Google announced that it will be shutting down Google+, its social network platform in August 2019. This will give Google+ users a 10-month period to migrate their data before the official shut down. The announcement came shortly after it was revealed that an undisclosed security vulnerability exposed users’ personal data on the platform.
Google+ got its start back in 2011, with an invite-only strategy which deemed the new social network quite successful. Over the years, Google+ has acquired millions of users and has commonly been used as a marketing tool to increase engagement on social media and assist in SEO initiatives. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 28% of B2B marketers use Google+ in their social media strategies.
Google also mentioned in their report, that the cancellation of the platform was due to low user engagement. Ben Smith, Google’s Vice President of Engineering said, “The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.” This implies that the majority of Google+ sessions were accidental, where users opened the platform and exited the page immediately after opening. Despite the security concerns, it is somewhat unsurprising the platform is calling it quits.
So how will this affect your marketing strategy?
Marketers have used Google+ like they use any other social media platform. Similarly, to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Google+ allows you to engage with your target audience, start conversations, and share content. Having a Google+ page linked to your website increases your brand’s visibility and positions your content in Google and YouTube searches. In a study conducted by Hootsuite, researchers found there is a positive correlation between social engagements and change in SEO rank. So, if your company is still utilizing other social media platforms and SEO practices, your brand will continue to be visible and rank on Google’s search engine results pages.
Another useful tool is Google my Business. This makes your company visible when customers search for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps. Good news is, it will still be active after the platform is deleted.
Apart from engaging with your target audience and sharing content, not much will change after Google+ is deleted. Google’s data has shown that most of your website traffic and conversions are not coming from your Google+ page, because of low engagement and sessions. If your business continues to create high-quality content, engage on other social platforms, and works on SEO initiatives, you may not see any change to your marketing strategy.