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Weekly Update - April 29, 2017 - Google+ Topics, AdSense Policy, Maps and Translate

This week Google helps you expand your horizons with updates to Google+, Maps, Translate and more. My top updates:
Google+ launches Topics. There are currently at least 162 topics for you to browse and discover people, Collections, and Communities that share your interests, in English, Spanish and Portuguese.AdSense expands policy prohibiting placing ads on pages with dangerous or derogatory contentGetting around is getting easier. Google Maps now lets you save your parking location, get local business reviews in your own language, and has a new home screen for users in India. Plus Google Trips, the travel planning app, now lets you better manage reservations.Making the internet more inclusive in India: Google introduced improved translation of nine Indian languages in Google Translate and Chrome, 22 Indic languages were added to GBoard for Android, and (along with Oxford University Press) is bringing the Rajpal & Sons Hindi dictionary online. Now anyone  can create a class using…

How to enable monetization on YouTube

YouTube recently changed the eligibility requirements for monetization. Your channel must have at least 10,000 public lifetime views to display ads on videos. And if you are not currently a Partner, you now need to apply for the YouTube Partner program.

While that means you won't be able to immediately start monetizing videos on your new channel, you can set your channel up so it's ready to start monetizing when it becomes eligible.

There is a four step monetization setup process
Is your channel eligible for monetization?1. Review the YouTube Partner Program Policies2. Sign up for AdSense (or link your existing AdSense account)3. Set monetization preferences4. Get reviewed after reaching 10,000 viewsWhat happens next? Earnings and payments 

Read on for detailed instructions.

Weekly Update - April 22, 2017: YouTube Partner Program, G+ Metrics in G Suite, Updated Google Earth

Add music to your Google Photos movie from the YouTube Audio Library (or anywhere)

You create a Movie from your videos and photos in Google Photos, then add your own music or audio track with just a few clicks.

If you have a supported device, all you need to do is select from your images and video clips to create a Movie. The app offers a number of songs you can add, but you might have trouble finding just the right track.

YouTube offers a much larger variety of music in the YouTube Audio Library which can be used for any project.  And you can add those tracks to your Google Photos Movies.

The following instructions explain how to do that on your supportedAndroid device.

Note that this works for any audio file downloaded to your device. Just keep in mind that if you plan to share the Movie publicly, any music needs to be licensed for use.

How to add music from the the YouTube Audio Library to your Google Photos Movie

1. Create your Google Photos Movie on your Android device (Instructions)
2. Find the YouTube Audio Library track you want to use (https://www.youtube.co…

Weekly Update - April 15, 2017: Google+, Google Photos, AutoDraw

Weekly Update - April 8, 2017: YouTube, Google+, Fighting Fake News

New this week: The big news for Creators was that the YouTube Partner Program has new eligibility requirements. Channels must have at least 10,000 lifetime views to show ads on videos. While this comes amidst a lot of criticism from advertisers about where their ads are displaying, YouTube says this change has been in the works since last November.YouTube TV is now live in five US Metro areas: New York, Los Angeles, SF Bay Area, Chicago, and PhiladelphiaNow you can remove your current Google+ or YouTube custom URL, and then - if eligible - be offered a new one. This is great for folks who have changed their name or rebranded their business.Android 7.1.2 was officially released, with bug fixes and improvements for Pixel and Nexus phones And the fight against fake news rages on: ”Fact Check” is now available in Google Search and News around the world. And Facebook is implementing changes to stop misinformation and false news.Plus tips and updates for YouTube, Google Photos, Blogger, AdS…

How to block someone on your YouTube channel

If you are a YouTuber, and someone is harassing you, spamming you or you otherwise don't want them to contact you or comment on your videos or channel, you can block them.

There are two ways to block someone on YouTube:

1. Block a YouTube Contact in the YouTube mobile app. 

That will block the person across Google products.


