Monday, 27 April 2015

How To Search For Old Posts On Google+

I am writing this short post because I have noticed a growing number of people who constantly complain about Google+'s search feature.   

Yes, some folks actually do complain about the Google+ search feature!!! Here's a recent one, in a discussion on Mike Allton's post on G+ 

Yeah, wow! I know!
I find it pretty amazing as well!!!

So anyway, I decided to share this simple tutorial on how to make use of the Google+ search feature to find posts that are 3 days old or those that are 3 years old. 

But let me quickly point out to those who actually compare with Facebook, that first of all, even though I have really come to like G+, I am not one of those people who get combative in favour of G+ against Facebook or any other network. To be honest, I couldn't care less what side ends up winning the Fan Wars; Just like I couldn't care less who "eventually won" the iOS vs. Android Fan Wars, and all of those shenanigans.

By the way, if you are African, and you are new to Google+, please take a look at this post. You might also want to look at my ZMOT article if you are a social media marketer or other digital marketer of sorts. 


So having said all that let me now clarify the unnecessary Facebook/G+ comparison:

I know without a doubt that the Facebook search feature is by far the most wretched of all social network search features. i.e. their desktop search on Facebook (I don't use Facebook on smartphones, but I guess if it sucks on desktop, then surely it must also..........). 

I am willing to bet that what those folks mean by "easily finding previous posts on Facebook", is that they merely go through their notifications to find old posts. 

And yes indeed, Google+ purges notifications after you have treated them (i.e. visited the post you are being notified about). 

So this poses a problem to a user who probably has a reason to return to a post he/she had been engaging with, but is not currently getting any attention (and therefore not triggering any new notifications).
To solve this problem from the perspective a Facebook user is pretty simple:

Simply click on your Notifications icon on your Google+ and scroll down to select "Previously read" at the bottom, and voila!!! 
You are just as you were on Facebook! 

Google+ Ninjas Be Finding Sh*t All Day.....

So now I want to talk to you about becoming much more of a "finder" than you could have ever dreamed of being on Facebook or any other social network:

Say you want to find some very interesting and very heated argument you had about Tesla Motors and Solar City on some guy's post that you don't even know or follow, and it happened sometime in 2013. 

Please! Attempt to tell me you have a prayer of finding such on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn?!

Now let me show you how to do it:

Searching is about strings or keywords (for now). So in the G+ search bar, you would need to remember certain keywords (the more unique they are the better).

You could pick [Tesla]; you could pick [SolarCity]; you could pick [name of poster] (if you remember their name - especially if he had some unique name like Wolfgang Bohemian or something. lol ). 
It could also help if some term like [Lithium-Ion] or [fossil-fuel] was repeated by you are some others within the comments. Then finally you would need to add [your name], but only if you participated in the comments of the post. So 3 to 5 keywords should take you to that post with ease. Try it!

Here's an example from how I found the post I mentioned earlier:

This next example is one where I hadn't engaged on the post. It only flashed by on my stream, and I came back the next day to look for it. And voila!

Again, let me say you can try it with this very post (i.e. the one attached to this article > Here <  )

If you want to find this post 4 years from now, simply go to G+ search and type [Rotimi Orims] + [Google+ Facebook Search] + [Your name].
If you are not following me, and you did not comment on it, then try it this way:
[Rotimi Orims] + [Google+ Facebook Search] + [the name of the person who surfaced it into your stream] (they either liked it or commented on it).
Or you may add the term [Search Africa] in it as well.

The idea is that, if the post was memorable enough to make you want to take another look at it, then surely if you tried a bit harder, you would remember some keywords and terms that were used in it or in its comments!
And you would find it easily......on Google+

By the way, if you want to become a Ninja-Shogun-Samurai Google+ searcher (Translated: If you want to learn more useful tips) then you can turn to this resource here

Thanks for reading.

If you have anything to add to this (and I am sure there is much to add) please feel free to do so. Also feel free to ask any questions about anything you like. You would also find I am quite open to harsh criticism and interrogation, if that's what you prefer. ;)

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