Google announced on July 27, 2015 that in the coming weeks, you will no longer be required to have a Google+ profile in order to access YouTube, or any of its other products. Over the past few years, there have been those who who commended and those who condemned the syncing between Google+ and YouTube. Those who were in favor enjoyed the ease of having a single account and being able to easily share across the channels. Those opposed did not like the fact that they were basically forced to sign up for a channel they had no interest in (Google+) just to participate in another (YouTube), with their comments being shared across both channels.
After careful consideration, Google made the announcement on its blog titled ‘Everything in its right place’ and explained the reason for the decision:
“People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier. But we’ve also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.”
What does this change mean?
There are a few things that will be affected with users no longer being required to have a Google+ profile linked with YouTube. Here’s what you need to know about the change:
- Effective immediately, comments that users leave on YouTube will no longer be shown on Google+, and the same goes for comments left on Google+.
- If you currently have your Google+ and YouTube accounts synced, you can leave it as is, or unlink them when the change is official in a few weeks.
- You will only need a Gmail account to access YouTube in the future, including creating an account.
- If you only use a Gmail account to access YouTube when the change is official, this email address will not be searchable, unlike Google+ profiles which are public.
- Finally, the change has not gone live yet, so do not rush out to delete your Google+ page. If you do this, your YouTube data will be deleted as well.
How will this affect hotels active on both channels?
The first thought that may pop into your mind is that you no longer need to worry about Google+. This isn’t necessarily the case. Though many news outlets have been reporting that ‘Google+ is dead’ or that ‘Google is dumping its social network’, the blog clearly states that the company will be working on providing a more focused experience – at least for now. This means that hotels should continue to be active on the channel since your Google+ page is attached to Google Maps and can also be one of the first channels that potential guests have access to. In addition, there have been many studies that show the impact that Google+ has on SEO, so unless Google officially states that Google+ will be shutting down, there is no reason to stop your efforts on the channel.
If your hotel is active on YouTube, you will have to take note that any comments you leave on videos will no longer be visible on your Google+ page as well. In addition, depending on how active your channel is, you may have to up your moderation, since it will now be easier for people to spam and leave rude comments. For hotels who currently have their Google+ and YouTube accounts synced, it’s probably best to leave them connected for now, since it gives users on either page easy access to your other channel. Other than that, all aspects of YouTube will remain the same.
In conclusion, though Google+ and YouTube will be unlinking, users will still have the option of keeping their pages connected, which we recommend for hotels. Until there is definitive proof that Google+ will no longer hold any type of benefit, hotels must continue to be active on Google+ to receive the search benefits.