Read on to get detailed instructions on how to block someone in YouTube Contacts


2. Block someone from commenting on your videos or channel on a desktop computer

When you block someone in YouTube through their channel, comments or a live chat, that person's account is NOT blocked in any other Google products.



Read on to get detailed instructions on how block someone from commenting on your YouTube channel

Related articles:  How to block someone on Google+How to block someone in Google PhotosHow to block someone in HangoutsHow to manage your Google Blocked Users Learn more: Google Accounts Help: Block or unblock people's accounts

Weekly Update - April 1, 2017: YouTube Monetization, Google+, and some Foolishness

It's been an eventful week. Here are my top updates: YouTube has been fine tuning their ad systems to address advertiser concerns, which may be causing fluctuations in revenue for YouTube Partners. YouTube recommends creators make sure that videos “are aligned with the advertiser friendly content guidelines” and pledged to make the review process around appeals even faster (although it didn’t help that there was a bug (now fixed) that prevented submitting an appeal on some demonetized videos.)Location sharing moved from Google+ to Google MapsTwitter no longer counts @ usernames towards the 140 character post limit, plus they have ditched the egg. In response, some people have asked “Does anyone at Twitter even use Twitter?”And, naturally, coming into the first day of April, there have been a lot of unusual software and hardware launches. So far my favorites are the Chromebook Groupie Stick,the T-Mobile ONEsie, and Ms Pacman in Google Maps. Plus you should definitely check out th…

How to manage your Google Account's Blocked Users

When you block someone in Google+, Google Photos, Hangouts or YouTube Contacts, you block them across Google. You can view and remove blocked users in your Google Account settings (myaccount.google.com).

Get detailed instructions on how to manage your Google Blocked Users

Related articles:  How to block someone on Google+How to block someone in Google PhotosHow to block someone in HangoutsHow to block someone on YouTube Learn more: Google Accounts Help: Block or unblock people's accounts


How to block (or unblock) someone in Google Photos

If someone is harassing you, spamming you or you otherwise don't want them to contact you or see your content you can block them on Google+, Google Photos, Hangouts or YouTube Contacts. Blocking them in one product will block them across Google.

What happens in Google Photos when you block someone You won't be able to see each others photos, videos, or comments in Google Photos.If you own the album and you block a contributor, any content they’ve added will be removed from the album.If you block the owner of an album, any content you've added will be removed from the album.If you block someone from an album you don’t own, you and the person you block won’t be able to see each other’s content.
Read on for detailed instructions how to block (or unblock) someone in Google Photos

Related articles: How to block someone on Google+How to block someone in HangoutsHow to block someone on YouTubeHow to manage your Google Blocked Users Learn more: Google Accounts Help: Block or unblock …

How to block (or unblock) someone in Google Hangouts

If someone is harassing you, spamming you or you otherwise don't want them to contact you or see your content you can block them on Google+, Google Photos, Hangouts or YouTube Contacts. Blocking them in one product will block them across Google.

When you block someone in Google Hangouts:

Individual conversation:
you cannot send or receive Hangout chat messagesGroup conversation:
you can join a group chat with the person you blockedthe person you blocked can join group chats you are inyou will be able to see each others messagesVideo calls: 
you cannot join a video call with someone you blocked and vice versaNote: if you use Hangouts for Project Fi or Google Voices calls and SMS, those services may be affected.




Read on to get detailed instructions on How to block (or unblock) someone in Hangouts
Related articles:  How to block someone on Google+How to block someone in Google PhotosHow to block someone on YouTubeHow to manage your Google Blocked Users Learn more: Google Accounts Help: Blo…

How to block (or unblock) someone on Google+

If someone is harassing you, spamming you or you otherwise don't want them to contact you or see your content you can block them on Google+, Google Photos, Hangouts or YouTube Contacts. Blocking them in one product will block them across Google.

