Say Goodbye to Google +

Seven years ago when Google decided to get into social networking, Google + was born.  Similar to Facebook, people were able to post status updates, photos and create different types of groups called circles, instead of using the term friends.  Marketing Relevance used Google + for their clients to help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), not necessarily for social networking.

Here are some reasons why we like Google +:

Circles allowed you to be more selective.

Circles was nice added feature because every post didn’t need to be shared with all the same people. You could create smaller groups that are more personalized or centered on more of your everyday life. When sharing a post, you can pick which circle you make it public to so only the people that are interested in that part of your life (business vs. personal, etc.) would see your updates.

How does Google + help business?

All of Google services are linked. When you are logged into your Google account, you are able to see a new Google + menu bar and other Google services.  However, this is not always a positive feature, because a person would sign up for Google + while they are signing up for other services offered by Google.

In addition, when something is posted on Google + it was indexed immediately, causing it to show up in search results faster and delivering the GoogleBot to the website faster. Google never came out and said it, but we could tell that Google ranked its own social network higher and crawled it faster. This is one of the main reasons that Marketing Relevance felt that it was important to add new blog posts to their clients Google + profile pages.

If Google+ was good for businesses and has helped people rank higher in search engines, then why is it shutting down?  Even though it is part of Google, it isn’t as popular as they had hoped. One of their goals was to take over Facebook, but Facebook wasn’t going to let that happen. They added features similar to the Google + circles that allow people to be more careful and specific to who they publish their updates and content to.

In October of 2018, Google made an announcement that there was vulnerability that gave outside developers access to hundreds of thousands of users’ private user data between 2015 and March 2018. Not only was there a data issue, Google failed to announce that it even occurred until October. Google decided at that point to close down the Google+ to consumers in August 2019.

Now, Google has announced that it will be shutting down in April 2019, four months earlier than the intended target date.  In November 2018 there was another data leak that impacted 52 million users.  Again, users profile information such as; name, occupation, address, age and email address were exposed even if their account settings were private.

Even if this data issue hadn’t occurred, there was that chance Google + was going to shut down in the future anyways.  User engagement dropped significantly after it was launched and user sessions were less than five seconds.

Right now it isn’t clear how Google + shutting down will affect a business’s Search Engine Optimization. It will become more evident as April approaches. Contact Marketing Relevance to have us help with your future plans without Google +.  Visit our website or call us at (847) 259-7312.