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How to look inside Google+ without an invite

As usual, Google released its latest social tool, Google+, with limited invites during its "field test" period. But just because you can't sign up doesn't mean you can't access the social network. Sharon Vaknin shows you how.

If you haven't received a Google+ invite by now, good luck. The service is over capacity, and it might be a while before Google invites more users into its "field test" period. However, you can still get a peek inside Google+ without an exclusive pass.

As Search Engine Land points out, Google+ users can selectively choose to make posts public. So when CNET reporter Declan McCullagh posted his thoughts on Google+ yesterday, anyone could access it.

Google is indexing these public posts, and although it's not immediately obvious, anyone (including non-members) can see them. Here's how:

In Google, search for " post." This will search for all posts within Google+. If you'd like to search for posts about specific topics, like Facebook, search for " facebook."

Taking a peek inside Google+ posts Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET

Click on one of those links, and you'll enter Google+. From there, you can view that person's profile and search for others. Here's Declan's:

Declan McCaullagh's public profile on Google+ Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET

From here, you can view users' circles, explore posts, look at profiles, and quietly observe while you wait for an invite to make its way to your inbox.