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Google Plus Beginner's Guide

Updated on September 19, 2014
Source

How to Setup Google Plus?

Google+ (Google Plus) is the among the new social networks when compared to Facebook or Twitter. If you've recently joined G+ and wondering what you should do next, you've come to the right place. If you haven't yet been introduced to G+, then take a quick peek at Google+ Overview Videos.

I was among the first users that Google invited to test-drive their social network and overall, I find it better than Facebook. This web page is designed as a step-by-step Google Plus guide to help you setup your G+ profile and understand the key aspects of this new social network.

To get the most out of this powerful social network, it's important that you take the time to set it up properly, especially when it comes to your privacy and notifications. You will learn how to set up your Google+ profile, change your profile picture, configure your G+ privacy settings, turn off G+ email notifications, add and delete people from your G+ Circles, invite people to join, manage your photo albums and videos, and more.

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Google+ Video Tutorials

Google+ 101 Guide
Google+ 101 Guide | Source

How to Setup your Google+ Profile?

One of the first things you need to do, once you join G+ social network, is update your Google Plus Profile. It's important to do so because it allows people, in your Google Circles, to know a little more about you and build credibility.

You can decide if you want this profile to be public or only visible to your friends. In fact, you can decide how you choose to share each field on your profile. What you choose to share on your G+ profile is up to you. Currently, the information you can share on your profile are an introduction about yourself, your occupation, employment history, educational qualifications, places you've lived in, contact details, relationship status, gender, etc.

Another important aspect of your Google+ profile is your profile picture which allows you to build trust with others who want to connect with you. You can choose to upload your real picture or an avatar. If you've uploaded a picture of yourself to your profile and want to change it, it's easy to do in Google Plus. You can upload pictures directly from your computer hard drive, your G+ albums, or from your mobile smart phone (available on Androids and iPhones). The video tutorial below will show you step-by-step how to update your Google+ profile including uploading your profile picture.

Video Tutorial on Setting Up your G+ Profile

The Digital Person
The Digital Person | Source

How to Configure Google+ Privacy Settings?

Configuring your privacy settings on Google+ is something you should take the time to understand given that you may be sharing a variety of information with different people in your Google Circles. Through G+ privacy settings, you can configure the settings in order to make your profile public or private as well as change specific fields in your profile to give access to specific information to certain people in your Circles.

G+ privacy settings also allow you to control what information is shared with various people in your Google+ Circles. You can control whether other people in your Circles can see other Circles that you are part of.

In terms of photos, you can control who can tag you with a tag link to your Google+ profile, as well as attaching a location of the photo and whether to include that photo in your public profile to be shared with other G+ members. You can also change the privacy settings so your profile will not appear in search engines. Once you configure your G+ privacy settings, you can preview what your profile looks like to other people. The video tutorial below guides you how to go about configuring your Google+ privacy settings.

Video Tutorial on Configuring G+ Privacy Settings

How to Create & Manage Google+ Circles?

Google+ Circles are at the heart of this social network and allow you to efficiently organize your friends or contacts in different groups like family, friends, classmates, Twitter friends, acquaintances, business clients, colleagues, etc.

Using Circles you can decide which posts or information, in your G+ profile and stream, are shared with certain people. I've set up various circles and find this feature very helpful to effectively manage people in my social network, whether they are friends, family, or business associates.

The video tutorial below will show you step-by-step how to create Google+ Circles, add people to your Circles, move people around within your Circles, delete people from your Circles or delete an entire G+ Circle. The video also guides you on how to send posts and updates to your Circles.

Video Tutorial on Managing Google+ Circles

How to Change Google+ Email Notifications?

This is something I would definitely recommend that you do. You may want to change your Google+ email notifications settings in order to avoid being inundated with a bunch of email notifications based on your Google+ activity.

By default, G+ has been set up to send you email notifications on activity like people adding you to their Circles, posts and comments to your stream, responding to comments on your posts and updates, tagging you to a photo or video, etc.

