Google+ Circles: The Unanswered Questions, Answered!

Last Updated on: July 15th, 2017

pic of Google logo

It seems that I am becoming somewhat of an expert (ha!) regarding certain things in social media.

How do I know this? Google said so.

I heard Google speak her voice (yes, Google is female!) when I viewed my blog stats and took a look at the search terms used to send people to my blog posts – in particular, my post about Managing Google+ Circles.

She said, “Hey, Lorraine, I think you should write a post and inform these people of what they want to know regarding Google+ circles!”

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating. But, it seems that Google loves me. . . even though I don’t know much about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Why else would she send these people to my site?

I think it’s because I’m helpful, and talk to both a specific reader and the general masses. 

When people are continually asking for information and are being sent to ME, the proud non-techie (yes, I am now proud of this fact), I feel like it is my duty to respond to them. I can see that there is an obvious need for a post to be written about this topic.

You see, when people talk, I pay attention. This quality has made me many friends and a great teacher. When I taught high school, most of my students loved me. I spoke on their level. I imparted my wisdom to them. Now I am going to continue this trend on my blog. I have to.I cannot disappoint my new buddy, Google. 

I think I might even call her “Googs” for short. 😉

The Many Questions We Have

As someone who had to learn many things on her own, I gotta figure that there are tons of others out there who are just like me — filled with questions.

The questions people have about Google+ circles include the ones listed below, which have been copied directly (spelling errors and all!) from my stats page on my blog. I will answer them to the best of my ability.

(Note that I have included my ranking for each, too. Yes, I had to check each one out individually.)

  1. how to tell what google+ circle someone has added u in (ranking is #1)
  2. how do i know who in google+ has put me in there circles (ranking is #2)
  3. what is different between in her circle and have her in circle (ranking is #2)
  4. when someone puts you in their circle how do you get yourself out (ranking is #2)
  5. what does it mean when someone adds you to a circle on google+ (ranking is #3)
  6. why can’t i add people to my circle on google+ (ranking is #5)
  7. can someone just add you to their circles on google plus (ranking is #5)
  8. google plus added you back vs added to circles (ranking is #7)

The Answers

Question 1: How do I know what Google+ circle someone has added me in?

Answer: There is no way for Person A  to know what circle Person B put him/her in.

For example, if I am going to add Person X to my circles, it is solely up to me what circle X goes in. If X is a blogger, X will end up in my Bloggers circle. Of course, I have to create a circle called Bloggers first.

If X is a lawyer, and I don’t have a circle called Lawyers but I do have a circle for Legal Consultants, I might want to stick X into that circle, The point is that it is up to me where to put a person. When you cross paths with someone you’d like to get to know, try to find something out about that person (I suggest looking at their About Page) and then decide in which circle you want to put him/her.

You can create new circles at any time, too – and you can create as many or as few as you want. If you want to create a “catch-all” type of circle, you can. (There’s no one stopping you!) I did this when I created my circle called Bunch of Awesome People. You could name yours “F-tards I don’t like” if you want…it’s up to you! 😉

Question 2: How do I know who in Google+ has put me in their circles?

Answer: Google will usually tell you when someone has added you to a circle. If you have email notifications on, you’ll get an email saying that Person A added you to his/her circle. If you don’t have email notifications turned on, you’ll get a notification from your “bell”. As you can see in the snippet I took of my Chrome browser gmail inbox, I have two notifications that I have not yet checked (a red box appears with a number inside of it to let you know of new activity). To check your notifications, simply click on the bell.

bell notification

The bell is also visible from your YouTube screen. Look at the top right corner.

bell notification from YouTube

You can see notifications from your Google+ page as well, or from your newsfeed. Look for the bell!

Question 3: What is different between “in her circle” and “have her in a circle”?

Answer: If I add Person X, who is my aunt, to my circle called Family, I have her in my circle. However, if I am added to Person Z’s circle, then my profile will page will automatically update and whomever sees my profile page from that point forward will see that I am in ___# of circles. The ___ indicates the number of people who have me in their circles. For example, if Persons A, B, C, and D add me to their circles, my page will say that 4 people have me in their circles.

There is no way of knowing how many people have you in circles, unless you ask one of your G+ friends to check this for you. To do this, you might want to tag someone you know well and ask them to take a look at your profile page. They can then post the result in a comment, and you will know.

I did this, twice. The first time several people answered. The second time, I tagged my friend, Toby Shoemaker, who is a humor writer at Dumbass News, and is also known as the Fearless Leader. He’s a big supporter of my blog and cares about my little niece, Sammi, who has cancer. He’s an ol’ softie at heart.

Here are the results from the second “ask”…

google plus post stats

Question 4: When someone puts you in their circle how do you get yourself out?

Answer: If you don’t want to be in someone’s circle, ask them to remove you. And calm down; being in someone’s circle is not a bad thing… 🙂

Question 5: What does it mean when someone adds you to a circle on Google+?

Answer: When someone adds you to a circle on Google+, this means that you have made a friend, Someone wants to get to know you or interact with you, and to share stuff with you. If you add them to one of your circles, you will be able to see interact with them by “tagging” them (typing a + and then their name). Tagging allows you to get their attention more quickly. (See #10 below.)

Question 6: Why can’t I add people to my circle on Google+?

Answer: Um, I’m not sure about this one. Do you have a circle set up? Do you have a Google+ profile? Is your internet connected? There could be any number of issues here, so you have to be more specific with your question!

Question 7: Can someone just add you to their circles on Google Plus?

Answer: Yes, they can, as long as you have a Google Plus (G+) profile. If you have gmail, you probably have one. If you don’t, you can easily get one. Just sign up for a Google account.

Question 8: What is the difference between “added you back” vs.  “added to circles “?

Answer: There is no difference. They both mean the same thing! Why Googs has decided to say “added you back” instead of “added you” is beyond me. Googs is kinda crazy. Oh, yes, she is! 😉

More Unanswered Questions, With Answers:

9. What does +1 mean?

A “+1” is the same as a “like”. Simple.

10. How do I “tag” someone? 

Before you type the person’s name, type a “+”.  The neat thing is that you don’t even have to type the whole name; Googs is smart and a pop-up box will appear. You can then just click the name of the person you want to tag, and it Googs will insert it for you! Yes, she’s that smart!

