The time has come to say goodbye to Google+ once and for all. Many marketers had already said goodbye to Google’s social network long ago, siting little engagement, low user usage, and hardly any clicks over to their website. Not to mention Google separated Google My Business and Maps from Google+ within the last few years, meaning that finding a Google+ profile page was nearly impossible. Before that, Google had disconnected Google+ profiles from YouTube. Many took this action as a sign of the ultimate demise of the channel.
The main reason for Google’s decision was due to a data breach of more than 500,000 users. Google officially announced the decision to sunset Google+ on their blog here.
When Google+ was created in June 2011, marketers had high hopes for the channel. Google+ was Google’s response to Facebook, and being backed by the search engine giant and attached to Gmail accounts, everyone was almost sure it would succeed. The new social network started with exclusive, invite-only membership, following in the steps of Facebook’s early days where only college students with a .edu email address could sign up. From there, access to the social network slowly began to roll out, and users seemed eager to hop on board. From here, Google+ became connected to YouTube, Maps, Google My Business, and online reviews.
Unfortunately, Google+ failed to keep users interested in the channel and never made measures to reinvent itself to keep users active on the social network. As popularity diminished, so did the importance of Google+ as Google began disconnecting it from all other aspects of its brand. It got to the point where you could only reach a Google+ profile if you had the link, did a Google search that specifically included ‘Google+,’ or performed a search within Google+, which frankly people weren’t doing.
It has long been speculated that Google will eventually drop the social network, though they continued to deny this and even rolled out newer features such as ‘Collections.’ It’s always sad to say goodbye, but unfortunately, Google+ won’t be missed much.
Don’t confuse Google+ with Google My Business. Google My Business is still critical and very much alive, and keeping this listing up-to-date with the correct information is imperative to your local marketing efforts. If you haven’t already, make sure to claim your Google My Business listing.