You can change (i.e. enable and disable) these settings so that you don't receive email notifications (to your Gmail email address) for all the activity on your G+ account. You will still see all these notifications when you log into your Google+ social network, so you won't miss any of the notifications.

Video Tutorial on Changing Google+ Notifications

Managing Google+ Invites, Photos, Videos, Twitter Integration

With Google+ you can manage photo albums, upload videos, share your interests, integrate G+ with Twitter and much more. Included below is a video tutorial on how to send G+ invites to your friends and family.

Images used are as per Amazon Associate Agreement, unless otherwise mentioned

Introduction image created by @ajgodinho

Updated: September 19, 2014

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    • profile image

      jimporsche86 4 years ago

      I just joined G+ yesterday and was very confusing to navigate but it seems a little easier now. Your tips were helpful and should help me.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This set-up is indeed helpful for beginners of this media. I do find Google+ a helpful media especially in boosting rankings in Google search results. The more you get interactions and plus, the greater advantage you'll get in social shares.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 4 years ago

      As usual, you put a lot of thought and work into this lens. This is really great information and some helpful tips and advice, just what many of us need. I am on Google+ but donât do much with it because I donât understand it. I learned a lot here, especially from your step-by-step directions. Thank you.

    • Jemjoseph profile image

      Jemjoseph 4 years ago

      These videos have been extremely helpful, thank you. I was beginning to loose patience trying to figure out some of the "circles" features on my own.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 4 years ago

      I'll be back to look at this page more closely soon...I need an organized way to use all the helpful resources that are out there to connect with others and share...right now I'm pretty random, and not very consistent. Thanks for this, and wishing you all the best.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've been using G+ for a while and have liked it....as always, you provide excellent information, advice and guidance...excellence!

    • Whatsittoyou profile image

      Whatsittoyou 4 years ago from Canada

      Thank you I had signed up for Google+ as I had seen it recommended but I wasn't sure how it worked. This was helpful.

    • profile image

      moonlitta 4 years ago

      It is a bit perplexing for me out there as I'm not all that used to it as I'm with Facebook, and most of my real-life friends are not that interested- but for aspiring writers it becomes more and more a must. So maybe we'll meet out there again:) And your guide will definitely help!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I have a Google+ account, but haven't actually learned how to use it yet. :) Therefore, this guide will certainly help me to begin to understand it. Thanks, AJ.

    • Fridayonmymind LM profile image

      Fridayonmymind LM 4 years ago

      Thank you for this really helpful info.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I definitely like Google + over facebook - just started two new communities

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Yes, I am going to finally start a Google + account! Thanks AJ!

    • heytoto profile image

      Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      I joined Google+ when it was still just a "project," and haven't done anything with it. Maybe now's the time!

    • bossypants profile image

      bossypants 4 years ago from America's Dairyland

      Thanks for helping me get started in Google +!

    • profile image

      360technosoft 4 years ago

      you have shared very nice beginner guide for Google plus. i like google plus batter than facebook. because google + is user friendly.

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 4 years ago from US/TN

      Good tips! I joined Google+ but haven't used it much yet. It's not as intuitive as Twitter or Facebook.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I like Google+ but I do need to put more time into it to really make it work to my advantage.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 5 years ago

      Blessed- good tutorial

    • profile image

      CatarinaAz 5 years ago

      I start on G+ last month and so far I like it! Thank you for the tips

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @paidsocialmediajobs: I just added you to my Google+ circles. My G+ profile link is in the intro of this lens above.

    • profile image

      paidsocialmediajobs 5 years ago

      I appreciate the information. So, how do I connect with you on Google+? I cannot see any G+ button...

    • RetroMom profile image

      RetroMom 5 years ago

      Thanks for the useful information.

    • makemoneyonline5 profile image

      makemoneyonline5 5 years ago

      Brilliant lens! Great information that is easy to follow. Well done

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 5 years ago

      I'm just setting up my Google+ account now, so this is very helpful. Thanks!