11. Someone keeps wanting to chat with me when I am checking my gmail. How do I tell them that I don’t want to talk to them? 

Um, if you don’t want to talk to someone, why are you on social media? 😉 Just kidding.

I actually know how you feel. There was this one guy who ended up being creepy with me, always trying to talk to me when I was busy doing something. (I’m always busy, but sometimes I make time to chat!) However, he was inappropriate in his questions, and so I had to remove him from my circle, thus disabling his ability to send me messages!

12. How do I know who has not added me on Google+ but I have added?

You will get a notification when someone adds you to a circle, and when you add someone to one of your circles, that person will also be notified. Notifications are sent through either email or the notification bell (see Question 2 for more information).

13. How do you know who follows you on Google+?

There is no way of getting a complete list (as far as I can tell) but you should receive a notification whenever someone new follows you.

FYI, if you want to learn how to make Google+ circles work for you, read this post. It may answer a few more questions you may have. 😉

You may have more questions for me. If you do, please ask them via a comment. I’ll do my best to answer them!

[Tweet "Here is a neat article that will answer your questions about G+.”]

Since Google+ circles are so new, I’d like for you to share this on as many social media sites as possible – these answers should be spread around, don’tcha think? 

UPDATE:

Here’s another question and answer:

Q. I have discovered that some people have added me to their circles … AND I DO NOT WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH THEM IN ANY WAY. How do I go about extricating myself from their circles?

A.  Here’s what you do:

* looking at the list of people who have you in their circles,
* select the one(s) one at a time, that you do not want to be associated with
* open their page
* under their name, or main page link you will see a “v” … click it
* you can block them or report them as you see fit, and poof … they’re gone!

Thanks to Marissa for this one! 🙂

For more information on Google Plus, and more questions and answers, visit Using Google+: Quick Questions & Answers (Plus Tips & Tricks).

And if you want to learn how to use Google+ for business, read the post called A Mini-Guide To Use Google Plus For Business.

216 thoughts on “Google+ Circles: The Unanswered Questions, Answered!

  1. Natasha says

    HELP!!! I’ve been trying the whole morning to figure out how Google+ works and I just can’t with my frustration! Hahaha… Look! I want to “+1” a profile picture, I tried doing it on the computer and on the iOS app. So, from the app I don’t even see the option to +1 or to check the pic’s info, so I have to open it on the web anyway. On the web (computer or mobile) I click on the +1 button, I see the +1 I gave but when I refresh and go back to see the picture, the +1 I gave is not there anymore (I really don’t know if I’m explaining myself well). So, why is this happening?? Is it because I don’t follow this person, and the person is not following me?? Do I have to follow the person so I can +1 this picture??

    I tried with another profile: he does follow me, and I could +1 his profile pic (eventhough I wasn’t following him). Then I started following him, but he’s still not able to +1 my profile pic.

    So, basically, all I need is to +1 the profile picture I saw (the first one I talked to you about) and to this +1 given to stay there and leave a notification to the person. 🙂

    THANKS A LOOOOT!

    • says

      Natasha,

      I’m as dumbfounded as you are. I have no idea why this is happening.

      Maybe someone will see your question and reply to it with a better answer! Sorry!

    • Ty says

      All of the stuff you have written above is now irrelevant. In January 2017 Google+ stopped users choosing to use the Classic interface. This means that no user can know who is following them or following back. Ostensibly, Google is preparing to end this service.

      • says

        Google really needs to provide info on circles too.

        They provide info on everything else… I don’t know why they cannot provide answers to their users about these questions!

  2. Nancy Drew says

    Hello;
    Is there any way I can hide a particular circle from everyone else ?
    For example, I have a group of friends in one circle called secret, but I don’t want anyone, including my other circles, to be able to see them.
    I used to be able to do it in classic google+, but you can’t manipulate circles in classic anymore. I don’t see how this can be done in the new google+.
    Thanks,
    Nancy.

    • says

      I’m not sure.

      Google keeps changing things, and doesn’t give us any answers.

      It makes me wonder why they are so popular to begin with. 🙁

      I have actually stopped using Google+ on regular basis because of this.
      Sorry!

  3. Shailesh Tripathi says

    Do we call Google as He or She ?
    In our language we treat Google as He,
    even every major Microsoft, Facebook, Google etc.. we treat as He.
    I’m not being sexist but it sound crazy when you called Google she. hehehe.

    • says

      I think Google is an “it” rather than a “he” or “she” but we can make the same argument for vehicles and even God… some people refer to their car as “she” and some others even argue that God is a woman! LOL

      Does it really matter?

      Who cares?

  4. Daniela says

    Hi! I have a question, Why do the names in my circles always move around on my homepage? There is always someone new there!

  5. Kay says

    If you(anyone) follows a person on G+ and they follow you back but you have all your post on private setting (only family and friends can see post) does that mean the person that followed you back automatically sees your post even if your post are private(family and friends)??? Does that mean they can see your post if there following you and your following them if all your post are under private family and friends not in a setting for following???

  6. Lynn says

    The question I have is can a person that added you to their circle see what you are doing on your computer. Can they see what you sending to other people.

  7. One contact, instead of blocking, but has restricted me from following. It is irritating me. Now i wish to Restrict that contact, ofcourse i also do not wish to block or mutr that contact. Please guide me how to restrict that contact. That conact should also see that i have restricted.

  8. Hi, Lorriane. Great article. Just wondering…once I’ve joined a community and I pull up all of the communities I’ve joined, what does the little red square with numerals in it mean (in the upper right hand corner of the community?)
    Thanks,
    mindy

    • says

      Mindy, which browser are you using?

      I use Chrome, and I get a white circle with a number in it. The number indicates how many notifications you have.

      Just click on it, and you will see.

  9. 4getful says

    I cant seem to understand what restricted means. Is that just a confusing way to say they blocked you? I thought it was but I blocked my dad over some event recently and now I unblocked him because It’s important I can get ahold of him, due to a turn of events. Now I am restricted. I know my dad did not block me. It’s over a serious matter. What does it mean and how can it be removed.

