As we reported in October 2018, Google is phasing out it’s Social Networking Platform, Google +.
Businesses need to understand that just because Google + is no longer an option for marketing, branding, and improving SEO, there is an alternative.
Google My Business
Introduced in 2014, Google rolled out a way to manage a Business Profile (or at the time it was called a Business Listing.) The Google My Business dashboard provided a basic homepage with an info page and an insights page.
However, now that Google + is no longer a Social Marketing option, Google My Business has improved the dashboard and now provides several new features that will help businesses manage their Google information and post updates.
As you can see from the Google My Business Dashboard Menu (show on the left) there are several features you can control directly from the Google My Business dashboard, including responding to reviews, editing company information, manage AdWords, and more. However, there are a few updated/new features including:
This allows businesses to post photos, blogs, links, etc. to their Google account. There are also expanded features that are currently in the works, with the elimination of the Social Site it is expected that Google will improve the capabilities for businesses to market from the Google My Business section.
Posted updates will show on the dashboard, as well as showing on the dashboard, updates will also show on the Search Results of a Google Search. Located on the right side of the screen of search results, after the contact information and reviews, consumers can see the latest Social updates.
Additionally, most scheduling platforms will now allow posting to Google My Business.
The Insights tab shows most analytics found on any Social platform. Businesses can monitor:
- Most popular search queries used.
- How customers are searching for your business.
- Where customers are viewing your business listing on Google (Search or Maps.)
- Customer actions (how many people visited your website, requested directions, called you, messaged you.)
- Where people searching directions are from.
- Number of people who called and the busiest day for calls.
- Number of people who viewed photos.
Free Mini Website
Google also provides a section where businesses can create a functioning business website. This website is a template-based, basic site showcasing the business information, location, contact information, photos, latest post updates. It is a great little website for basic information and a great place to send website visitors for the latest post updates and photos, but it is still recommended that businesses have a fully-functional website of their own.
While we say farewell to Google + we are excited at the new opportunities that Google My Business now provides. Businesses will still have a place on Google to update information, handle reputation management, and customer engagement.
For more information on the elimination of Google + and information to help you transition your accounts, please see the email Google sent out this past weekend to its users, as shown in full below.
GOOGLE EMAIL SENT FEBRUARY 2019
You’ve received this email because you have a consumer (personal) Google+ account or you manage a Google+ page.
In December 2018, we announced our decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019 due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations. We want to thank you for being part of Google+ and provide next steps, including how to download your photos and other content.
On April 2nd, your Google+ account and any Google+ pages you created will be shut down and we will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ in your Album Archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted. You can download and save your content, just make sure to do so before April. Note that photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.
The process of deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts, Google+ Pages, and Album Archive will take a few months, and content may remain through this time. For example, users may still see parts of their Google+ account via activity log and some consumer Google+ content may remain visible to G Suite users until consumer Google+ is deleted.
As early as February 4th, you will no longer be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events.
See the full FAQ for more details and updates leading up to the shutdown.
If you’re a Google+ Community owner or moderator, you may download and save your data for your Google+ Community. Starting early March 2019, additional data will be available for download, including author, body, and photos for every community post in a public community. Learn more
If you sign in to sites and apps using the Google+ Sign-in button, these buttons will stop working in the coming weeks but in some cases may be replaced by a Google Sign-in button. You’ll still be able to sign in with your Google Account wherever you see Google Sign-in buttons. Learn more
If you’ve used Google+ for comments on your own or other sites, this feature will be removed from Blogger by February 4th and other sites by March 7th. All your Google+ comments on all sites will be deleted starting April 2, 2019. Learn more
If you’re a G Suite customer, Google+ for your G Suite account should remain active. Contact your G Suite administrator for more details. You can also expect a new look and new features soon. Learn more
If you’re a developer using Google+ APIs or Google+ Sign-in, click here to see how this will impact you.
From all of us on the Google+ team, thank you for making Google+ such a special place. We are grateful for the talented group of artists, community builders, and thought leaders who made Google+ their home. It would not have been the same without your passion and dedication.
Google LLC 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043
You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Google+ Page, product or account.