    • cynthiannleighton profile image

      cynthiannleighton 5 years ago

      Interesting! I'm focused on some stuff right now. Will check it out later. Likely back to this lens too!!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      I am a bit stuck on how to use/implement "rel=me" ...

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Lee Hansen: I'm assuming you're referring to authorship linking in Google search results. There are two options to do so, check these instructions at Google Webmasters, but review this YouTube video from Matt Cutts and Othar Hansson on the subject. Hope this helps.

    • chookyco profile image

      chookyco 5 years ago

      A really great Lesne about Google +, take a look at my Google + Lenses

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @kathysart: Yeah, social networking online can get overwhelming for sure. I don't find too much time for it either, but sometimes do get caught up. I agree, use it in moderation and use it wisely. Thanks much for the blessing and glad you found this Google+ guide useful.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      I am debating about it. I joined and have friends on there but wow.. I am beginning to feel overwhelmed with all the social sites.. ya know? I stopped doing FB so much.. gads I was checking it several times a day.. mental! LOL. I love my friends on there but I have been neglecting real life. I have decided to accept all of it in moderation and just do them a bit in the mornings and then try to do more art.. which is what I should be doing. Happy day to you and angel blessed! Great lens with lots of good info on the subject for sure.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: Thanks for your feedback and thoughts, AJ. You're right, Google continues to push Google+ and make it a significant part of search. If the past few months are any indication, they will continue to provide more G+ visibility. So I think it's a good idea to use G+ the best we can.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Creating and managing my Google+ Circles is what I am finding hard, so I have to admit I have not persevered. But I guess I am going to have to because I have a feeling that because Google has such huge influence on Search Engine Results, then having links that have been shared on Google+ is going to also influence Search Engine results.

      Thank yiu foir this explanation :)

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 5 years ago

      I honestly don't know much about it besides what you have written. Still considering it as a potential to do.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Kiwisoutback: Glad you found this Google+ guide useful and thanks for reporting your search findings. Yeah, Google is starting to spread the wings of Google+ slowly, but surely. I think it's a useful platform and one that I prefer. I agree, writers will benefit from using Google+.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks for these tips! Google+ is altering search quite a bit. In fact, that's how I found this lens, through a search on Google for "Google Plus," and this was on the first page for me. Maybe not for everyone else, but since I'm in your circle, it was a first page result. It looks like there are quite a few benefits to using it if you're a writer.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @earthybirthymum: I believe Google+ is a real competitor to Facebook, though at this point G+ is not quite at par in terms of population when compared to FB. With the integration of more Google services into G+, Google will slowly, but surely catch up.

    • earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Is Google+ a real competitor for Facebook?

    • profile image

      HOPEHomeSchoolConsulting 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @webstatsart: You could have still maintained your Facebook lens and tweaked it with the change in your stance, rather than deleting it, especially if it was doing well. With regards to Google+ I find it very helpful and have not really seen much spam on it as I see on FB, but of course, that could be because I have 2K FB friends, 5 times more compared to G+. Ultimately, you have to use what works for you and Google+ works well for me, even though I don't use it too much. I appreciate your feedback!

    • webstatsart profile image

      webstatsart 5 years ago

      My most powerful lens using another account used to be "Why I hate Facebook" and I was shocked to get so many visitors to it. I took it down eventually because I don't hate Facebook anymore, even though I don't use it. I see a real problem with Google+ because it is attracting spammers and is becoming a huge content farm competing with blogs that were penalized penalized previously as content farms. Now I will support Facebook for sure because they do not spam all their content around the web since they have put a wall around much of the content.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @fullofshoes: Yeah, it may take a little while to get used to all the features, but if you take some time, in the beginning, to learn about it and set things up correctly, you will enjoy it.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens, it is very helpful! I like it. Thanks for this useful information.

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 5 years ago

      Excellent reference! I haven't used Google+ yet but plan to. Thanks for making this lens!