  10. Beth Stark says

    Someone’s google+ page says that I have her in my circles, but I do not. (I did for a brief period but then removed her.) On my page, she is NOT in any of my circles. How can I get Google to make it clear to her that she is not in my circle?

    • says

      Beth, Google probable just needs some time to update itself. Relax. It’s not the end of the world to have someone “be” in your circles if they’re not.

  11. phil wilson says

    I kinda understand about circles now but when it says I can have people in my circles public or just visible to people in circles, does ‘just people in circles’ mean people in the Same circle, or people in All my circles can see each other?

  12. Sri Kumar says

    Hi, see if this is specific enough.

    I had a friend in my family circle. She has g+ too on ipad. Since I move around a lot and cant attend to her calls often I shared my location with her (im on an android). Her location is off cos shes at one place most time.

    Then she gets a job which needs her to move a lot, so we get her an iphone with g+ on it and shares location with me.

    Then she removed me from one circle and tried to add me to her family circle. Now, she cant add me to any circle in her ipad or iphone. Cant share her location with me. She cant see my location anymore. We have turned on everything regarding location in the device and g+ settings but cant seem to add me or share location.

    Please advice. Thanks.

    • says

      Ajinkya, I believe that the difference is this: PEOPLE TO ADD generally have a few “friends” in common with you, while SUGGESTIONS are given based on the type of people you have in your circles already.

      For example, say Person X is in my circle and so is Person Y. If Person X is also in YOUR circle, then Google might say, ADD PERSON Y TO YOUR CIRCLES.

      If we are all writers, for example, and so is Person Z, then Google will make the suggestion to both of us to ADD PERSON Z to our circles because we have something in common.

      Does this make sense now?

  13. Rishabh says

    IN Q.6(why can’t i add someone):
    I suggest that if a person has blocked u , then u might not add him/her
    AND
    in some cases there a ‘Restricted’ which u can’t add(I Dont know why although)

  14. lisa v says

    i had a best friend in my circle and i had a hangout with him at noon and all of a sudden when i tried to respond got a message it was not delivered… checked to see if i had him on my circle to make sure it did not get deleted and now i try to check “add” and i get an error saying i am unable to add him to my circle… what does this mean.

  15. A says

    If you have been blocked by someone will they still get a notification when someone else comments on a post of yours that they had commented on before they blocked you?

    And does this go both ways as in if you block someone?

  16. Beth says

    My g+ locations is putting everyone in the same location when they are clearly not. How do I fix this so that their actual locations show up?

  17. Solihin Febrian says

    How to fix this ” You can’t add one or more of these people or pages to your circles. ” when i want to add circle ?? please help me..

  18. Sadie says

    Someone has added me to their google circle. I am not computer savvy. Will this person who has added me be able to see my profile or any other posts that I comment on or have commented on in the past? Am I still private?

  19. Donovon Grant says

    I have a few issues,
    1. I rename my circle and that person was no longer visible publicly although this was not my intention nor did i set it that way.

    2. I was checking the persons that had me in circles and i saw a friend no longer had me in their circle, I checked their profile and i was no longer showing publicly on their profile. the question is when someone make you private on their profile, will you no longer see them as having you in their circle?

    3. I had a friend check my profile and they saw that the person still had me in their circle but when they checked the person’s profile directly i was no in their list, also when i checked the arrow that indicates If you are following someone under the person’s cover photo, i didn’t see the 2 way arrow, just the one way, which i take to mean only i have that person in circle and they removed me, why is that not reflecting when person viewing my public profile.

    4. if I accidentally remove someone from my circle and i add them back to it, will they get a notification saying I add them to a circle, like they did the first time i add them.

    5. If i have someone added to a circle and want to place them in multiple circles, will they get a notification each time i add them to a new circle?

    6.someone had me added to their profile publicly for a long time now and I finally add them to my circle, however it is not showing in that person’s circle publicly that I have them added, but it is showing on mine, why is that happening.

    • says

      I’ll do my best to answer your questions, Donovan.

      With respect to #4: Yes, they will.
      With respect to #5. No, they won’t. They’re already in a circle of yours. They will only get a notification saying “_______ has added you.”

      I’m not sure of the other questions. Sorry. I wish I did. Ugh.

      Maybe another person from our communitiy might answer you! (Fingers crossed!)

  20. S. Prashanth says

    Hi,
    I need a help, please.
    I want to change the Google+ claimed URL. I am trying to change it but I am getting reported “You can edit your URL to change its display format. For example, if your Google+ URL ends with +googlechrome, you can use +GoogleChrome instead“. But, not only I want to change the capitalization of my URL, but also I want to change the URL. Please help me with this. Thank you.

  21. Prerna Jaiswal says

    My question is regarding google+ location sharing. if someone has shared their location with me on Google+ do they get a notification if I am viewing their location?

    • John O'Connor says

      No notification will be displayed if you are viewing the location of an individual who has/is sharing their location with you. Please bear in mind there are also detail levels of sharing (which include a pinpoint location and also a general “city location.”) By default Google does not share your location publicly, although I do advise that all individuals are wise as to whom they are sharing their specific/exact location with. I have a limited number of friends and family whom I do not mind knowing where I am but certainly wouldn’t want everyone in the world to know where I am at every particular moment as this can lead to many possibly scary and dangerous situations.

  22. Gowtham Senthil says

    Someone has added me to their circles. They arent in my circles though. I can’t and dont want to block them. But I dont want them to see any of my posts or activity. Would they be able to see or not?

    • says

      S. Prashanth, when you are sharing something on Google+, look at the bottom of your post, and delete the “button”/indicator that says “Public.” You can customize who will see your post by adding certain circles of yours there, all circles, extended circles, etc. You can also simply choose to share something with only one individual, or a select number of individuals.

      If you want to share something with, say, only me, what you would do is simply type the plus sign and then my name (Lorraine Reguly) in the body of the post (at the top). Then delete anyone else’s names and/or circles that show up in the bottom of it so that only my name is shown. Then click “share” and that particular post will only be seen by me. I will get a notification that you have shared something privately with me.

      I sure hope you can figure it out now! 🙂

      This was a clear explanation.

      Have fun!

