The Complete Newbie’s Guide To Google Plus [Google+]

Well it’s been a few months now since Google rolled out its new and exciting new social networking site the Google+ project, and for those still to get their eyes around the new site, below we’ve compiled a complete user friendly newbie’s guide to Google Plus.

When Google Plus was first launched back in June this year, it surprised everyone as the fastest growing social networking site, outpacing Facebook and Twitter with more than 25 million users registered in just a month from being made available by invite only. Since then Google has made G+ available to anyone with a Google account and so if you’re not already on board, maybe now you’d like to join the 25+ million users.

But I’m on Facebook, why would I want to join another social networking site?

Google Plus is completely different from any other social networking site; G+ offers complete control of privacy amongst some great tools such as Circles, Sparks and Hangouts. Facebook have tried to mimic some of these features themselves realizing that they’ve left a huge gap in the market.

From an online marketing perspective G+ is more productive, their popular answer to Facebook’s ‘Like’ button the G+1 button is more important as it is relevant for Google search. If you want a complete lowdown of the features on Google Plus check out our mini review here. You can also check out how to use Google Plus for Business here.

OK, let’s get started with your user friendly tour of Google Plus…

Google+ [Google Plus] Profile

After signing up to Google Plus you’re taken straight to your new profile. Here you can begin adding a profile photo, adding an introduction in your about page and uploading your favourite photo’s.

Let’s start with the top black bar briefly. If you’re familiar with Google account then you don’t really need to read this. If you’re totally new then here goes.

Just briefly, the top left hand corner of your screen you’ll see a link to your G+ profile page. It will be +yourname. This will be followed by links to other areas in your Google account.

Link to your profile

To the right of your screen at the top, you’ll see your name (when logged in), number of notifications if any, Gravatar and settings link. The ‘share…’ feature allows you to instantly share stuff on your Google Plus wall from the top bar. We’ll take a look at sharing in more depth later on in the post.

Notifications and settings

OK, we’ll now take a look at some of the features on your profile page.

Profile

Key 1 – This is your profile photo, you can change this by clicking the edit profile button on key 4.

Key 2 – Your profile name which can also be edited on key 4.

Key 3 – This is where your tagline will appear, you can include a brief description about who you are and what you do, once again can be edited on key 4.

Key 4 – If you want to edit any aspect of your profile you simply hit this button. The great thing about editing your profile in Google+ is that you don’t have to leave the page to do so. Any area of your profile can be edited from here.

Key 5 – Displays the latest photo’s you want to share on your profile. You can edit your photos through key 4 or tag photo’s by clicking on a thumbnail.

Edit photos

Key 6 – Here you can access your about page, photos, videos, web pages you’ve give a ‘+1’ to, and pages you’ve shared using Buzz. You can also access any of these features in edit mode.

Key 7 – Google+ offers a cool little feature that allows you to view your profile as anyone else on the web. Just type in the name of anyone you want to see how they would see your profile, this is a great privacy feature in itself. You can make changes as to who sees what in your profile settings.

view as someone else

Key 8 – Your latest posts shared by you…

Key 9 – Access this feature if you want to change who is visible in your circles, another great privacy feature from Google Plus.

Who is visible

Key 10 – This tab shows who is in your circles and who has added you in their circles. We will take a closer look at what Circles are later on in this tutorial.

Key 11 – This feature allows anyone in your Circles to send you an email.

Send an email

Google Plus [Google+] Stream

We’ll now take a look at the home stream page within your Google Plus account and the features you can access from this page.

Homepage

Key 1 – You are viewing the streams page on the homepage of Google Plus.

Key 2 – This tab accesses your photos.

Key 3 – This tab accesses your profile page.

Key 4 – This tab accesses your friends in Circles. Let’s take dive in Google Circles further. Google Circles is where you have complete control over your connections on Google Plus.

This is where G+ takes privacy control to a whole new level. You can create a unique circle containing just your family members and share only specific things you want with them.

You can also have a circle for work colleagues, a circle for your secret love affair and a circle for who ever else you want. When you want to share something or post something onto your wall, you simple choose which circle or circles gets to see that post, or photo etc, simple.

Google circles1

Google circles2

Key 5 – This tab accesses the games panel should you want to play games on Google+, you can play with yourself J or you can play with one of your connections on G+.

Google games

Key 6 – This is where it all happens, post something onto your wall, and share absolutely anything you want. You can then choose who to share your post with as mentioned in Key 5, you can also add photos, add a video, share a link or share your current location.

Posting

Key 7 – This feature allows you to view the posts that are incoming or being shared with you by new connections that are not in your circles. If you look to the right of this page as shown in the image below you will see who is sharing what with you. Here you can choose to add them to your circles or simply ignore them.

Incoming

Key 8 – An overview of who is in your circles with a link to view all.

Key 9 – Suggested Google Plus friends you might like to add to your circles.

Key 10 – Send invitations to users by email or share a link to those not already on Google Plus.

Send invitiation by email

Key 11 – This button allows you to start a Hangout, Hangout is another Google+ exclusive feature. Hangout is a Google voice and video chat feature that allows you to chat to your friends individually or in groups via video streaming.

Hangout

Key 12 – Displays a stream of posts from your Google+ connections.

Key 13 – Search for connections online to chat with.

Key 14 – View all the posts by your connections in your stream as described in Key 12, or view posts from individual circles only by selecting them in the list under Stream.

Key 15 – Link back to your profile page.

Key 16 – Find people you might know on Google+.

So there you have it folks, a jargon free guide to Google Plus. In time Google will no doubt be adding many more features to their list, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated with them. If I’ve missed anything, give me a shout in the comments section below and I’ll be sure in add to to the guide…

About Fabrizio Van Marciano

Fabrizio Van Marciano is the founder and editor of Magnet4Marketing Blogging and Online Business Tips. You can learn more about him here and follow him on -
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