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Good day, my fellow SEO warriors! Some of us here at Search Engine Academy are getting into Google Plus in a big way! Two days ago, good old Google made some changes to the dashboard, look and feel to our G+ pages and profiles. Take a look below:

New Google Plus dashboard look & feel

Your default is multiple columns, and from what I’m reading, many folks are putting their streams back to a single column. I get that; this is a little overwhelming and is causing me vertigo.  In the upper left of this screen shot, you can see that your cue for new items in your stream(s) is quite different. It’s a little bit like Facebook.You have to click the little blue wheel to see new items in your stream.

If you don’t like it, click on this icon in the upper right hand corner and go back to a single stream:

Change your G+ stream layout

Did you also notice your profile picture is bigger? Whatever happened to Google saying they want more content above the fold? Sure aren’t following here!

You have some new features for your photos in Google Plus. You have what’s called “auto enhance” and “auto awesome.” Auto enhance lets you improve photo quality by tweaking contrast, brightness and other elements to make your photo better before uploading. The good folks at Google I/O came out with this explanation for you to consider:

Sometimes we’ll create a brand new image based on a set of photos in your library. For example: if you upload a sequence of photos, we’ll try and animate them automatically. Or if you send us a few family portraits, we’ll find everyone’s best smile, and stitch them together into a single shot. Likewise with panoramas, filmstrips, and a whole lot more. We call these kinds of enhancements Auto Awesome.

Google Plus is also adding hash tags that they feel are appropriate to items in your stream. If you click on the hash tag, you can see content related to what you post. I really like this, because I think it represents an opportunity to have your content show up more times. Thank you G+!

Hash tags can be automatically added in Google Plus

There are a few new changes to Google Hangouts that I think are going to improve user experience. If you get an invite or someone from your circles sends you a message about a hangout, you no longer have to accept the request first. Good for Google eliminating one click! Do you use Google Voice? If so, you can now take calls on your Google voice number while you’re in a Hangout, on Gmail, Google Plus and the Hangouts app in Google Chrome.

We’ll be incorporating these new features and benefits in our SEO training on day four of All Things Google.

What do you think of the new Google Plus? Let us know in the comments.

As always, I care about ya, my fellow SEO peep, so keep it between the ditches!

All the best to you,