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Google set to strip back Google+: what it means for businesses

Earlier this month, Google dropped a bombshell among users of social media marketing tools as it announced that the consumer version of its social media portal, Google+, was going to be shuttered. A lack of uptake was to blame, with 90% of consumers’ Google+ sessions said to last only seconds.

While this news does have potentially adverse implications for businesses, Google is planning to roll out new enterprise-friendly features, complicating the picture more than you may have expected.

Where has Google+ actually driven adoption?

Though Google has often been dubbed a “flop” by the press, a closer look at the facts suggests that the situation wasn’t quite as clear-cut as this. It’s true that the social network, despite its integration with an array of Google services, never quite took off with ordinary, everyday users.

Google has acknowledged as such in a statement, revealing that a recent assessment on its own initiative “crystallised what we’ve known for a while: that while our engineering teams have put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption”. The likes of Facebook and Twitter were clearer favourites with these users.

However, it doesn’t strictly follow that your business should rush to relinquish its presence on Google+. One reason why is that the shutdown of the site’s consumer arm isn’t scheduled to take effect until August 2019, giving you ample time to save or migrate data if you so wish.

Another reason why is the noted success of Google+ with business users. Google has reported its findings that “Google+ is better suited as an enterprise product where co-workers can engage in internal discussions on a secure corporate social network.”

Is your firm still on Google+? What you need to do

With Google having handed Google+’s consumer version a mere stay of execution, this might call on you to shift your SEO efforts away from Google+ and more towards Facebook and Twitter if you haven’t made these adjustments to your marketing strategy already.

However, even if you have filled out your company’s Google+ page with extensive information – such as the firm’s address, landline and mobile phone numbers and other contact details – with which you were attempting to reach out to consumers, you don’t have to hit the panic button.

Google has revealed its intent to spend the “coming months” releasing information about how you can download and transfer data from Google+. However, you might find that you don’t need to remove as much data as you had originally expected, as Google has also indicated its decision to “focus on our enterprise efforts and will be launching new features purpose-built for businesses.”

You might have to wait a little longer to find out exactly what shape many of those features will take. While you wait, you could give us a call on 01325 582112 to learn how we can refashion your SEO tactics for a future where Google+ won’t form a key component of your SEO strategy.

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