If you block someone on Google+:
you are removed from their Circles, and can't add you backthey cannot see your posts made after blocking them (while signed in to their account)they cannot comment on your poststhey cannot see your commentsthey cannot plus mention youyou cannot see the content they postif they post in a Community you own or moderate, you will be able to see your post if you post in a Community they own or moderate, they will be able to see your post Blocking someone on Google+ also blocks them in Hangouts, Google Photos, and YouTube Contacts.


Read on to get detailed instructions on how to block (or unblock) a person or page on Google+
Related articles:  How to block someone in Google PhotosHow to block someone in HangoutsHo…

Weekly Update - March 25, 2017: Blogger, Ads on YouTube, Hangouts and more

Lots new in the Googleverse this week!
Blogger introduced 4 new modern template themes. I used the Notable theme to give this blog a new look. If you want to give one of them a try, it’s easy to switch!Google continued to be under fire from advertisers whose ads appeared with “extremist” content. Despite assurances from Google and YouTube that practices would be improved, big advertisers in the UK and US pulled millions of advertising dollars. And it’s not clear how much the changes will affect Creators.Google continues to refine its messaging strategy. SMS will be removed from Google Hangouts (except for Google Voice and Project Fi) and Google Talk will finally be completely retiredGoogle Photo was updated for faster backup and sharing, especially when you have a poor internet connection Snapseed got some nice new features, including Double Exposure and Face PoseReal-time location sharing is coming back to Google Maps. Plus there are tips and updates for Webmasters, Live Streamer…

New name, new look - same great content!

Hey there reader! You may have noticed the blog's new name and layout. This is no longer the "YouTube - Google+ Integration" blog. Instead it's "Peggy K's Tips & Tricks (for Creators, Collectors and Curators)".

It was longlong overdue for a change. My posts haven't been exclusively about YouTube integration with Google+ for a long long time, and now that integration has largely been undone.


What's different? 

A new header that better reflects the content of the blog.
A new template. I'm using a customized version of the new Blogger "Notable" theme. It's designed to "adjust to any screen" and load quickly.


Gadget spring cleaning. My old sidebar had gotten a bit cluttered with gadgets that were out of date.

Blogger comments only.  I had been using comment code from blogger xpertise that let you choose between standard Blogger Comments and Google+ Comments. However, I get few comments overall, and almost all of them are …

Weekly Update - March 18, 2017: Advertiser-friendliness, Family Link, YouTube

The top stories in the Googleverse this week:
The new Google Family Link app helps you control what your kids can access on their phoneGoogle was “under fire for posting UK government ads on YouTube hate videos”. In a quick response, Google announced they will be giving advertisers more control over where ads appear on YouTube and the Google Display NetworkYouTube announced the Annotations editor will be retired May 2Google Voice got a nice update on Android and web Plus there are updates and tips for webmasters, bloggers, live streamers, Google+ers, YouTubers and more.

Image: Four leaf clover by KEBman on Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

Weekly Update - March 11, 2017: Google+, Hangouts, Google Cloud

This week was Google Cloud Next ‘17, with presentations and announcements for both Google Cloud Platform and G Suite. While the focus is on updates for businesses, many of the updates will apply to us regular consumers as well.

Check out 100 Announcements from Google Cloud Next ‘17 and Powering enterprise productivity and secure collaboration with major updates to G suite.

My top updates this week:

Introducing the new Hangouts Meet and Hangouts ChatTransforming company culture with Google+ for G Suite: 2017 Road mapGoogle+ gets a new notification bellGoogle+ Create Turns OneYouTube Community Contributions lets viewers help translate your video titles and descriptions
And a bonus for college basketball fans:

March Madness 2017 in Google Sheets!
Plus updates and tips for YouTube, Google+, GBoard, Google Photos, Webmasters and more.

Image: March Hares: Rabbits on a Log by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (1897) (Public Domain)

Weekly Update - March 4, 2017: YouTube TV, Keep, Google+

This week’s big news is YouTube TV. It will offer live television on all the major networks, regional sports and many other cable network channels. Put that together with unlimited cloud DVR and availability on all your devices, and it sounds like a winner. US only though.