  23. hira says

    hi..

    well i just created my gmail account and i cant see my views on profile .. i checked out the settings did all but still cant figure out that whats wrong.. i hope to get help from u..

    thanks

  24. Kaya says

    still being kinda new to g+ this helped a lot! this might not be on the topic of circles and stuff but usually to tag someone I use the “+” like I normally did, and then I’d tag them using their g+ name but recently when I go to tag someone the names don’t pop up and I can’t tag anyone… it’s become a problem for when I want to tag someone in a post or in the comments of one… please help. thank you. (>^ω^<)

  25. rachna says

    i have sent a message to my friend in hangouts i added her in my circles but she didn’t but later i don’t want her to see the message and she also didn’t see the message yet so i disabled my Google + account is that helpful for me that she wont get person who have sent her the messages will this happen or not will that message in her account will be hidden or not

  26. Anon says

    I tried to add someone to my circles, but then at the top it says in red that I can’t add them. Does this mean that person blocked me?

  27. I need to know how can I add people to circles on my G+ Page and not to my cirlces? At the moment I can only add to my profile circles, and there is no way I can add to my Page. When I go to add someone to my Page circles it only adds to my profile circles.

  28. Chris Burns says

    Some reason or other I can’t add friends to my circles or post or make comments on friends post nor anybody else post. I can comment on Facebook. Help please it’s driving me crazy er. Lol

  29. Brequonya Brown says

    If someone else’s photos are coming up under my photos, under my photos tab… does this mean they’re logged in under my email account?

  30. Lisa says

    Hi there,
    I was trying to get away from someone and thus, deleted my entire Google + profile.
    It had been some time, so I decided to restart it from scratch. I had to re-enter all the information (photo, posts, etc) and it took some time to accomplish.
    Suddenly I see the person I tried to get away from has “added me” to his circles. What I am trying to determine is this cached data from my previous google + account or did he deliberately re-add me (It is attached to the same email address)?
    It seems strange given that I needed to re-enter everything else but circles would autopopulate, so I’m trying to determine what happened. Either way, I want to ask him to remove me, but I’m trying to determine if he is still trying to add me to his “world” or this is just old news.
    Thanks for your insight as the “experts” on the google community site have given me conflicting answers.
    Thanks!

    • says

      Lisa, just because someone has added you to his circles doesn’t mean you have to add him/her to yours. Also, if this person is truly bothering you (stalking you online), there are ways of reporting said person (although, off the top of my head, I am not sure what they are).

      My advice? Let it go. There are millions of people online, and said person is only one small fish.

      Is said person someone you know?

      • Lisa says

        Thanks Lorraine. Yes, this is someone I know, but no longer interact with. I just wasn’t sure if he “showed up” because I restarted my account and it was cached data or if he deliberately “re-added” me.
        Because my understanding with Google + is that it is not like facebook. If you delete the account you need to start all over, it doesn’t just “re-activate” when you start it up again (meaning that you need to re-enter all of the data and restart your circles).
        I think he had to re-add me because I had to totally start from scratch but that is what I was trying to determine.
        It’s just frustrating that his name is attached to mine if someone googles me. I do not want his name in any way associated with mine.

        • says

          Lisa, the best way to “bury” any information from showing up in Google search is to saturate your search results. You can do this by leaving tons of comments on blogs, starting a blog of your own (if you don’t have one already), using the free edition of BrandYourself to submit the three links you want to be known for (ie: blog, Twitter, Google+ profile), etc. Most people don’t look past the first three to five pages of search results, so any association you might have with this guy will be hard to find.

          Unless they happen to Google your name and his together, this is my best advice!

          Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Things are often “bigger” in our own minds than they are in others’ heads. 😉

          Hope this helps!

  31. Shubhabrata Datta says

    Someone has made a comment on one of my post, which is of bad taste and full of misinformation. I do not want it to be seen by the other people of my circle. What to do?

    • says

      Delete the comment. How? In the top right-hand corner of the commment, there is a little black circle with an “x” in it. If you hover hover it, you will see the option to delete your comment. Note: you have to first hover over the comment you want deleted. Then you will see this and a couple of other options, like reply to the comment, +1 the comment, etc.

  32. Daniel says

    Hi Lorraine,
    I’ve got a question. Some time ago, someone I know for a few years added me to her circles and then added her as well. So on my profile where it reads ”In your circles”, she is visible and where it reads ”have you in circles”, it shows her as well. When I go to her profile, it shows that we are both connected. Where it reads ”People In her circles”, it shows my picture, but where it reads ”People who have her in circles”,it does not show my picture, despite the fact that I have her in my circles. It did show before, now it has been gone for a while. But where it shows the number of people that have her in their circles has remained the same.

      • Daniel says

        That has been going on for a couple of months, I think. I have a second gmail account and I added her on that one as well. The day after she added my other account, google plus has been already updated and is showing up my other account, but not the first one.

  33. Mariam says

    I also have another question! If I delete a person (He still has me in his circles). Will he notice if I add him again? :-))))

    • says

      Miriam, he might. He will get a notification either by email or in his notifications. Whether he actually sees it or not will depend upon how busy he is or if he pays attention to such notifications. 😉

  34. Chris Fields says

    There are reasons to not want people following you and putting you in circles that should be noted – it’s not always because you have a friend. Some of these reasons are:

    Stalker
    Blackmailer
    Spy

    Unfortunately, there are profiles created for these very specific reasons. You can gauge it by how detailed someone’s profile is who followed you and if you’ve had any incidents in your life recently where you’ve been scammed or had an issue. Most of the time, I agree, it’s good thing when someone follows you 🙂

  35. Mariam Sulashvili says

    If I delete a person from my circles but he didn’t delete me, is he still able to see the posts where i put +1? (as you know, our friend can see the posts we like)

    • says

      I dont’ think so, Mariam, but you might want to ask Ana Hoffman, to be sure. Find her on Google+. If she doens’t know, or knows someone who does, I’d be surprised.

