Google Plus - Frequently Asked Questions!

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Google Plus - Frequently Asked Questions!

We felt the time had come to release this into the wild as so many people have questions that can be easily answered with a quick scan of this content. We hope it helps with your Google+ adventures for business and individuals too.

All uncredited questions are answered by Martin Shervington.

Profile

Q. What tools are available to Google+ users to boost their productivity and profile management?

Circlecount.com and GplusData.com provide excellent intelligence on your posts & profile engagement (and that of the pages & communities you manage). Friends+Me (post from G+ to other social accounts). Sprout Social and Hootsuite also offer the ability to post to your Google+ Page (these are commercial products)

Bufferapp is my favourite tool for scheduling and posting, works on Google+: The +mentions can be added via typing + and immediately the G+ ID number of a page or a profile. From JaanaNyström

Q. If I add my URL in text onto my cover photo, is it clickable?

No, however, if you add the full URL (including the http://) in the photo description, users who click on your cover photo will be able to navigate to your web page from there. Stephan Hovnanian

Circles

Q. How many people can you have in your circles on a Profile or a Page?

5000

Q. How many people can you add to circles in one day?

It depends, but work on a few hundred (maximum of 500) as a principle. If there has been a lot of activity e.g. rearranging your circles by adding and deleting then it may well flag up that you cannot add any more, saying something like ‘Error changing circle memberships’.

Q. What does extended circles mean?

Extended circles means your circles + who ‘your circles’ have in their circles.

Q. If I share to public and to a circle, will people get notified?

People won’t get notified unless you ‘check’ the box to notify a circle. If you +mention they they get notifications though; and if people have notifications switched ‘on’ for your Page in their own settings.

Pages

Q. Can you set up a Google+ Page as ‘private’?

No. You can however set it up and only share the content privately e.g. individuals or circles. Stephan Hovnanian

Q. Is it better to have a Profile or a Page?

There are a number of reasons to have one or both. You will have to make that decision based on your business goals. However, a Profile is critical if you wish to use Authorship. And if you decide to use a Page, you will get the most out of the Page if you set a password for it or have it connected to its own Google Account. Stephan Hovnanian

Q. What does Google mean by 'verified Page'?

Google use the word verified in relation to Pages for at least 5 different reasons

1. A verified Local business listing (done via a pin to verify the address is correct).

2. A website is verified as connected to a Google+ Page.

3. An email address has to be verified when displayed on a Google+ Page.

4. A verified Google+ Page for big brands to show they are genuine.

5. A website has to be verified when added to Google Webmaster tools.

If your just trying to verify a standard Google+ Page The verified you need is just as simple as adding your site in your Google+ Page and linking back to your Google+ page from your site using a publisher tag.

If your trying to verify a Local listing this has to be done via a pin number they will send you. Terry Simmonds

Q. On a Google+ Page, there is the a number of +1s - how does this ‘get accumulated’?

A. Thomas Morffew says: +1 count is officially called the “Google+ Social Number”

“The Google+ social number is a quick summary of a brand’s or article’s social engagement. The social number includes Google+ activities across the web, such as +1′s, shares and follows, and can be seen on Google+ pages and anywhere Google+ plugins appear.”

And Mark Traphagen adds: If your Page owns a community, the number of members in the community are added to the Page’s displayed +1 count. Also, Page owners/managers will see a different displayed count if they are logged in or out.

Google Hangouts

Q. How many people can join a Google Hangout?

Hangouts are both text and video call. You can have up to 99 people in the text aspect and 10 in the video call at one time. BUT really, it is not people in the video call but ‘devices’ and as such you could have a room of people just take up one slot a person normally would. Also, you can have up to 15 devices attached on a corporate/enterprise account using Google Apps for Business.

Q. I heard Hangouts On Air are “Public”, does that mean that anyone can join them?

No, only the people or circles you invite can join your Hangout On Air. But anyone can view the video stream.  You can’t invite “public” to a Hangout On Air.

