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What Web Marketers Should Know about the Google Bar

The heart of the Google+ experience is the little bar that follows you from Google site to Google site. Web marketers can use this Google Bar to their advantage and make Google+ much more manageable. Googlers (Google employees) call this the sandbar.

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Whatever you call it, the Google bar links all the Google products together and lets you know when someone comments on your posts or mentions you. The bar also allows you to post right from most of Google’s major products.

  • +You: The Google bar is split into two sections on most sites. The top starts with +your first name, followed by a list of other Google sites. The bottom part has a bunch of other stuff (mentioned in the next few bullet points). When you click +your first name, you’re taken to your Google+ news stream.

    Clicking +your first name is the fastest way to get to Google + from any Google site.

  • Other Google site links: On your Google bar, it shows Search, Images, Maps, Play, YouTube, News, Gmail, Drive, Calendar, and More. These spots link to Google’s most popular sites, and they’re part of the top bar. The More drop-down menu lists even more Google sites.

  • Search: Most of the time, the bottom part of the Google bar shows the logo and a search box. This box usually lets you search the site you’re currently in.

  • Red notification bubble: When you get a notification on Google+, the bubble comes up. The number inside shows how many notifications you have. When you click it, you see a menu of all your Google+ comments, mentions, and +1s, as well as new people who are following you on Google+. You might need to fight the urge to click the bubble every time you see that number go up.

    This little red bubble can get addictive.

    From the notification bubble, you can +1, add people to circles, and comment on posts. Between the notification bubble and the Share button, you really don’t need to visit Google+ unless you want to check your news feed.

    Make sure you adjust your notification settings. You can do this for both profiles and pages on Google+. You can choose what you get notified for, and how you get notifications. You can choose to receive your most important notifications by e-mail; then you can ignore notification bubble in your Google bar (most of the time, anyway) because you’ll get the most important stuff in your Gmail inbox.

  • Share button: The Share button (the little + sign at the top of most Google products) is useful. If you’ve got something on your mind and you’re using another Google product, just click the Share button, type a message, post an image, or share a link. You’ll be sharing to Google+ without having to leave the product you’re using.

  • Account management drop-down menu (accessed by clicking the profile picture, your name, or the little upside-down triangle): From here you can visit your Google profile, switch to a Google+ Page that you administer, or switch Google accounts (if, say, you have more than one Google account or your family uses the same computer but has separate accounts).

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