5 Google+ Features You Probably Aren’t Taking Advantage Of

5 google+ features you probably aren't taking advantage of

You know you’re supposed to be on Google+ — everybody says it’s good for SEO, networking, marketing and more, with new reports coming in constantly about user growth.

So you have a profile. You’re using it. But even when you’re actively engaging on Google+, there are still many features you’re missing, if only because there are so many features to try.

With that in mind and in order to help you take greater advantage of the network, here are five specific Google+ features to check out!

1. Helper Extension for Chrome

If you’re already using Chrome as your Web browser, you’re one quick download away from a free extension that makes using Google+ a little easier. With the Helper for Google+ extension, you gain access to the following benefits:

  • One-click tool to share Google+ content on Twitter and Facebook
  • Desktop notifications on new posts
  • Bookmarking tool for reading Google+ posts later

To download the extension: Go to Chrome’s Web store, download the extension, follow the setup instructions, and you have a one-click tool to extend your reach.

Helper for Google+ extension

2. Built-In Formatting Codes

Google+ allows you to change the style of text you post with various short codes you might not know about. Here, for example, are a few ways you may customize your text:

Google+ Formatting Codes

  • Bold: Add an asterisk at the beginning and end of the words you want to make bold (i.e., *post header*)
  • Italics: Add an underscore before and a plus sign after the words you want to set in italics (i.e., _post header+)
  • Strikethrough: Place a dash before and after the words you wish to have a line run through (i.e., -post header-)

3. Google+ Ripples

When you want to see the responses to a Google+ post in a clear, visually focused way, try Google+ Ripples. Go to the top right-hand corner of your post, click the downward-facing arrow, and click the option to “View Ripples.”

Google+ View Ripples

From there, Google+ will take you to a chart that shows how your content has spread, including what users have shared it, who’s liked it, etc.

Google+ Ripples

4. Google Brand Page Audit

When you want some clear information about how well your Google+ page is performing, go to Steady Demand. With this free Google+ tool, you enter your brand page’s URL and receive a free report on what you’re doing right and wrong. Steady Demand checks to make sure you’re linking to your website from your profile, for example, as well as how well your posts are performing. After looking at the resulting metrics, you have a clear guide for improving your page.

Google+ Brand Page Audit

5. Turned-Off Google+ Emails

Google+ recently launched a new feature that, by default, allows anyone connected to you on Google+ to be able to email you through Gmail. Some users see this as a new convenience; others see it as a huge privacy breach. If you want to disable others from being able to auto-email you, there’s good news —you can. Here is how:

From within your Gmail account, click the wheel at the top right-hand corner of your screen, above your inbox.

Gmail Settings

Click the “settings” button. From within your settings dashboard, scroll down to the section marked “Email via Google+” and change the dropdown settings from “Anyone on Google+” to your preferred option, either “extended circles,” “circles,” or “no one.”

Email via Google+

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Save changes,” and you’re all set.

Your Thoughts

Have you already been utilizing these Google+ tools and features, or were some of them new to you? What other features have you found to be helpful or useful for you?

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  • http://workado.com/ Justin McGill @ Workado

    Wow – these are some really cool functions. I haven’t really dug into Google+ yet, but will be doing it shortly and this post will certainly be a reference point :)

  • http://stephanhov.com/ Stephan Hovnanian

    I’m a big fan of Steady Demand’s tools, so happy you included them!

  • http://www.startupmove.com/ Gianni Cara

    Great list, Shanna. I would include DoShare to the list. It’s a Chrome plugin that allows you to schedule your personal Google+ posts. There’s only one drawback: You have to keep Chrome open to work.

  • http://www.SouthFloridaFilmmaker.com/ Dan Perez

    Been using G+ a lot more lately and seeing some very positive results. Very helpful list. Cheers :-)

  • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

    You know I got on G+ the week it launched and dove head first into it for over 9 months. But I found that I didn’t enjoy it as much as Facebook. Mainly because no one I knew in “real” life was on the site. And 2 years or so later they still aren’t. Although I think G+ has great features I find it hard to go use it just to “network” or “market” to people.

  • Burke Miller

    Didn’t know about Ripples. Pretty neat feature to see the influence sphere from posted content and the numbers behind it.

  • Bill Cosby

    The best extension for google chrome is by far, Adblock plus.

  • Lyndal Cairns

    I find the Google+ integration with Gmail really useful. IE: when reading an email from someone, you get their most recent G+ post in a sidebar. It shows me at a glance where my G+ connections are lacking.

  • Shaadi Bazaar

    I was really excited when I saw the Ripples feature, but noticed it does not come up for any posts on my business page and only a handful for my personal page. Do you happen to know why?

  • http://www.keshkesh.com/ Takeshi Young

    Does SteadyDemand actually provide any useful, actionable info? The analysis that it runs seems pretty basic.

    My favorite Google+ related tool is CircleCount, it provides tons of useful info about both your own and other’s profiles, pages, and communities.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Super helpful post on Google+. Thanks Shanna! I’ll be spreading this one around.

  • http://thetopfivepercent.com/ Stephen W. Anderson

    Thank you, Shanna, especially about the formatting short codes, I did not know those even existed. I’ve been looking for a way to make my posts more visually interesting.

  • Anthony Haskins

    Thanks Shanna, This is a great post and definatey information that I will be using.

  • http://bit.ly/1ejGRkn RoundTable

    Wow Google+ Ripples looks really cool. It looks like a great way to show what types of content are working and who is interacting with your posts.

  • http://www.mybusinesscentral.com.au/ Mybusinesscentral

    Really, Google+ is actually a great network that has a ton
    of potential for businesses, marketers, and consumers. Google+ has developed
    into one of the leading and best rising social networks.Creating a Google+ Page
    is essential for distribution your business online.Thank you for sharing .I
    would like you to join us on Google + https://plus.google.com/109059049666851460736
    to get more updates of our business.

  • http://rocketpost.com/ Rocket Post

    Thank you for this breakdown Shanna! We love G+ as well!

  • M Sood

    Thanks for the useful information.

  • http://www.huddleproductions.com/ Chris Yates

    Great information. Thanks for sharing.

  • Marry John

    Hey thank you very much for bringing this up. It is one of the easiest ways to promote business through twitter. I will be looking forward for promoting my business through this way.

    http://onlinefblikesupply.wordpress.com

  • Ben Fisher

    Try steadydemand.com/tool/ for lots of actionable data and education.