Google+ Communities How To
Any real user of Google+ knows by now that Google+ launched Google+ Communities, social network version of forums, message boards, discussion boards or even Q/A sites. You can read up on the announcement from Google blog or check the Google+ Communities yourself. In this post we will discuss the possibilities and functions they offer, starting with how to create one and follow up one step at a time.
When you login to your Google+ account on the left in the sidebar you will notice a small green circle that says Communities, when you click on it you will get a page that looks like the image above. Here you can search or browse communities that already exist, visit communities you own or belong to or create a new one.
If you want to create a new community on this page there is a red button in the right upper corner that says” create a community”, you really can’t miss it, when you click on it you get a page like this:
You can add the name of your community, tagline, about section and pick the privacy settings of your community. There are 4 privacy setting you can choose from, two public and two private. Public ones will be indexed by Google, so be sure to know that before you decide, the difference is that one is opened for all to post, view and comments and the other type of public community is open for viewing and commenting but only moderators can post.
Private ones are, well, private. One type can be found in search and the other one only if you are invited or know the exact URL. If you are invited you will see a similar page, if you are not invited you will not be able to see anything and will not be able to request to join:
Once you’re done you will see a page like this:
The next step is to edit your community a bit and make it what you want. You can change the categories on the left and add new ones, like questions, discussions, hot topics etc… If you are removing a category that has posts under it, those posts will be removed as well, so keep that in mind.
Your notifications will come in the same way as the other Google+ notification, but be sure to set them to off if you don’t want to be spamming your inbox. You can check if there is anything new by going back to the community page, there you will see if there is anything new on each of the communities you belong to:
Once you’ve created your page and got the hang of the basics you can start posting and inviting new people. Be sure to check the right category when posting, as it seems you cannot change it later.
Inviting people to your community goes in the same way as tagging anyone, just start typing their name and you will get a list of people to choose from.
Not to waste any more words, here is how it looks like to have requests pending and how it looks like to admin the members of your Google+ community:
As you can see you can promote a member to a moderator, remove a member from the community or ban a certain member. And you can see all of them here:
That’s it for creating and basics of managing your Google+ Community, but is creation of Google+ community for everyone, and should we all join one? It is really an individual question, but here are Dan Petrovic thoughts on Google+ communities: https://plus.google.com/111588754935244257268/posts/dxXoE5i1cz7
Regarding the Dejan SEO community “SEO Expert Panel” here are the rules that Dan posted:
1. This is not a community for everyone, only people with a clue about SEO.
2. We’ve already rejected many applications to join.
3. Being in this community means you will be invited to our hangouts.
4. We will also share our findings and results with you.
5. You will get to play with new tools we develop.
6. We’ll ask you to help with SEO experiments from time to time.
If you’re not keen to be active please leave now, no hard feelings.
The rules are very straightforward, and if you are thinking of creating a community you should create your own rules. You have your Google+ pages, so don’t create a community just to have another Google+ asset talking about your products or your business, think of it as any other type of community, forums for example. They are supposed to provide questions, answers, spur discussion and so on, so go specific with naming and orienting your communities, don’t be generic by creating a community titled “SEO” and there are already dozens of those.
All in all this is a smart move from Google+ team, now all that is left is for users of Google+ to get aboard and use the communities in the right way, my personal prediction is that there will be a mass creation of communities, but maybe less than 10% will see some action behind them and continue to prosper.