  36. Laurie says

    I have about 250,000 views on my profile for some reason, and I have no idea why. I have 15 people, family members, in my circles. I made a Google+ account to post updates about my child so that my added family members could see them in one place, and I wouldn’t have to post them on Facebook where I didn’t necessarily want to share all of my videos and pictures. It upsets me that random people can see my cover photo and if I’m correct, my videos. I looked at all my settings and how my profile looks to the general public, and it shows ALL of my videos, to the public, and I don’t know how to change it. Did I miss something, or is that not even an option? I have to think of the safety of my child first and that really concerns me having so many views of my profile, especially if anyone can see my videos. I have to say that I wish there was an option to make your profile completely private unless you are the one requesting to add someone. There are many reasons why people have a social media account other than to ‘talk to people’. There are a lot of evil people out there and I don’t want my family’s safety in jeopardy because I made a Google+ account. I guess what I’m trying to ask, is if there is way to make my profile more private than it is now.

    • says

      Laurie, if you go to Google+ to your home feed, you will see the drop-down menu on the left-hand side. At the bottom of that, click on “settings.” From there, you can adjust all of your privacy settings and make things as visible – or invisible – as you want them to be. If you are truly concerned for your family’s safety, delete your account.

    • Jay says

      It appears as though EACH picture, video, and post counts as 1 profile view. So if you have an album with 100 pics, and some one scrolls through it, than that could be 100 right off the jump. I haven’t figured it out 100% yet though.

  37. Cobus says

    Hi,
    Thanks for the Info.

    When I start following someone in common with another &
    They follow me back,
    If I change their Circle to Friends &
    Stop following them,
    Do they have Priority under Friends and/or
    Do I still need to keep them in the Follow circle as well?

    Did try to find something online on this, but to no avail.

    Thought I’d ask.

    THX,
    Cobus

    • says

      Cobus, once someone is in your circles, they are they until you remove them. You can follow or unfollow people as you wish. If you remove them from your follow list, their posts will still show up in your stream because they are in your circles! The only way to stop seeing stuff is to both unfollow them and remove them from your circles.

      Clear?

  38. Sachin Saroj says

    Hi,

    Really you have posted very informative post, but one question is not clear to me and I need your help. I want to tell you that, recently I have added about 500 peoples in my circle and some of them are folloing me back. “Now I want to remove those who are not following me back”, please tell me how can I find those big number of pepoles who are not following me back.

    Note:Notifications are not a solution for this problem.

    • says

      Sachin, Google+ is not like Twitter, and you should not follow people only so they will follow you back. I’d also suggest only following the people whose posts you want to see.

      To solve your question, delete everyone from your circles, and then go to your “have you in circles” page and only follow people who are following you.

  39. Lisa says

    When you are on your Google+ profile page, a box showing 6 people who have you in their circles is always displayed. Are the six profiles that are displayed on your profile usually the people that are viewing your page most? I see that the top six automatic viewable profile pics change day to day. What is that change based on?

    • says

      Lisa, I have more than six people showing on my page when I go to the “Have You In Circles” page! I think Google randomly selects which people to show you. I’m not Google, so I don’t know what that change is based on. I also don’t know if they are the people who are viewing you the most. I’d have to say “NO” to that, since I know who shares my posts the most, and they are not the six people who show up first!

      Does this help? I hope so, because this is my best answer! 🙂

  40. Juan says

    For question number 8 I’m guessing that “Added you” means people who have put you in one or more of their circle but you have never reciprocated. Then the “have you in circles” are those who have put you in one or more of their circles and also you currently have or once had them in your cirlces.

  41. Peter says

    Hi. I was wondering if there was anyway to prevent showing posts from my google+ circle on my google search? They’re clogging my search results.

    • says

      Yes, Peter, there is. If you get an account with BrandYourself, you are allowed to submit three links (using the free version) to display on your first page of search results.

      That’s what I use. 😉 I’d appreciate a small donation for revealing my secret, too. Not necessary, but a gesture that would be appreciated nonetheless.

  42. Mia Y says

    Hi. I have a question for you and I’m sorry if you’ve answered it already, its just that I didn’t find my question here.

    I see two different number of followers on my Google+. It seems like some followers may be hidden and I want to know why that is and how it works. For example I show 60 followers, but when I count them, couple of people are hidden. There is no name, no picture, nothing. How does that work and how can I find out who they are. Please let me know if my explanation is not clear, and I hope to hear from you soon and thank you in advance for your help.

  43. scott matheson says

    I have a guy posting videos on a daily basis that wind up on my google+ stream. I had thought I unsubscribed from his channel but I still keep getting an avalanche of his new posts.It wouldn’t be so bad if there were a lot fewer of them but he has basically taken over my entire stream.Help???

  44. M. Lee says

    Dear Lorraine, I share both my posts & photo albums with a friend & her circles (“Extended Circles” from my viewpoint). When I viewed her profile, I could see those whom she had added to her circles & also those who had added her to their circles. But when I checked up “View as: (name of ANYONE in her circles)”, I noticed now that that particular individual in her circles could only view my photo albums and NOT my posts. Before this problem cropped up recently, those in her circles could view both my posts & photo albums. What’s the reason behind this & how do I rectify this problem? Thanks a lot!

      • M. Lee says

        Dear Lorraine: Thanks for having asked the community to help me out. Finally I found the solution. Prior to experiencing this problem, I only needed to add the circle in which my friend’s name is in plus “Extended Circles” (i.e. 2 circles) and she & those in her circles could see my posts. But now I must also add “Your Circles” (i.e. 3 circles altogether) and she & those in her circles are able to see my latest post as well as all those previous posts that were meant for them.

        • says

          Geez. What a pain in the butt Google is! I’m glad you were able to figure this out, and thank you soooo much for coming back to explain it to the rest of us. I’m grateful to you, M. Lee, for doing that!

          ~Lorraine

  45. kelly says

    I do not want anybody seeing anything on my google plus. How do I make sure all is private but my name?

  46. Hi I have a question, if you private message someone as you are moving them from your community and then you remove them from your circle does that mean they do not see your message?

    • says

      Kelly, the person has to be in your circles to see your messages. I know this because I’ve gotten harassed from a few people, and as soon as I removed them, they no longer could bother me. 😉

      I hope this helps.

  47. naija says

    Hi Lorraine you are doing a great job. I have a google page and I can’t add anyone at all to my google circles, Why can’t I add people to my circles?

      • naija says

        Sorry I am responding late. When I try to add people to my circles, it says “The person will have to add you first to his/her circles”.

