Update, May 24, 2013: Since this post was published, I've found a much faster way to get rid of What's Hot posts from your Home stream. Once logged in to Google+, choose What's Hot from the left-hand slide-out menu. The top right-hand card on the page will say "What's hot and recommended." Click the Settings cog, and then uncheck "Show posts in Home stream."
That's all you need to do. But below is the original content of this story.
Users of Google+ probably noticed a new section on their news stream called What's Hot.
Essentially, this is a feed of all posts that have received several +1s and are therefore deemed popular. While this can be a good way to get the latest pop-culture news or the latest funny pictures floating around the Internet, having it imbedded directly into your stream can be confusing and annoying. The following steps will help you remove this section of your news stream while still allowing other ways to access What's Hot.
Adblock Plus is a great way to remove nasty, unwanted popups and other annoyances from Web pages you visit. By adding two filters to your list, you can blacklist the What's Hot section of your stream and prevent it from being displayed. Here's how:
Step 1: Download and install the Adblock Plus extension.
Step 2: Click on the wrench icon in the top right corner of your Chrome browser, and select Options from the drop-down menu that appears.
Step 3: Click on the Extensions tab in the list to the left and select Options under Adblock Plus for Google Chrome.
Step 4: Navigate to the Add your own filters tab on the page that appears.
Step 5: Add the following two filters to your list (like the above image):
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User scripts are small snippets of code that can be created to run in the background of your browser. These are handled and installed the same way as browser extensions in Chrome, so should you find yourself wanting to remove this script, following the steps you usually do will work here. The user script providing this feature is called What's Hot... Isn't. The source code of this user script is available for viewing prior to installation if you're worried about shenanigans. This script does the same exact thing that Adblock does, just without having to install and manage a separate extension to accomplish it.
After this, you should find your Google+ stream What's Hot-free. One word of warning is that both of these methods are based on Google's naming scheme for elements in the Web page's code. Should they decide to change the name of the section, both methods will break and your stream will be cluttered again. If this happens, adjusting the Adblock filters or installing the latest version of the user script (it is being maintained by the author) should hopefully make it work again.
Editor's note: This post was originally published on November 7, 2011, and has been updated with a much shorter process.