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 5 years ago

      This is really helpful, thanks very much. I'm signed up... sort of. Not really sure if I like it or how it's supposed to work but your lens is officially bookmarked so I can refer back.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 5 years ago from Texas

      I have been using Google+ for a while. I need to check out the other features also. like circles. Thanks for the info on that.

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      I joined google+ and I like it.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Craftybegonia: I can understand that you're taking a "wait and see" approach to Google+ due to their earlier unsuccessful attempts. To me the way I look at it is that they are not giving up and I'm sure they've learned a lot from their earlier attempts. I think Google+ is here to stay, given that they are taking an integrated approach. It will take time, but I believe they will make it work this time. Only time will tell, though :) I like the platform and all the Google+ features.

    • profile image

      Craftybegonia 5 years ago

      Very informative! I've been somewhat ignoring Google + until I see what will become of it, since Google had other attempts at social media that did not take off. Your information is very useful.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @gamecheathub: You're welcome, Joe, I'm glad you found this Google+ guide useful. When I first joined Google Plus, I found these videos very useful and decided to put this lens together. To use Google+ effectively, it's important to set it up right. I do like the Google+ Circles feature too.

    • gamecheathub profile image

      gamecheathub 6 years ago

      I'm bookmarking this page for future reference. Lots of important features and tutorials on here. I just learned how to enable my contact button under my profile pic today. I really enjoy the circles feature too. Thanks for putting this together!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A really helpful guide to setting up Google+.

    • profile image

      mumsgather 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing. Yes, I found this guide useful indeed. :)

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      Great guide, Google plus one will be with us for a long time so we must jump on the wagon now, and use it properly

      Thanks for a great post

      regards

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: Promote without spamming, create unique Squidoo lenses, write keyword-rich articles on your blog and other high ranking sites...to name a few.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      how can i use social networking sites to improve traffic to my free wordpress themes site

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Have tried this today so I am interested in learning more. Thanks for this well organized info.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @LisaAuch1: Thanks for the squid angel blessing, Lisa...much appreciated! :)

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @nightbear lm: Susan, thanks much for your blessings and kind words! Good to know that you found this guide helpful :)

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @TonyPayne: Always great to know that a reader learned something new. And thanks much for the blessing, Tony! :)

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @incomenetwork: Glad you found it useful, Kris...thanks for stopping by! :)

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 6 years ago from Scotland

      excellent information claerly set out Blessed by a passing Angel

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 6 years ago

      Very helpful and useful information. I was having a problem with my google+ and I think you have solved it for me. Thank you so much and the layout and use of your lens is excellent. Very enjoyable. Blessed!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Excellent lens and you just taught me a couple of things about Google Plus. I am on there, so any lensmasters feel free to add me. Great job AJ, Blessed.

    • profile image

      incomenetwork 6 years ago

      Great informative lens AJ. I will definitely keep this bookmarked for future reference, very helpful indeed! Thanks for putting all of this together :)

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @termit_bronx: You're welcome, Mitja...great to see you on G+ and I'm glad you found this Google+ Guide useful.

    • profile image

      termit_bronx 6 years ago

      This is really a great guide AJ, thanks for writing it. Oh, and thanks a lot for inviting me to G+!

    • whiteskyline lm profile image

      whiteskyline lm 6 years ago

      Great information AJ, thank you!

    • profile image

      prosuccess 6 years ago

      it is nice tip to use google +,

      Thank You !

    • BlueStarling profile image

      BlueStarling 6 years ago

      Great collection of information! Not on Google+ yet, but I'm looking forward to it being a better experience than FB, and I've bookmarked this lens to refer to -- lots here to help the newcomer to Google+.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: You can set this up from your Profile page by clicking the blue Edit button (top-right). Then hover your mouse on any of the section like Introduction, Occupation, Employment, etc. and then click on a particular section that you'd like to update. It will open an edit box for that section where you can update who sees updates for that section (its a gray drop-down box). Make your changes and save them. Hope this helps.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: You can set this up from your Profile page by clicking the blue Edit button (top-right). Then hover your mouse on any of the section like Introduction, Occupation, Employment, etc. and then click on a particular section that you'd like to update. It will open an edit box for that section where you can update who sees updates for that section (its a gray drop-down box). Make your changes and save them. Hope this helps.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hey can i knw how to set the notification for updates of my profile to all my circles

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @TapIn2U: Hey i have a Qtn how to set the notification for the below scenario.