My top updates this week:
YouTube TV: live TV wherever you are, plus cloud DVR with no storage limits (US only)Google Keep integration with Google Docs G+ Android version 9.6.0: Support for GBoard Animated GIFsHangouts update: Jump right back into the conversation with redesigned unread messages indicators Plus updates and tips for YouTube, Blogger, AdSense, Google+, Photos and more.

Did you miss the last few updates? Get a quick overview of the February updates for creators - Bloggers, YouTubers and Google Plussers.


Image: Composite with Hungarian televison set. ORION AT 602 - 1959 by Takkk - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link,

Select a Profile for your Blogger Account: Google+ or Blogger

Blogger does not require you to blog under your real name. You can choose whether to use your Google+ profile or create a new Blogger-only profile. That means you can use your real name, a pseudonym, or a brand or business name.

The only limitation is that you can only use one identity for your Blogger account. If you want to blog under more than one name, you will need to create another Blogger account using a different Google account

What is the difference between a Google+ Profile and a Blogger Profile?

Google+ Profile

Your blog author name links to your Google+ Profile, where all your posts, Collections and (optionally) Communities are visible. The "About" link on your profile shows your personal information.You use your Google account name and profile photo. You can + mention people in your Blogger blog posts.You can enable Google+ comments.You can select a Google+ Profile or Page badge to add to your blog's Layout.You can automatically share your posts to your Googl…

Weekly Update - February 25, 2017: (In)Security, Spaces, Messages

Create a YouTube Channel for your Brand, Business, Organization or Band

If you are a business owner, pseudonymous vlogger, band, non-profit organization or gamer, you may not want want to use your Google Account personal name for your YouTube channel. To use a different identity, you can create a YouTube channel on a Brand Account.

A Brand Account can have have multiple managers and owners, making it a good solution for collaborative YouTube channels.

A Brand Account channel is not hard to manage. You sign in to your Brand Account channel using the same email and Google account that you usually use to sign in to YouTube. And you can switch between channel identities by clicking your channel icon at top right.

How to create a YouTube channel for a business or brand

1. Sign in to YouTube on a desktop computer
2. Open the YouTube Account Settings (www.youtube.com/account)
3. Click See all my channels or create a new channel
4. If prompted to create a channel, click Use a business or other name
5. That opens All My Channels (www.youtube.com/channel_switcher)

Create a Google+ Page for your Brand, YouTube channel, Business or Organization

If you want to use Google+ as a brand, business, organization, band or any identity other than your personal Google profile, you can create a Google+ Page. A Google+ Page is linked to a Brand Account, which can have multiple managers. Brand Accounts can also be used for YouTube channels, Google Photos and Google My Business listings.
Google+ offers the same features for Google+ Pages and Google+ Profiles. A Page can create and participate in Communities, run Events, and, of course, share, +1 and comment on posts.

If you have an existing Brand Account(for example created with your business or brand's YouTube channel) you can add a Google+ Page to your Brand Account.
Sign in to Google+ (plus.google.com) as the Owner or Manager of the Brand AccountClick your profile image at top right, then select your Brand Account from the menuOnce you have switched to your Brand Account, click Enable Google+ on the left menuRead the Pages terms of service, then click Enable again to complete the pro…

Weekly Update - February 18, 2017: YouTube, Community, Maps & More

My top updates this week, in and out of the Googleverse:
YouTube now lets creators fix videos with unrelated or misleading tagsYouTube Star PewDiePie lost lucrative deals with Maker/Disney and YouTube after the Washington Post wrote about his anti-Semitic stunts. Much hand-wringing ensues. (Posts are collected below)Twitter begins implementing new anti-harassment measuresFacebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has a manifesto: Building a global communityGoogle Maps gets social,now lets you create and share location lists Plus there are more tips and updates for YouTubers, Live Streamers, Blogger bloggers, AdSense Publishers, Project Fi customers and more.

