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Google Plus Tips - Sharing Publicly vs Sharing to Circles

Updated on January 3, 2016
Find out how to share publicly and to your circles in Google Plus
Find out how to share publicly and to your circles in Google Plus | Source


One of the great things about Google Plus is the ease with which you can setup lots of different 'Circles' (groups of people that you share with). Circles allow you to quickly and easily decide exactly which audience will get the most out of what you are sharing, and allow you to share with just that audience.

It's very helpful to understand the differences between sharing to specific people, circles and publicly.

Who is this article on Google Plus sharing for?

  • People that want to learn the difference between sharing publicly and sharing to their circles
  • People that want to make sure that they share the right content with the right audience
  • People that want to maximize their interaction and the value they give, and get, in Google Plus

What are the benefits of sharing correctly?

  • You get your content in front of the right people
  • You understand the appropriate way to share and contextualize your content
  • You share in a way that's beneficial for both you and the people interacting with your posts / content

What is a circle?

A circle is away of grouping together your followers on Google Plus; for example, you could have a circle for friends, family, colleagues, engagers and more. You can setup as many circles as you want on Google Plus.

What is sharing publicly?

When you share a post on G+, you have the option of sharing it publicly, with a specific circle, with more than one circle, with a community or with individuals. Sharing a post publicly is the widest distribution of your content that you can have.

Who can see posts that I have shared publicly?

Theoretically, anyone can see posts that you have shared publicly; these are visible through several means:

  • On your profile page on Google Plus
  • Via search results in Google (public posts are indexed and can appear in search engine results pages)
  • Via other people sharing your public post
  • In other peoples' Google Plus streams if they have you in their circles
  • If you get lots of engagement, via the 'What's Hot' area of Google Plus

If I share a post to a specific circle or individual, can anyone else see it?

No, only people in your circle that have followed you back will be able to see a post that you only share with that specific circle. If you share a post with an individual, only that individual can see it.

If I share a post to a circle, can everyone I have added to that circle see it?

No, only people that have circled you back will see the post. This means that you have to be in their circles for your posts to appear to them.

Will people see notifications in Google Plus if I share a post with them?

Yes, if you specifically +mention people in your post such as +Paul Maplesden or +Rick Eliason , they will get a notification when you share your content. If you share with a circle, they won't receive a notification.

Should I use the 'Email people in this circle' option when sharing?

I would definitely recommend against it; sending out lots of emails to people can easily get you labelled as a spammer, and if lots of people report you, you could run into problems.

Should I share to circles or publicly?

It depends what you want to accomplish; many active Google Plussers share mainly to circles, whereas others (myself included) tend to post publicly.

You might find it helpful as more people join G+ though, sharing with your family, friends or colleagues rather than publicly.

Thanks to +Rick Eliason for providing information that was very useful to putting this information together.


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    • Paul Maplesden profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Maplesden 

      4 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Using +person'sname basically 'tags' them in a post. This means that they get a notification in Google Plus.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      4 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Thanks so much for this. I've been sharing hubs and blogs publicly, but I was not sure what that meant. Could you explain more about +personsname. Where does that go? Can everyone see it? voted up ++ and H+


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