      On updating my profile--No body is receiving the notifications for that

      How to set the notifications for this scenario

    • Srena44 profile image

      Srena44 6 years ago

      thanks for sharing

    • pramodbisht profile image

      pramodbisht 6 years ago

      Excellent tutorial on how to setup up and use Google +, Thank you for this!

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @pakmei de: I'm assuming you are referring to the +1 button at the top of the lens next to the FB and Twitter buttons. I believe it's reserved for Giant Squid lenses (for now).

    • pakmei de profile image

      pakmei de 6 years ago

      Nice Lens! May I ask how you got the google+ button on your squidoo page?

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: Hi Jeane, I don't believe you can change the primary email address, I tried doing it. You can only add an additional or alternate email address. Refer to this Google Plus Support Page for more information on email addresses associated with your Google+ account. Hope this helps.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for the guide.. i have a question though :( is it possible to change your primary email for google + account ?

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 6 years ago

      I am just beginning to learn about Google+, very helpful guide!

    • profile image

      window-well-cover 6 years ago

      it is nice tip to use google +, thanks

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @justholidays: Thanks much! I can understand your feelings towards social networks. Initially, I was skeptical myself to be part of yet another social network. However, since it is Google, I decided to join after reading a little about it and seeing potential SEO benefits. Look forward to seeing you on G+ if and when you decide to join. Feel free to ask for an invite if you decide to go with it. Thanks for the squid angel blessing as well...much appreciated!

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @JanieceTobey: Thanks for stopping by, Janiece. Do let me know if you want a Google+ invite. It's a very interesting social network. I have high hopes for it given that a lot of folk are not so happy with Facebook.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @deyanis: Good to know that you found this Google Setup Guide useful. I found the videos very useful too and decided to create this guide. I'm enjoying exploring G+ and seeing it evolve. Great to have you in my G+ circle too. Absolutely, please share it with anyone you wish to.

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 6 years ago

      I'm looking forward to giving Google plus a try, once they open it up to more members! Thanks for sharing these instructions on how to setup the various Google plus features!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 6 years ago

      Excellent tutorial on how to setup up and use Google +. Although I'm not a fan of such networks, I've got an invite and still don't now if I'll be joining or not, but in case I do, I'll get back to this page and will follow your instructions; which are very clear. Thank you for this!

      Blessed by a passing angel on Squidoo.

    • deyanis profile image

      deyanis 6 years ago from Oz

      Yes, absolutely. I am still learning how to use google+ so this lens is a lifesaver. If you don't mind, I'll share it on my g+ account as my family who just accepted my invitation had no idea how to add each other as their friend / in their circle.

      I'm thankful to have you in my g+ circle.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @MBradley McCauley: Thanks Mary, great to have you in my G+ circles too! :)

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 6 years ago

      Great lens---I've shared it with a few people who have joined after my invitation, and put it on facebook and twitter. Glad to have you in one of my circles.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Vikk Simmons: Thanks for your feedback. I will see if I can incorporate written instructions. I'm just the opposite, I like video tutorials better because it's visual, you can follow along and pause anytime. You may find this Google+ Collaborative Document useful.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @TapIn2U: Yeah, it will be interesting to see how it all shapes up. From what I've seen so far and what Google is capable of delivering, I have a good feeling about Google+!

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 6 years ago from Houston

      Great idea. Just not a fan of videos so I have to wait until I want to sit and watch them. Nice page and I've shared it with others.

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      Very nice!

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 6 years ago

      This is going to be the next big thing I know it. Thanks for the video tutorial. Gonna need it! Sundae ;-)

    • profile image

      GrowWear 6 years ago

      Another great resource!