Just when you thought you had Facebook and Twitter nailed, along comes Google+. This new social site took the world by storm, but easily ended up adding more confusion to your life.

Well, even if you’re a complete beginner and don’t have a clue where to start or you’re a reasonably seasoned user of Google+, the following resources  will hopefully help you learn everything you need to know about Google+ so you can use it effectively.

Google+ Basic Tutorials

Need a primer on how to get started with Google+? Then take a peek at these guides for beginner’s. They may be basic, but they’re all very comprehensive.

Google+: The Guide – A basic guide to Google+ by Ben Parr over at Mashable, but I have a feeling it won’t be basic for long. Parr updates it frequently with the latest tips and tools.

A Must-See How-to Guide to Google+–Created By Users – This is way cool. Google+ users (over 120 at the last count) have created an open document providing mostly basic tips, but some advanced, too.

Why Your Business Ought to Use Google Plus – This was my post I shared when Google+ was first launched, teaching you how to do everything from signing up to promoting your account.

Your Google+ Guide: 15 Tips for Newbies – This is Huffington Post’s quick and dirty guide designed to help anyone feeling overwhelmed by “another” social media site calm down and get it done.

Google Plus Is a VERY Different Sharing Environment – Chris Brogan explains that inside Google Plus getting followed isn’t about sharing geek-only stuff. It’s more like a saloon.

Where Is Sparks and Why Did It Disappear? – The Sparks feature, as this short exchange explains, was integrated into Google+ searches. The button is now “Save This Search.”

The 6 Best Features of Google+ – From the obvious to the not so obvious, this is a good read to understand what Google’s new social media tool can really do for you.

Simplifying Circles-Start with Two – Circles are one of the most distinctive feature of Google+, but you can get tired of creating them. Here’s how to avoid doing that.

Google+ Advanced Tutorials

For those of us who have the basics under our belt and want to get more out of our Google+ accounts, these tutorials will give you what you’re looking for.

5 Google+ Tips for Advanced Users – If you’ve just been tinkering with Google+ and understand the basics but want to take it a step further, read this article from CIO magazine.

Google+ as a Storytelling Platform – Chris Brogan explains how you can use Google+ as a content marketing tool that primes leads that are further out on the sales cycle.

How to Auto-post on Facebook from Google Plus – Great guide to teach you how to cross post your Google+ updates to Facebook automatically.

Sharing Google+ to Evernote – Use Evernote? This article explains the steps you need to take to post your Google+ messages straight to Evernote.

How to Add Google+ Button to WordPress and Thesis – DIYThemes teaches you how to integrate Google+ Share Button on your WordPress site.

How to Share on Google+ from any website  If you want to learn how to add a Google+ button to your website so visitors’ shares go directly to Google+ instead of an extra tab, then read this article.

Merge Google+, Facebook & Twitter With The Help Of G++  – This article teaches you how to use the G++ extension for Firefox and Chrome.

Five Advantages of Using Google+ for Photos – Google’s social networking site has some charms all its own, particularly for those of us who like to share photos.

Google Rolling Out Face Recognition for Google+ Photos – Makes tagging quicker and easier.

Google+ General Web Tools

These are basic tools that will allow you to select the right people to follow, research all the Google+ content and share content on Google+.

​Google +1 Reporting Now in Google Webmaster Tools – Short guide over at Search Engine Land about the reports available on +1 sharing.

Google+ Statistics – You can learn who the most popular users are on Google+, the most popular posts and even find out how many women are actually on Google+.

Google+ Counter  – Users are creating lists of Google+ users, like “Top Photographers,” “Journalists” and “Models,” that are helpful if you want to add people to your Circles.

Google+ Directory – Search the Google+ Directory for people who share your interests, list yourself in the directory and others find you. There is even a feed widget for your website.

Google+ Suggested Users – If you’re not sure who you should add to your Circles, then use this list of recommended users. Groups include “Women in Tech” and a “People’s Choice.”

Google+ Search – Just like Google, this is a simple search tool that allows you to search content in Google+.

Google +1 – This add-on places the +1 button on the navigation bar and provides easy access for clicking.

Share From Anywhere Google+ Bookmarklet – A bookmarklet that uses a mobile shortcut so you can submit any page to Google+. Just drag this link [Share to G+] up to your bookmarks toolbar to start using.

Move Your Photos to Picassa – If you want to move your Facebook photos into your Google+ Profile, try this tool. Facebook tends to block such apps, so be quick.

javaplus – A Java tool for accessing Google+ API that will return a user’s public posts feed, list of people in user’s circles or people having a user in their Circles.

Google+ Takeout – Google eliminates the privacy concerns with Google Takeout by allowing you to download a copy of your data stored within Google products.

Where to Hangout at Google+ – You’ll love this little website if you are addicted to Hangouts. It tells you about all the current hangouts going on.

Group / AS – This is another site that’s grouped together Google+ users into categories, which allows you to add people to your Circle who share your interests.

Find People on Plus All the Google+ users are indexed in this little search engine, making it easy for you to find people.

Google Plus One Button – This +1 button stays out of the way until you need it. It’s a simple icon in your URL bar that lets you +1 any page you’re on.