Image: The Great Backyard Bird Count is February 17-20. Learn more and sign up to start counting today. The image is Starling (Winter Plumage) from The birds of the British Isles and their eggs. (1919)

Weekly update - February 11, 2017: YouTube Live, Google+, and more

Check the traffic to your YouTube videos from Google+ (and other external sites)

Is it worthwhile to promote your YouTube videos on Google+, Facebook or other sites? Check your YouTube Analytics Traffic Sources report  to see your videos' watch time and views from external websites.

If you view the External sources in the Traffic sources report you can see "traffic from websites and apps that embed your videos or link to your videos on YouTube."  The External sources report is broken down by website and includes traffic from Google+, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, from Google Search, blogs, forums and more.

The Playback locations report lets you see analytics from videos played while embedded on an external website, such as Google+ or your blog.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that a substantial portion of my YouTube channel's views come from Google+. Here's what I found about my Google+ viewers:
81% of my watch time is from traffic from External sitesMore than 40% of my External site watch time is from Google+More than h…

Weekly update: February 4, 2017: YouTube, Google Photos and more

Some smaller updates in the Googleverse this week:
The previously announced YouTube Super Chat tip jar is now available to creators in 20 countries. And the YouTube mobile apps got a nice littleupdate.Google Photos for Android has a redesigned Albums tab and the Snapseed photo editor now lets you edit using curves.Google has cooked up improved recipe search (Google blog) Dominating the news: Alphabet (including Google), Facebook, Apple and other tech companies announced their 4th quarter 2016 earnings The Trump administration’s immigration restrictions caused turmoil and pushback within the tech industry (and elsewhere) There are also tips and updates for Google Plussers, YouTubers, live streamers, Bloggers, Webmasters, AdSense Publishers, Hangouts chatters and more.

Wondering what happened last month? Check out my overview of the top updates for YouTubers, Plussers and Bloggers in January 2017

The Super Bowl - this Sunday - is an unofficial holiday in the US, where Americans gather …

Blogger tip: add a link to any image with no HTML editing

When you insert an image into a Blogger blog post, it is usually linked to the larger original-sized image, which - when clicked - is viewable as a Lightbox overlay.

Sometimes you may want the image to link to a different web page instead.

Not sure what I mean?
Click to see a larger image:
Click to open my Blogger Tips Collection web page
If you are a HTML expert, you can switch the blog post editor to "HTML" mode and manually edit the image link.

But if you aren't comfortable editing your blog post code, you can add a web URL to the image with just few clicks.

Here's how you do it:

Weekly Update - January 28, 2017: Google+, Google Voice, YouTube

Top updates this week:
At long last, Google+ is on its own: Google+ Classic was retired, Events returned, and “Your Influence” - stats for everyone - launched. Meanwhile, Google My Business no longer supports Google+ Brand PagesGoogle Voice finally gets an update, after 5 yearsYou can now add a custom thumbnail to your YouTube video on your phone using the Creator Studio app  Plus there are tips and updates for YouTubers, live streamers, Google Plussers, Bloggers, webmasters, Chrome and Firefox users, Hangouts hanger outers and much more.

Image: Gung Hay Fat Choy! The image is a rooster (cc0) from Pixabay

Blogger tip: Insert an image from Google+ or Hangouts into a post

One of the advantages of using Blogger is that it's part of the Google ecosystem. You can easily insert any image uploaded through your Google account into a Blogger blog post, including images you have shared on Google+ or in a Hangouts chat.

Blogger can access any image in your Google Album Archive, which includes all images uploaded to Google through Google Photos, Google+, Hangouts, Blogger, Google Drive and other Google services (Learn more about Album Archive).