          • Kitty says

            Hi Lorraine ! I get the same message every time I try to add a friend .. it says that She has to add me first ! So I gotta tell her to add me first and she does and THEN I can add her ! At first I thought it was a senority thing, but I was on G+ before my friend, so obviously that ain’t it !! Have you found an answer to this Perplexing Question ? Thanks, Hun .. Ciao, Kitty !

            • says

              Kitty, I have no idea why you are seeing a message like that! You shouldn’t be! You should be able to add anyone you want to your circles. Hmm. The only thing I can think of is that this has something to do with the way your friend has her privacy settings set at. Hmm.

              Were you able to add her yet?

              • Kitty says

                Hi Lorraine ! 98% of the time I go to a G+ page to add someone, the moment I click on the Add Button, it says that They MUST add me First before I can Add Them ! I just went to my G+ settings and I don’t see ANY option to Restrict anyone from adding me to their circles. It’s a Mystery. That’s why I came to you, because Google doesn’t offer an answer. I’m not the only one this happens to either .. in fact, I was compelled to ask you for a solution, after I read another inquiry on your Web Site regarding the same problem. You gave her, essentially, the same answer !! Weird, Huh ? Oh well .. I’ll just keep asking people to Add Me First, so I can Add them After !! Gosh, it always makes me feel like I’m in the Dog House being Punished ! Thanks Anyways, Lorraine !! It was worth a try ! Maybe you could Investigate it !! Thanks for replying ! Regards, Kitty

                • says

                  Gosh, Kitty, I have no idea why this is going on. It has not happened to me!
                  Maybe you can try asking Matt Cutts about this. Or perhaps someone from the community will find us an answer.

                  Anyone… anyone???

  48. Haile says

    My question is simple. You can add certain people. But then you realise that this person is very different. Or just on an ego trip.
    You get told if people add you on plus.
    But do they get told if you remove them from your circle. I don’t want to hurt there feelings. I just don’t want to keep seeing their posts.

    • says

      I don’t think you will hurt their feelings, Haile. I’m pretty sure they don’t get notified, either. People only get notified if they are added.

  49. Peter Teer says

    Hi Lorraine! You are doing a great thing for the Cyber Community , by helping uninformed users find their way through the myriad of terms used by software developers collectively! I am one such person and need advice on the following: I have signed up to follow a group, they seem to be taking all the variety out of my G+ reading and I wish to detach myself from them?

  50. Arnya says

    Thanks very much for caring to take the time to help confused non techie people like me! Im so new to all this it will be a big surprise if this ever gets to you and doesn’t just get lost in the ether! ! Google+ is so confusing. I think its because most people who set stuff up can’t remember what it was like to start learning from scratch so they can never put themselves in my shoes. BUT YOU DO SO THANKS A LOT!!!

  51. Hi Lorraine,
    I am a 4 month old blogger. Thanks for your info re hanging in re a blog taking off. I am hoping that more people will be interested over time…

    I have found your article to be very helpful.

    I have discovered google+ and think this may be better than any other social media modality. I want to keep my blog strictly business and not personal. I want to spread the word and have gotten into two mass circle building invitations. I think this is good. However, I don’t know what is meant by followers in google and how this differs from circles. Is this only for celebrities?:)

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi, Kathleen! Nice to meet you. I’m glad you liked the info; it takes time to grow and nurture a blog, and, more importantly, the community you meet and create!

      Google can be great, too. Followers are more like fans, while circles are for people you want to interact with on a regular basis. They’re kind of like LinkedIn connections. (You can follow influencers in LinkedIn, but can rarely connect with them.)

      I hope this explanation provides you with a deeper understanding!

  52. Subarna says

    I don’t get it, I added friends and when I check their profile says x have her in circles and when i click on to check i don’t see myself and there is a note that says ”People who’ve recently circled her may not be shown”.

    Why is this so? before I was showing and I closed my google+ to get rid of some unwanted people and now adding them back has does not show me. On non of my contacts even when they have me in their circles. How long does it take before my profile photo shows on the individual’s profile?

    • says

      I am not sure. With millions (if not billions) of users, I think it may take a while. I’d say give it two months at most; that’s usually how long it takes Google to index a new blog post, so circles may take just as long.

      • Subarna says

        I wrote to you in March about not being able to see myself on my friend’s google+ list of friends despite having added as friend in March. Its taken quite a while

              • Subarna says

                Thank you Lorraine, I had added and was showing but I had to disable my google+ as I needed to remove a contact that harrassed me. Now that I am back and have added my contacts I am no more showing though the number following indicated is me included.

                • says

                  Good to hear your problem has been resolved. Usually when I am bothered by someone (usually wanting to chat when I am busy), I just remove them from my circles (whatever one they happen to be in) and the problem is solved! 😉

                  I’m happy I could help you, Subarna.

                  • Subarna says

                    Actually no my problem has not been resolved. Yes, got rid of the person who was annoying me but now the friends I have added back don’t show me on their circle of friends even though I added in March this year. Its been almost 2.5 months now since i last added.

                    • says

                      Oh, I am sorry, I don’t know why Google is not updating things properly. Perhaps you should try to contact Matt Cutts and see if he has any answers for you. 🙁

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Yes, look at the bell icon and click it when you see a number by it. The bell tells you of the action on your posts! 😀

      Check it and let me know if you can find it.

      Does this information help you? Please reply and let me know! Thanks.

  53. ” What does it mean when someone adds you to a circle on Google+?

    Answer: When someone adds you to a circle on Google+, this means that you have made a friend, Someone wants to get to know you or interact with you. They will be able to share their posts with you,”

    This last part isn’t true — is it? They can see my updates (or posts), but I won’t see theirs (in my update stream) until I click over to their profile. Please correct me if I’m wrong — tx!

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      I have just updated this post because I believe you are correct. They can see your updates if you have your sharing setting set to “public” but not if you share things with your circles (unless they are in your circles). Also, “circles” can mean one circle or two or more… depending on who you choose to share things with.

      Does this help?

  54. Lorraine Marie Reguly says

    Okay, I took a look at G+ and understand now what you’re saying. The confusion was that I didn’t realize that Google added these new tabs. Sorry about that, Connie. However, the same rules apply. You cannot control who puts you in their circles!