You can, however, invite “public” to a regular Hangout Video Call. In that case anyone (whether they are in your circles or not) can join that Hangout Video Call Paulino Brener

Q. I did a Hangout On Air but I want to add an intro/outro or delete some parts from the video, can I do that?

For some simple edits (and if your video is under two hours) you can use YouTube’s Video Editor - Paulino Brener

For videos longer than two hours you need to download them, edit with your own software and upload again to your YouTube channel. To download a video just go to your Video Manager page  click on the arrow next to “edit” on the video you want to

Q. How do I delete someone from the list of people on 'hangouts'?

If you ‘block’ the person, then after a few days you will probably find they have been removed from the hangout list.You can then ‘unblock’ them.

Q. How do I delete a person from a hangout?

You cannot delete a person, but you can delete a hangout.

Q. How can I share the screen to a ‘Powerpoint’ presentation?

Go to your presentation and click Slide Show>Set Up Show...

You then get a pop up box called 'Set up slide show'

You have to tick 'Browsed by an individual (window)' which then presents your presentation in a window, not as a full screen. Now you can share your presentation without all the notes and next slides on show - problem solved! Answer from Graham Todd.

Hangouts on Air

Q. Is there a way to help ‘bulletproof’ my Company HOA show? How can I be sure ‘the show must go on’? Can I insure that my HOA will continue even if there are Internet problems during the show?

If a PAGE is running the HOA, then having multiple Page Managers in the filmstrip will allow the original HOST to automatically pass over the Hosting functions to other Managers if they were to be kicked off or loose connection to the show for any reason. Think backup host. Ronnie Bincer

Etiquette

Q. What does h/t mean when you see it on a post?

It means ‘Hat/Tip’ or ‘Thanks’ – people do it to acknowledge where they found the content they are sharing. It is especially used when you share a post someone else has already shared.

Managing Notifications

Q. How can I adjust my setting for notifications I receive?

You can do that here: http://google.com/settings/plus

Q. What’s the difference between the types of notifications?

Various activities across Google+ that interact with your profile will trigger a notification to display in the upper right corner of your Google+ page (and elsewhere on Google properties, like YouTube or Gmail, when you’re logged into your Google Account). You will see a number next to the “bell” icon indicating a new notification. In your Settings page, however, you can also specify which of these activities will send an email to you, or a “push” notification to your phone. - Stephan Hovnanian

Images

Q. What is the size of a cover photo on a Profile or a Page?

The optimal size is 2120 x 1192 pixels

Q. What is the size of image for a community?

250×250 pixels, with only 200×250 showing in the community (the side get cut down to size but you can see that when you add them in).

Q. What is the size of a banner for an event?

1200x300 is the minimum size permitted. (repeated below)

Q. What size image should you use to get a ‘big picture’ appear in people’s streams?

This is not a size thing as Google determines how some images are ‘made larger’ in the streams.

Google+ Posts

Q. How many people can you notify by email when you do a Google+ post?

It depends on the algorithm. Sometimes you may be able to notify by email as many as 150 people (or more) but a rough guide is around 100. So think about circles about that size if you want to do so.

Q. Why do I get a message saying I “cannot notify that many people” when it is only a small circle e.g. 20 people?

It depends on the algorithm. If for instance you have notified many people that day already, your account could well be restricted for around 24 hours.

Q. How do I save posts on Google+?

My favourite new way to save posts, articles and ideas!

I have started a very secret and private community. Members: Me + my Pages as moderators, all can share with community

Use: Storing data (posts) from Google+ and using the +1 button also from the Interwebz

Categories: Several. From Drafts to tips to Google tools, only part of the topics is visible in the screenshot.

Alerts & post visibility in streams: Off.

Benefit: All pages can save good stuff in one place, inside Google+

Resharing: Easy between pages and profile.

Works also from tablets and mobile phones!

Using a private community for saving posts is a matter of taste, there are many ways of saving data. Pocket, Evernote, empty circles...

