessors like Buzz and Wave. Will Google+ eventually dominate the social networking sphere and turn Facebook into Myspace? That’s for another post, but for now, let’s take a look at some of the things you should know about when you first start using Google+.

  1. Prevent anyone from sending you an email

  2. By default, anyone viewing your Google+ profile can send you an email. Although your email address is not actually shown, this could open up the potential for lots of unwanted spam.

    google-plus-1

    Just head to your Google+ settings and navigate to the Profile and privacy tab in the left column. From there, click on the Edit visibility on profile button in the Google Profiles section, adjacent to Public profile information. Next, click the Send an email button under your profile picture. You can choose to disable the email option completely by unchecking the option that allows people to email you from a link to your profile. Otherwise, you can selectively choose who can email you, such as only people in your Circles.

  3. Modify your email notification settings

  4. One of the things that has kept me coming back to Google+ are email notifications. Similar to Facebook, Google+ does a good job of getting users to return when someone mentions them in a post or adds them to their circle. However, since Google+ is integrated so deeply across many of Google’s core services via the new “black bar” that adorns the top of Gmail and Google search, there’s no need to have email notices sent to your Gmail inbox as well.
    google-plus-2

    Head over to your Google+ settings once more and here you can modify the settings that determines how email notifications are delivered. I unchecked all of the options, but that’s purely because of personal preference.

  5. Flip through profile photos when viewing them

  6. When you visit someone’s Google+ profile, you can view all of their uploaded photos from the Photos tab. However, if you just want to look at their profile pictures, simply click on the profile picture to rotate through each one.

  7. Download the Google+ Chrome extension

  8. If you want Google+ notifications viewable from anywhere even when you aren’t using a Google service, check out this Google Chrome extension. It’s essentially the notifications box you see in Google+ accessible from your Chrome browser.

  9. Copy one circle into another

  10. One of Google+’s most highly touted features is Circles, which lets you organize people in your life into different groups. To copy one circle into another, first visit Circles. Then, click on the circle you want to copy. Next, select View circle in tab. In the top right corner, click on More actions and then the Select all link. This highlights all members of your circle. Now, simply drag and drop the selected members into another circle.

    Source: Chris Cartland

  11. Utilize shortcut keys

  12. Feel free to share any I may have missed in the comments section below.

    J = scroll down one post
    K = scroll up one post
    Q = jump directly to chat
    Return = Start Comment
    Tab and Return = End Comment

  13. Disable resharing on posts

  14. disable-reshare

    When you share something on Google+, you can define which circle of friends to share it with. If you are sharing something with a circle dedicated to your closest friends, you can disable resharing of that post. First, the post must be shared to your circle. Then, click the arrow in the top-right corner of the post and select Disable reshare.

  15. Format text in your posts

  16. google-plus-3

    Format the text in your posts by surrounding words according to the following: *bold*, _italics_, and – strikethrough -.

  17. Mute annoying posts

  18. One of the annoying things about Google+ right now is that old posts seem to be pushed back to the top of your feed when more people start to comment on it. Luckily, you can mute the post by selecting the arrow in the top-right corner and select Mute post.

  19. Leave Google+

  20. Arrrrggghh! This is madness! Google+ is worse than Buzz and Wave!

    If that is how you feel after using Google+ for the first time, Google provides a tool called Google Takeout(no, it has nothing to do with food) that lets you download an archive of all your data from Google+. As Vic Gundotra explains, “It’s your data, your relationships, your identity.”

  21. Vanity URLs

  22. You might’ve noticed the horrendous looking profile URL in Google Plus. It looks something like this:
    googleplusid
    Not very informative, and you’re probably thinking, there must be a vanity URL option, right?

    Nope.

    Meanwhile, there is a temporary solution to make your Google+ profile URL pretty. Check out http://gplus.to and enter a username for yourself. Mine is http://gplus.to/tonyhue.

Hat tip to Matt Cutts for providing some of the Google+ tips.

Follow me on Google+

What are some of your favorite Google+ tips? Share yours in the comments section below!
Update:Someone has created a Google Docs guide compiling how-to’s, tips, and FAQ’s. Check it out here.

  • http://twitter.com/girlmeetsgeek Kate-Madonna Hindes

    With everyone focusing on Google+ for marketing, this is an excellent point that speaks about protecting yourself and engaging others.

  • http://BasicBlogTips.com Ileane

    Hi Tony, thanks for the tips. I also installed the Chrome extensions called Extended Share for Google+ which lets you easily share posts to Facebook and Twitter, and Google C S S Tricks which keep the black bar fixed at the top of your browser so you don’t need to scroll back up to it. So far I really like Google+ and I’m glad we’re connected over there now. Chat soon.

  • Anonymous

    Looks more like Tony Hue’s personal preferences than tips we should all know about.

  • MsRabbot

    Can you add an embedded hyperlink to posts with formatting as well?

    • http://loneplacebo.com/ Tony Hue

      Are you talking about something like:

      Aenean eu leo quam. Pellentesque ornare sem lacinia quam venenatis vestibulum. Aenean lacinia bibendum nulla sed consectetur.

      Not that I know of. For now, you can just paste the url within the post. Not ideal, but it works.

    • http://loneplacebo.com/ Tony Hue

      Are you talking about something like:

      Aenean eu leo quam. Pellentesque ornare sem lacinia quam venenatis vestibulum. Aenean lacinia bibendum nulla sed consectetur.

      Not that I know of. For now, you can just paste the url within the post. Not ideal, but it works.

  • Magonz17

    can you write a comment specifically to one person and not have it show up on my stream ?

    • http://loneplacebo.com/ Tony Hue

      You’re referring to your home stream, correct? In that case, no.

    • Jesse Howes

      i’m pretty sure if you click in the share box in the top right corner, you can type a personal message – you just need to change who you’re sharing with. It will automatically come up with the circles you last shared with, but you can click the x on those and type in the person’s name….

  • http://www.40tech.com Evan

    Gret tips, Tony. There were a few there that were new to me. The one that some people seem puzzled by is the vanity URL one. I saw someone point out that you could just use something like bit.ly for that, as gplus.to is really just a url shortener limited to Google+.

    • http://loneplacebo.com/ Tony Hue

      That’s true, but I think the main appeal with using gplus.to is the branding.

    • http://loneplacebo.com/ Tony Hue

      That’s true, but I think the main appeal with using gplus.to is the branding.

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com James Smith

    It is much better to have nothing to do with any part of Google. They have become a major part of the privacy problem. They have gone from “Don’t be evil” to “How evil can we be?”.

  • James Blackburn

    We just launched a Google+ Directory and Short URL creator. We will soon be opening the full directory. Check it out: http://DirPl.us

  • James Blackburn

    We just launched a Google+ Directory and Short URL creator. We will soon be opening the full directory. Check it out: http://DirPl.us

  • Coolchick_17

    can people know when you look at their google profile?