    However, you CAN control who you share things with. You have the option of sharing with the PUBLIC, YOUR CIRCLES, or your EXTENDED CIRCLES. You also have the option of sharing with only one of your circles, two of your circles, etc. When you post something, look at the bottom of your post to set who you are sharing with.

    Does this help?

    Please let me know, and ask more questions if you have them. 🙂

    • Connie says

      Yes Lorraine and thank you for you advice so much I will follow your instructions and should be ok, once again thank you for your time, Connie…

      • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

        The thing you need to be aware of is WHO you share things with. This is important because I believe that Google has a memory. So, for example, when you share something with your circle called FAMILY (assuming you have labelled one of your circles as FAMILY), and then you read an article on a website that you just have to share with everyone because it so good (like this one, for instance – *hint hint*) you will have to change your settings because it will probably still say FAMILY and you want it to say PUBLIC.

        Try it, and let me know if I am 100% correct. (And please share this article, I’d appreciate it if you did! Oh, and if you do share it, you could add a little note of your own to the top part of it. This shows others that you have something good to say.)

        Thanks!

  55. Connie says

    I have someone in “have you in circles” (tab) Google+ so I blocked them thinking it would remove them from that tab and that person is still there. The problem is I only want my family and friends in any kind of circle of mine, I don’t want strangers in my circles not having the ability to remove myself from “their” circle. Does that make since?
    I read your comment on how I should just ask him to remove me from his circle and I don’t want to have to unblock and do the communication. There should be a way to remove yourself from someone’s circle if you don’t want to be there. Every time I look at my google+ he is in “have you in circles” (tab) Any suggestions? Thanks, Connie…

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      You cannot control who puts you in their circles. You can, however, control who is yours.
      Why don’t you want to be in someone’s circle? I’m not sure I understand your question, Connie.
      Please elaborate, then I can help you further.

      • Connie says

        Well, this guy is in my “have you in circles” (tab) and I don’t want to be in his circle, I don’t know him and don’t want my info for him to look at. I feel a little invaded. I just wish there was an option to remove myself from his circle, that should be my choice not his. That’s the issue…

  56. tracym13 says

    Thanks for this. I was looking for something that wouldn’t ‘blind me with science’ did a search and there you were! 🙂

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      I like to explain things in plain English, and I’m happy you found this useful, Tracy! If you have any questions, please ask – but read all of the comment first, since your questions may have been asked already! 😉

  57. Who actually sees my posts on google+ Is it only the people who follow me or is it everyone that I have placed in my circles. When I place a post, it allows me to say I am sending to everyone in all my circles, but if they are not following me, why would they see the post? Thanks for any clarification.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Who sees your posts depends on:
      1. Who is in your circles.
      2. Who follows you.
      3. Who shares your posts. > the followers of the people who share your post, which gets multiplied when further sharing is done, which leads to the potential of having your post go viral
      4. Who you share your posts with. > public, circles, extended circles, an individual person, etc.

      I hope this clears things up, Jodi! 😀

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      BeeBee, you are entitled to your opinion! I included it because someone asked it. Do you have a better answer?

  58. Sean says

    Hi Lorraine,

    Your writing is a great help in understanding Google+.

    I have a question regarding being added by someone. When I go to their page I am not in their list of people they have added. I can confirm they have added me though by looking at my list of people who are following me.

    I know that it can take some time for Google+ to update, but it’s been 3 days…which makes me wonder if I really understand how this aspect of Google+ works.

    How would you explain this?

    Thanks for your help.

    S

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Thanks for your question, Sean.

      Having followers is different than having people in circles. Also, you should not have access to others’ circle members unless they specifically share that information with you.

      I’m curious, though, if you can see that they’ve added you, why are you worrying about what Google does, and how long updates take? If I were you, I wouldn’t stress over this; I’d simply be happy that they’ve added you or followed you!

      Why are you so concerned about this?

  59. Kevin says

    Hi Lorraine,

    Thanks for the article! I have a quick question:

    What is the difference between someone who has +1ed my business page and someone who has added it to their circle?

    Cheers!

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Great question, Kevin!

      When someone has given your page a +1, that means they have “liked” it. When they add it to their circle, your postings will show up in their feed/stream.

      What is your page url? Post it here so I can check it out and give you a more definitive answer – or find me on G+ and ask me there…

  60. Mr. B says

    Hi Lorraine,
    Nice to find you here.
    My question is:

    If i have a circle that I created called my competitors.
    will the people that I put in the circle be able to connect
    and will they know that they are in same circle.
    I don’t actually want them talking to each other.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      No. However, if you share something with that circle ONLY, then that will be visible on your post and whomever happens to comment (if they do) will end up meeting one another in the comment section. Also, they can learn of one another’s existence if they share your post.

  61. RJL says

    I got a notification under suggestions for “People to Add back” and it only had one person. Is this a google generated suggestion or did the person recently add me so it’s prompting me to add back? Thanks!

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Google makes suggestions for you based on the commonalities of people you added to your circles already. You don’t have to listen, but if you’re trying to meet new people in your niche, it might be worth checking those people out. Just take at look at their About pages, then decide from there! 🙂 Good luck!

  62. Hi, Lorraine! I’m on day two of Google+ but I have created an anonymous blog. Do you have any suggestions on how to get my name out there without anyone knowing who I really am? I can’t seem to find a good way to make myself known!
    Also, is there any way to know who has read my blog post? Maybe I’m over-thinking but you seem to be the right person to ask! I appreciate your time 🙂

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Okay, first things first.

      Anything you do takes time. I cannot emphasize this enough.

      It takes time to get readers, build a following on your blog and on Twitter, and connect with others on social media, regardless of where you have accounts.

      Is Sarah your real name or a name you made up? I’m curious.

      Either way, I’m following you on Twitter. 😉 And I put you into a couple of my G+ circles: Bloggers and Poetry. 🙂

      What are some of your goals? Why do you want to get “known”? What is that you are hoping for?

      Why do YOU want to be anonymous? Why can’t you just be YOU? Are you trying to hide something or just protect yourself?

      As for your final question about who reads your blog posts: the only way you’ll know if a specific person reads them is if they leave you a comment (that is not spam). Otherwise, you can check your blog stats/analytics to see where your traffic comes from.