I'm a bit wary about the starring extensions because the older ones lost all posts when Google+ UI changed. Perhaps this +Favorite Posts works better: Version 2.0 - goo.gl/4werF

I have many places where I collect data from the Interwebz:

http://www.scoop.it/t/googleplus-help

http://paper.li/JaanaNystrom/1308772803

https://www.rebelmouse.com/JaanaNystrom/

http://pinterest.com/jaananystrom/boards/

I've been using the empty circles but with the Community I can share good stuff when browsing the posts on all my Pages, too. They all had their empty circles but now I can have everything in one place.

There is a problem every time major updates happen on Google+: The empty circles seem to lose posts!

Why using general hashtags is not a good idea: Other people use them too, also shared posts come up in search.

Resharing between the community, profile and pages

When you share a post to your private community there are 2 ways to do it: Regular sharing via the Share arrow button OR left clicking the posts' timestamp and copypasting the URL of the post as a link.

In the first case there is always a link "originally shared this post" and clicking that opens up the original which you can share in Public.

But sharing first to public and then to your private community works better.

If you share something to the community from your profile, you can reshare it from the community as your page as I explained above.

Sharing from your profile to your page or vice versa

You can also reshare anything from your own profile by sharing the post with your page or by +mentioning the page in the comments of the post thus creating a notification. Then the page can reshare the post. However if your page and profile have same followers, sharing the same post simultaneously everywhere is not a good idea.

That's when the community becomes useful: You can create a "Later" category and share posts from there - well later. Perhaps deleting them from the community after the resharing.

Public Community as landing stage

I have hidden the community posts from my personal profile.

Thus when I share a post first in Public perhaps and then later to the Google+ Helper Community there aren't any double posts visible on my profile. (All my pages are moderators / owners.)

Then I can later reshare that post directly from the community to my Page, as my Page.

The Public community works as a landing stage between profile and Page getting the maximum visibility for the post.

Private communities in business use

A similar community is a great method of messaging within a company or a project.

If you wish to use a Public community just for sharing information without all the people in your enterprise being able to post there, appoint your key people as members / moderators and just share the link to the community with others. They cannot comment or share the posts, only read and +1 them.

But the content may be visible to anyone, when a private community's posts are only visible to members.

- Jaana Nystrom

Google+ Events

Q. What size is the ‘image’ in an event (if I want to upload my own)?

The minimum size that works if 1200 x 300.

Communities

Q. What is the maximum number of categories you can currently have in a community?

20

Q. Can I change my community from public to private or from private to public?

No. You chose the community’s privacy settings when you create it and, currently, you can’t change it afterwards. - Paulino Brener

Q. There is already a community about my “topic”, “niche”, “product”, can I still create a community about my “topic”, “niche”, “product”?

You can create a new community with the same name of a “topic”, “niche”, “product”, etc.  Names are not unique. - Paulino Brener

Q. What's the main difference between the abilities of a moderator and an owner of a community?

A moderator will be able to do everything an owner can do to manage the community, except add additional moderators and delete the community. Answer from: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/2870379?hl=en-GB

Chrome Extensions

Q. What Chrome extensions would you recommend?

Chrome extensions worth adding include DoShare (scheduled posts from profile),  Favorite Posts for Google+ (for Bookmarking), CircleCount (added stats of users on their hovercards), and Circloscope Premium (complete circle management tool, $47). - Stephan Hovnanian

Google Hovercard

Q. What parts of my profile show up on my hovercard?

In addition to the cover photo, profile image, and name the following fields from your “About” tab will appear: for Pages, your URL. If your business is a Local page, the location will also appear. For Profiles, your name, tagline, current employer, current education, and location will be shown. You might want to experiment with different information and lengths of text to “optimize” your hovercard to encourage people to add you to their circles when they see your information. - Stephan Hovnanian

Google+ Search

Q. Can I search Google+ by date of posts?

Yes, you can search using keywords and dates e.g. ‘Shervington 7th July’ and that will get you close.