Weekly Update - January 21, 2017: Google+, YouTube, Presidential Social Media Transition

My top updates this week:
This week Google+ announced that the Classic web interface will be retired January 24th. They also announced some nice updates: Hide low quality comments, pan and zoom large images on the web, and an improved responsive design for a better screen layout.YouTube is rolling out mobile sharing and messaging - starting in CanadaThe transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration included transfer of the White House and Presidential social media accountsAnd if you use Blogger you should check out the recording of my free webinar with Michael Daniels: Blogger, Beyond Text Plus there are tips and updates for Google+, YouTube, Blogger, Google Docs, Google Search and more.

Image: My Wife’s Lovers by Carl Kahler (1893) “Dubbed by Cat Magazine as "the world's greatest painting of cats".”

Blogger tip: Insert emoji, symbols and other special characters into your blog post

Sometimes you need to insert characters into your blog post that aren't available on your computer's keyboard.  You can use the Blogger "Insert special character" tool to insert arrows (↑→), mathematical symbols (⺟∫), accented (éü) or non-Latin characters (禁𓁗) and even emoji (🐦✋).


Live streaming to YouTube on an Android phone: the best and worst apps

I wanted to try live streaming on my Pixel phone, but I don't have access to the YouTube Mobile live stream app, which is still only available to a limited group of Creators (you can watch YouTube mobile live streams here). I decided to try a few of the most popular Android live streaming apps to see how well they work.

What I was looking for:
Easy to use interfaceDirect live streaming to YouTubeHigh quality videoPortrait or Landscape mode I've excluded apps like Livestream, which focus on their own live streaming community, and don't have any way to export the video file or stream to YouTube directly.

The results were mixed. The easiest to use was Periscope, but that doesn't broadcast to YouTube directly and the recorded video is not high definition.  And I couldn't get InstaLively to stream at all.

However,Live in Five (recommended by +Ileane Smith) is a promising option - it broadcasts directly to YouTube and seems pretty easy to use. It lets you stream either fr…

Weekly Update - January 14, 2017: YouTube, Google+, Hangouts and more

My top updates this week:
YouTube introduces Super Chat fan payments in live chats and highlights creators “On the Rise”Google+ is using machine learning (RAISR) to significantly - but hopefully imperceptably - reduce image size and bandwithHangouts has streamlined group chat creation Plus more updates and tips for YouTube, Google+, webmasters, AdSense publishers, maps users and much more.

Image: Garish (2007) By aussiegall from sydney, Australia (Garish) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Weekly Update - January 7, 2017: Google Assistant, Advertising, Hangouts

This week was the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas where new computers, smart devices and other electronics were shown, from the silly to “put that on my wish list”.  The best Google-related updates:
Coming Soon: Google Assistant on Android TV, Android Wear 2.0, and moreNew Chromebooks built from the ground up for Android apps And there were a few other non-CES updates that have sparked interesting discussions:
Medium announced that they were moving away from “ad-driving publishing”, apparently leaving some of the platform’s publishers “in the dark”.Most apps for the old Hangouts video call platform will be retired in April, as Google shifts focus towards business and enterprise Plus tons of tips for YouTube, Google+, AdSense, Webmasters, Google Calendar, Google Maps and more..

Image: Impression, soleil levant by Claude Monet (1872) Public Domain

Weekly Update - December 31, 2016: Happy new year!

Happy New Year readers! I know this is posted a day late, but the upates are through the end of 2016.

I've posted my yearly reviews of the different Google products I follow, so if you want an overview of the year, that's the place to start:

2016 in Review: YouTube for Creators and Live Streamers - creator benefits, building community, better communication (this is my video - longer blog post yet to come)2016 in Review: Google+ - Creators, Collections and Communities2016 in Review: Blogger - updated dashboard with more good things to come2016 in Review: AdSense - updated account interface, better communication, new ad fformats2016 in Review: Hangouts (yes, Hangouts) - moving toward business
The big themes: better communication from the different Google support teams (YouTube, AdSense),  re-designed interfaces (Google+, AdSense, Blogger, YouTube), benefits for Creators (YouTube and Google+) and finally, products finding the own way after Google+'s pivot (YouTube, Blogger, H…
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