Today’s guest post is from Danielle Isbell at Odd Dog Media. Whenever I have an SEO/search/web question Odd Dog is my first call. When this email from Google came out last week I immediately reached out and asked what I needed to worry about, if anything, and thought you might appreciate that information too!
Have you received an email with this subject line?
[ACTION REQUIRED] Important changes to Google+ and impact on G Suite customers.
(read the whole email notification that was sent out here.)
You may have already heard the consumer end of Google+ is going away, but what does this email you received mean? And what’s with the unhelpful, screaming emails, Google?!
Tldr; If you are using Google+ features like blogger commenting / communities / Google+ Pages / Google+ Single Sign-in, then these features are going away. If you’re not sure if you’re using them, you’re probably not (hardly anyone does) and you’re probably fine and don’t need to take any action at all.
Google announced in October of 2018 it would be shutting down Google+, which was Google’s attempt at creating a social network to rival Facebook. If you have a Gmail account, or if your company uses Google for its email, then you most likely have a Google+ profile whether you used it or not. Think of Google+ as an App for Google Email accounts that was always there, just nobody really used it.
Google+ is shutting down in part because it never really took off in a huge way like other social platforms, but also because of a data breach that happened via Google+. Google announced in December that the entire platform would be going away on April 2nd, 2019.
In shutting down Google+, it will have different repercussions for businesses as you may be using some Google+ business features.
What does that mean for businesses who use Google Suite for email?
(If you aren’t sure if your company uses Google Suite, you can check here.)
Google is shutting down the consumer side of Google+, so that means the upcoming changes will primarily affect how your company interacts with consumer content through Google+.
Website and Blog Commenting
The consumer side of Google+ includes sites that use Google+ as their commenting service, much like Disqus. If you use Blogger as your blogging platform, the commenting feature was removed February 4th, 2019 and will be removed from other websites using this feature by March 7th, 2019.
For Google Suite users, they will still be able to view the comments they made in their Google+ activity log. We assume that means they are only viewable until April 2nd when the whole sha-bang gets shut down.
Google Communities were Facebook groups before Facebook groups became a thing.
Because all Google+ consumer account content will be deleted starting April 2nd, 2019, this will impact any communities your organization runs outside your domain that aren’t owned by at least one GSuite user.
Community owners and moderators have until April 2nd to download any community data they wish to save. See more about downloading your Google+ data here.
If your business has any apps or sign-in portals where people can sign in with their Google+ account, this will be phased out throughout February 2019.
Google+ Pages are different than your Google My Business listing. If you created a Google+ page for your business, make sure you download and save any images or posts you want to keep. These will all be disappearing as well.
You can choose to delete your account or just wait for Google to delete it for you, it’s up to you. In the unlikely event you had been spending any energy at all creating content for this platform, consider putting all of that effort into Google Posts on your Google My Business listing instead.
Will the Google+ shut down impact your business SEO?
It shouldn’t. Because this is a social site that never really gained any steam, and Google themselves are the ones shutting it down, any authority that may have been passed through this platform is probably inconsequential when it comes to your rankings.
If you’re a local business, focus on your Google My Business listing instead!
Looking for more updates about the shutdown? You can watch this page for a timeline of updates from Google as these features slowly shut off.
Meet Danielle Isbell, Odd Dog Media
Danielle has been in the Local Search game for over four years with Odd Dog Media. She wears a lot of hats at Odd Dog, working on search optimization (SEO), paid ads, social media, website design, and content creation for a wide range of local & regional businesses.
When she’s not optimizing GMB listings or websites for local search, she’s traveling, taking photos, and designing cool stuff.