Q. Will hashtags used in comments show up when people search within Google+

No, hashtags in comments will not show up.

Google Local and Google+ Business Pages

Q. Can you merge Google Local and Google+ Business Pages?

You cannot merge Google Local and Google+ business pages!
https://plus.google.com/u/0/109164280656499025716/posts/ZcWRjz6Mgz5
One can only transfer circles.
Google+ Local is very different from Google+ Business Pages - both are different from Google Places (business listing)!
From Jaana Nyström

Your Account

Q. How do I make sure my account is secure?

Kamal Tailor gives this information…

Set up 2-step login here, and ensure you follow All the steps.

http://www.google.com/landing/2step/

If you are concerned someone may have your account information…

Go here and change your password immediately

https://security.google.com/settings/security/activity

Check your recovery options here and change them to your details

https://security.google.com/settings/security

Read the following information in full

http://www.google.com/goodtoknow/

Q. Where can I review permissions I have given to access my account?

You will find the link here: https://security.google.com/settings/security?pli=1

Q. What should be the way to handle the Google account when someone dies?

Google Inactive Account Manager is HERE!

If you want to have a ‘back-up person’ to be able to access your account, then add in their phone number as an alternative in recovery options.https://support.google.com/mail/answer/183723?hl=en

Custom URLs

Q. Can I choose my own custom URL for a Page?

No, Google will suggest options, usually when you have at least 10 followers (i.e. people in circles) and a linked website.

Troubleshooting

Q. Why can’t I see someone’s profile or page when other people can?

If someone hasn’t shared anything with you, or hasn’t shared ‘publicly’ then you may not see the content. Alternatively you have probably been ‘blocked’ and that is the reason.

Q. I keep getting a message that I can’t share someone’s post that has already been shared by someone. Why is that?

Most probably because you have been blocked by that person.

Q. The owner of a Google+ Page has left my business? I am a manager, but would like to take up ownership. What can I do?

You need to contact that person, be nice to them and ask for them to transfer the ownership to you. You will need to be a moderator for at least 2 weeks for the transfer to happen.

Recovery of an account

Q. How can you recover a Page you if lose all log in information?

The best way to recover the page is by providing an email address on the company's domain. This path is the least likely though.

The best thing to do is get in touch with the former media manager who was in charge of the pages and ask them for the login access or for the page ownership to be transferred to you.

The best thing to do is this.

Create an email address on the company domain. Name it something like

social@company.com or google@company.com

Then create a Google account without Gmail, using that email address, via this link:

https://accounts.google.com/SignUpWithoutGmail

This creates a higher level of trust between yourself and Google apparently, because no one else can create email addresses on that domain.

Next activate Google+ using your name as you are currently in charge of Social Media. You can abbreviate it to C. Warsh or Charles W. or even Charlie W. to differentiate between your personal profile and this one.

For all Google products make sure that this account owns them. That way if someone does leave the company recovery of the login is simply a matter of changing the password and the name of the profile to the new social media manager.
Provided by John Skeats.

Kamal Tailor adds:  To create pages you need a profile, you can upgrade and downgrade at will, so long as no YT channels are connected to the profile. To create pages you need a profile, you can upgrade and downgrade at will, so long as no YT channels are connected to the profile.

Help

Q. Where can I find the official help community on Google+?

A. The official help community in Google+ is called ‘Google+ Help’

Q. My legal name may look unusual but I have evidence it is my real name. How can I use it on Google+?

Kaleh Kohler gave this answer to a similar question...

A. When you attempt to change the name on your Google+ Profile, place a dot [.] in the last name field.  There should be a sentence (in red) that asks if Google made a mistake, and it provides a link to a form for submitting more information about your name.

Mononyms require submission of a copy of something like your driver's license or passport.  I have never heard of anyone getting approval for a mononym without that type of documentation.

https://support.google.com/plus/answer/1228271

If you actually have a single-part name, then you should enter it as your first name, and a simple dot (“.”) as your last name, then go through the appeals process.