Goodbye Google+…Google Plus Is Shutting Down
Over the next 10 months Google will be shutting down its seven-year-old social network, Google+.
Google introduced Google+ in 2011 as its social networking platform. With features such as newsfeed, recommendation engine, video chat service and friend management system – the platform was similar to Facebook and Twitter, but added a bit more. The site granted users the ability to write longer form content, which made it easier for users to engage in meaningful conversations and get useful feedback.
For businesses, Google+ offered huge SEO benefits. Since the platform was created by Google, it made sense that content posted to your Google+ page would be more likely to appear in search results than your posts on other social media channels. The platform also offered exceptional analytics tools to track the performance of content posted.
While many people started using Google+ when it was first released in 2011, by 2015 there was a significant decrease in active users. As a result, Google removed a few underused features and attempted a redesign to make it easier to use. This didn’t help. Through 2016 and 2017, users continued to drop the social network. A big part of the problem was that Google+ didn’t offer anything that made it different from other social networks. Almost everything that you could do on Google+ could be done on the Facebook or Twitter accounts where people had already been active for many years.
On October 8, Google announced that by August of 2019 the social network will be completely shut down. Why? They discovered a glitch in the system that potentially allowed third-party apps to access 500,000 people’s private user data. Beyond the issue of data privacy, Google noted that there was a decrease in engagement and 90% of user sessions on Google+ lasted under 5 seconds.
What does this mean for digital marketing?
If your business has a Google+ account, it’s time to say goodbye. You’ll want to phase out, if not immediately, stop posting content to your page and remove share/follow buttons on your website that link to Google+. If you have original posts and images on the platform, Google will provide instructions in the coming months for how to download and migrate files. Unless Google+ was your business’s only form of social media, not much is going to change for you. With Google+ out of the picture, all other social networks will become the core focus for business networking. Marketers can continue to focus their efforts onto stronger and more engaging social networks like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.