Thursday October 1, 2015
When Google launched Google+, they intended that users would be able to search, share and connect. Was it well received? Not so much. They have received the message from Google users that they need to rethink how all this "one account for all of Google" model works. Here’s more about what's about to change:
Google+ - Get focused
Google+ has become a home for some users to host communities and maintain a stream of sharing. Google has decided to create something called Google+ Collections, where you can share and monitor posts organized by the topics that you are interested in.
This is somewhat of a convergence between social media and the tagging we are used to on our favourite blogs. Some things, like photos, are for the most part being moved to the new Google Photos app with location sharing being moved into Hangouts and other apps. Apparently the goal is to make Google+ more topically focused.
More from Google - no Google+ profile needed
One account for all of Google does make it easier for keeping track of a lot of things to do with your personal and professional Google related resources like Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google My Business, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube and so on. But should your Google+ profile to be your home of your Google-based identity? A lot of people told Google no, it should not. That means, a "Google Account" will be the means to sharing content, connecting with contacts, creating and maintaining a YouTube channel and whatever else you have in mind.
YouTube will be the first to make changes. Nothing will change with regard to the fact that your underlying Google Account won’t be searchable or followable. This is different than a Google+ profile which is public. The good news is that if you do not want a Google+ profile, you will have choices now - new choices to manage what is public or just plain remove the profile. This will take months before it's all implemented.
Google+ - What to do
The big take away here for us and our clients is that creating and managing a Google My Business profile is critical to managing how your clients will find you in the Local Search results. This profile is how search users are most likely to navigate to your office if you have a bricks and mortar, storefront-like home base.
For example, look at this link to the Google search results for "plumbers edmonton". Note how the section with the pin markers to the right of each search result. Note how the "Map results for plumbers edmonton" section is full of local businesses that offer plumbing services. You'll see a mix of Google+ page links, Google Reviews links, Google Reviews Stars ratings, address information, and phone numbers.
Even though the love connection between Google and Google+ accounts is breaking, the importance of Google+ (Google My Business) remains. It's a "must do" for businesses that are a local focus. Ask us how to get the most out of Google+.