Liquid G+ – This tool allows you to add columns to your Google+ screen just like a magazine.

Google+ Extensions for Firefox

If you’re a Firefox user, these three tools will allow you to enhance your Google+ experience.

Google plus reply+ – If you want to add reply and reply-to-author buttons to Google+ comments, this is the tool to use.

Google+ Tweaks – You can make little changes to your Google+ account with this download. Toggle comments, image previews, mute button, favicon alerts, full width, fixed navigation and thumbnails only, to name a few.

Google+ Notification Hider – Hate that annoying red notification on all of your Google pages? This extension will hide it for you.

Google + Extensions for Chrome

These really great tools from the Google Chrome App store help you control your Google+ content, among other things, by limiting notifications and sharing content across social media sites.

G++ for Google Plus – This extension works for both Firefox and Chrome and adds Facebook and Twitter to your Google+ interface. A nifty on/off switch let’s you control it.

Google+ Tweaks – Preview images when you mouse-over them, add a favicon badge that shows the number of new notices and much more. All features can be enabled or disabled through the settings.

G+me – This is a Google Chrome browser extension that enhances the Google+ web app to make it much easier to process a large stream of incoming posts and comments and to unlock the potential of Google+ real-time updates.

Usability Boost for Google+ – Greatly improves readability, gives you the ability to star posts to read later and some other useful features.

GTools+ – Adds more functionality like a unified Google bar, translation link in the context menu that auto detects language in posts and get notifications for Gmail and Reader in the Google Bar.

Extended Share – Google+ does not have a quick way to share your posts to other social networks. This extension adds a “Share on …” link to each post. Once clicked, it will bring up an internal bubble asking you where to share your post.

Surplus – This extension will add desktop notifications, allow you to post or respond from within the popup, notification sounds and switch between multiple Google accounts.

Quick Hangouts for Google+ – This extension watches your stream for you and adds a quick link to the sidebar of Google+ for easy access to any ongoing hangouts mentioned in your stream.

Helper for Google+ – A tool in the Chrome App store that allows you to get desktop notifications on new posts, share Posts via twitter and translate posts with Google.

G+ Count in Title – Place the notification count in the Title of the tab that has Google+ open so you can see even while you are on other tabs.

Color Plus – If you think the gray color of the Google+ bar is totally boring, then you can use this tool to change it.

+Photo Zoom – A simple extension providing fast and simple zooming for photos within your Google+ Stream.

Google+ URL Shortners

If you’re like me, you want to share your Google+ account URL in other mediums, like email signature, Twitter bio and even business cards.

However, the URL is long and ugly and Google doesn’t give you the option to create a vanity URL. The following tools will do that for you: TOPL.US, Plus.ly, gplusnick, dirpl.us. They all do the same thing, so which one you use is up to you. However, Google Plus Nick is one of the first and most popular short Google+ URL makers.

Tools to Record Your Google+ Hangouts

Love to hangout? Wish you could record those sessions? Here are five options to suit any need you might have.

BB Flashback Express – This free download for Window users doesn’t limit the time you can record. What’s especially handy for Hangouts is that you have the option to record the entire screen, just a browser window or a box you click and drag to size.

Screen Castle – You can either record your entire screen or change the size of the recording box by pixel dimensions. It will tape from the moment you hit “record.” You will then have to upload to your site. A nice bonus is that a preview image is created for you.

Screenr – You can only record for five minutes with Screenr, but other than that, this is a cool screen recorder. Share directly to Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. You can save the MP4 to your computer. Accounts range from $19 to $289.

Screencast-O-Matic – Hit the record button on this screen caster and you can resize the window to fit your hangout. When you are done you can either download or upload to YouTube. Free versions allows up to 15 minutes of recording time.

Pixetell – Download Pixtell and the record icon will hover at the top of your screen for quick-action recording. It starts to record the open window on your screen. It’s not obtrusive and even will upload directly to YouTube.

Google+ for Mobile Phones

Hands On: Google+ Mobile App for Android – Everything you need to know about the Android Google+ app.

5 Killer Google Plus Features in the Native Android App – These features make the Google+ social site great for mobile users on Android or iPhone.

Google+ for iPhone – Makes sharing the right things with the right people a lot simpler.

Google Improves Google+ iPhone App – Google+ mobile app now supports Hangouts, letting groups communicate with each other using front-facing cameras on the iPhone 4 and iPod touch.

Google Plus Mobile Launcher for Blackberry Available – It’s not an app, but it has made accessing Google+ on your Blackberry much easier.

Conclusion

Do you know of any other good Google+ resources?

Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions.

More from Neil Patel on GeekWireSeven signs that you might just be an entrepreneur Eleven things every entrepreneur should know about innovation… 17 things I wish I’d known when starting my first business

Comments

  • http://twitter.com/eliasisrael Eli Israel

    What I really want is a way to share items via BufferApp. There appear to be ways to do it, but to call them Rube Goldberg contraptions would be a disservice to Rube Goldberg contraptions.

  • Tom

    Google+ is dead…

  • Mike Craig

    Ummm, a page about Google+ yet no Google+ button on the page??

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