So we’ve gone over how to put an end to spam notifications and how to mute game notifications, but in this article, we’re going to delve a bit into exactly how the notifications system works for personal profiles.
Throughout this article, “notifications” will refer to the red indicator in the Google bar, and not email or SMS notifications which can be turned on/off in Google+ settings.
Did you know this about circle notifications?
- When someone circles you for the first time, you get a notification.
- When someone removes you from their circles, you do NOT get a notification.
This is pretty common knowledge. However, the next two facts may be news to you.
- Notifications are not self-cleaning… yet. If you accidentally circle someone and then un-circle them, that person (or page) will still get a notification that you have them in your circles, and they will likely visit your profile. Because of the way notifications currently work, it is possible for hyperactive users to circle thousands, bait those people into circling them back, and then un-circle everyone, a spammy trick to gain lots of followers in a short period of time (I don’t recommend doing it). One way to know if you are truly in someone’s circle is to view their tagline at the top of their profile page and look for “You are in so-and-so’s circles.”
- Google+ users only get ONE circle notification per profile. While this keeps the spam notifications down, you might not realize that an accidentally removed friend is trying to get your attention. Let’s say you and John Doe have each other in circles. If you both un-circle each other (for whatever reason, let’s say it was an accident through a browser extension), and then you decide to circle John again, John will NOT get a second notification.
Did you know this about photo tagging?
When you accidentally tag the wrong person in a photo and remove the tag, the person you accidentally tagged will still get a notification and can view your photos, even if they are private. In order to remedy this, make sure you untagged the person first. Next, go to your photos tab, view the album in question, and then manually click on “Limited” (or “Your Circles” as it may be) and remove the person.
Throughout several tests, I’ve found that sometimes it takes up to 5 minutes for the changes to take effect. Within that small window of time, your photos are exposed, so be careful who you’re tagging!
Did you know this about muting?
In the upper right corner of every post in the stream, there is a tiny circled arrow that drops down a list of options, one of which is to “Mute this post.” When you mute a post, it becomes hidden from your stream and you will no longer receive notifications from that post.
Muting is helpful because any time you comment on someone else’s post, you will be notified every time there is a new comment after yours. Usually, this is nice because it enables you to have a fluid conversation with all the other replies. Sometimes, however, the amount of notifications are overwhelming if there are hundreds of comments after yours. Muting that post will prevent future notifications. Unfortunately, muting posts ALSO mutes any name mentions (+Your Name) you might receive in that thread.
Now you know that muting posts also mutes mentions. If you decide to un-mute a post (you can find it on the person’s profile), you will find that you won’t receive past notifications; only new ones.
Did you know this about notification categories?
You can view all your past notifications in one place. On the left side of your Google+ homepage, under your circles and above “What’s hot”, there is your Notifications link.
From this page you can choose to view different types of notifications, such as: Added to circles, Posts by you, Posts by others, Mentions, Photo tags, and Games.
Did you know this about push notifications?
A push notification is any notification that you opt-in to receive from a program in real time. Conversely, a pull notification is a notification that you must request, usually through a “receive” or “check for updates” button. In our case, every notification you get in Google+ is a push notification.
Thanks to Google+, you can send push notifications to other users when you create a post. Mentioning someone’s name in a post with a plus sign (+John Doe) is one way to push a notification. To keep the post tidy, you may decide to type the person’s name in the share box instead, and it will still send a push notification.
You can easily send push notifications to an entire circle also. Here’s how: add the name of the circle in the share box, click the circle name, and then mark the checkbox “Notify about this post.”
This is a great way to get feedback on important items that might otherwise get overlooked in the stream. Please make sure you are well-acquainted with anyone you send push notifications to because some people don’t like it.
It’s also good to know that push notifications can only be sent to 100 people at a time. If you try to notify circles with more, you’ll just get a warning.
I hope this has helped you understand Google+ notifications a little better. Be sure to read How to Use the Google+ Notifications System to Dominate Your Competition!