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Goodbye Google Plus

Many of you may have heard the latest news already about Google Plus. On Monday, 8th of October, the company released an official statement confirming the closing of their social media network Google+ following a massive data leak. The data of over half a million users was exposed to third parties apps that include information such as: user names, email addresses, occupation, gender and age. They did not attain access to phone numbers, messages, Google Plus posts or data from other Google accounts.

But what does that mean for users who had a Google plus profile? And most importantly what does it mean for company/business profiles?

First let’s go back and remind ourselves what Google+ is exactly. It was created in 2011 as a social media network by Google with the intention of being a competitor for Facebook but it never seemed to get much engagement in the social media sphere (according to Google 90 per cent of Google+ user sessions last for less than five seconds). At some point Google realised that Google+ would never be as popular as Facebook and updated it to a more corporate social media network. If you are a business or a company, having an active account is very important because Google Plus is the one social media channel that can affect your SEO. It doesn’t have direct impact on search rankings (meaning it doesn’t help you directly to move to the top of search) but it does help your business to increase online visibility and traffic to your website. It also increases local brand recognition and improves local SEO, which may not seem important in the wider SEO world, but it does help.

So now the big question pops up: what will shutting Google+ down mean for those companies and businesses that have put a lot of work and effort into promoting and keeping their Google+ accounts live and active? Well, as far as we know so far from Google’s official statement, their social media network is going to be shut down over a period of 10 months, however, Google+ will continue as a product for Enterprise users. This means that Google Plus is better suited as an internal social network for companies, rather than a consumer product.

Google hasn’t yet revealed any details about the new corporate face of Google+, but it will be announced in the near future. All that is left for us to do, is to wait and see what Google is planning.

– Oksana Drutsul –