      I’m sure you have tons of blogging questions. The best advice I can give you is to read up on blogging and keep learning. There is a lot to being online; I’ve been on it for almost a year now. You should read some of my blog posts from my early days! I’m open and honest and share tons of info and my experiences.

      Looking forward to your reply. 🙂
      Lorraine

  63. Elizabeth says

    I would really appreciate your help with this question-
    I got an email saying that I was “added back” to someone’s circle-
    At the bottom of the email there was a note that said
    “People you may know in ______’s circles”
    There were three suggestions of names and email addresses promoted
    Question: are these three people actually in ____’s circles? – or would they show up as in their circle just because that person may be in their circle?
    I asked the person because one name suggested was troubling to me that they had listed as a member of their circle and when asked they said they don’t know them or how it was listed as such and I’m not sure if I’m being lied to or what-
    Because my email says plainly “people you may know in ____’s circles”
    I looked at the suggested persons link and they are listed as “In their circles 2 have in their circles 5” so it doesn’t seem to me as seome who is just spamming people
    Please help me to understand why this name popped up as in their “people you may know in ____’s circles”
    Thanks

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      You have raised a very good point, Elizabeth.

      It seems as though Google wants people to connect with like-minded people, and so to help you find a new friend to two, they suggest people for you to connect with that they consider a good fit for you. This is kinda nice of Google, actually. 😉

      As far as I can see, how this works is like this – and I’ll use myself as an example again. I am friends with many writers, authors, and others in the publishing industry. So Google takes note of this and then suggests others writers for me, that are also in the same circles of the people I am already connected with. If I want to be friends with them, I add them to one of my circles. IF they choose to add back (to one or more of their circles), that is up to them.

      However, Google has started to suggest other people for me to connect with. When I added a lawyer to my LEGAL circle, all of a sudden I was being bombarded with suggestions to connect with other lawyers. The same thing happened when I added a realtor; Google suggested I become friends with other realtors.

      Also, say you and I both are friends with BLOGGER X. When BLOGGER Y enters the picture and adds BLOGGER X to his circle, your name or my name might pop up for BLOGGER Y to connect with, just because we are both in BLOGGER X’s circle. See how this all works, now?

      It is important to remember that Google is not a person and is not perfect, so you may get suggestions to connect with people you want nothing to do with. But then again, you may make a new friend!

      Excellent question, Elizabeth. Did my answer help?

  64. Hi Lorraine! Thanks so much for the information. I am a bit confused as to who sees my posts. Is it only the people who are following me? If I share a post with a circle does it appear to everyone in that circle, or only the ones in that circle who are following me? Or should the people that I follow, who are not following me always be in a separate circle from my followers. I might be thinking too much 😉 Help!

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Who sees your posts depends on who you share them with. At the bottom of each post, you have the option of sharing it with
      a. the public
      b. your circles
      c. your extended circles
      d. one or more individuals (by typing +[theirname]
      e. a combination of these

      I would not worry too much about who sees it since, even though someone might be in your circle, the only people who will see it are those who use G+ regularly. For example, I have not been on Facebook or G+ for about three weeks, so I have not seen anybody’s posts. But, I have shared some of the blog posts I have to G+, so it appears as though I am somewhat active.

      Does this help, Katrice?

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Thanks, Robert! I’ve never been called a “guru” before! You had better be careful, or my ego will become *really* inflated! LOL 😀

      If I can help *just one* person, then I’ve done my job. If you are on Twitter, follow me and I will follow you back. 🙂 Don’t forget to post your links on my Promote Yourself! page.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Thanks, Susan. Like any other type of new social media, it is tough for people to understand it at first, but the more we learn about it, the easier it becomes. 😀

  65. Sounds like you’ve really learned a lot about Google+ Lorraine. Even Google seems to think so obviously. From what I just read I think they would have that right.

    it’s fun learning new sites. Glad you shared all of this with us. I think over time I’ve learned more about how to get around in there and what the circles all mean and how to spread my content around to those I want to see it.

    Great job with this and thanks again.

    Hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

    ~Adrienne

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Yes, I am! I hope you are, too. I appreciate your comment, Adrienne. 😀

      “Googs” is a sweetheart to me, that’s for sure! I just hope that this post helps those who were sent to me to begin with!

  66. Hey Lorraine, very interesting post. I’m not into Google+ but there is a lot of talk about it. I may check into it someday and when I do, I’ll use your questions and answers as a cheat sheet.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Thanks for leaving a comment, Donna! If you like Facebook, you’ll like Google+. Enough said. 🙂 Good luck!

  67. This is excellent Lorraine. I’m trying to immerse myself in Google+. I’m trying to understand why people think it is so great. This post is extremely helpful. Wishing you all the best with your new friend “Googs”!

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Thank you for your comment, Romona! I’m glad you found this post helpful.

      Google+ is not that much different from Facebook, from what I can see, but it is a growing social media networking site. The major difference (to me) is the ability to make “friends”/connections. On Facebook, both parties need to agree to the “friendship”; on Google+, you can add anyone to your circle. G+ is kind of like Twitter, in this respect, as you can follow anyone on Twitter.

  68. Arleen says

    Not sure how Google+ helps with SEO, but since it is a Google product and they are one of the main search engines, I would think that Google+ is the place to be. Thank you for explaining the circles.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      You’re welcome, Arleen. Thanks for your comment.

      I’m not an expert on SEO, but everything is Google this, Google that, these days!

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      That was the point, Robert! So many people have tons of questions, and I wanted to answer them for them!

      • “Question 4: When someone puts you in their circle how do you get yourself out?
        Answer: If you don’t want to be in someone’s circle, ask them to remove you. And calm down; being in someone’s circle is not a bad thing… :)”

        Interesting viewpoint. My girlfriend’s rapist has added her to his circle, and she has no way to remove herself from it. She has a small marketing business, so simply not having a Google+ is not an option.

        This is a serious deficiency that Google has ignored for years, and I would think warrants more discussion.

        • says

          Arron, it’s unfortunate that there is no clear-cut way for us to choose who can add us to their circles and who can’t. As a rape survivor, I can relate to this situation.

          However, looking on the bright side, we can choose who we add to OUR circles.

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