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Google Plus is disappearing for consumers, but for business…look out LinkedIn

Google’s decision to close its social media platform Google+ to consumers may not seem big news (other than to the circa. 500,000 people potentially affected by the security flaw that has led to its ‘demise’.)

But for many people working in digital marketing the headlines announcing its closure will have had many of us in a mild panic – given the importance many in the industry say Google+ has had in getting clients and businesses noticed by those searching online.

While the idea of people huddling in circles for social chit-chat never really took off, the importance of Google+ to SEO performance has ensured it has been a key strategic component commercially for some time.

The headlines, of course, don’t give the complete story. Google has a long history of taking a new fork in the road to embrace innovation, respond to customer habits and – like Apple – take what it does to a new level and evolve.

This time is no different. Google+ as we know it is dead, but for businesses it will continue in some shape or form as an enterprise platform. LinkedIn, not Facebook, is now confirmed as its chief target.

Their blog goes into some detail about the decision to ‘sunset’ Google+ for consumers over the next 10 months but hints at its future as a secure corporate social network. New features purpose-built for businesses will be shared this month.

For consumers too, they will still log in – should they choose to – to their Google accounts to access the suite of services and apps, sharing their data to get an online experience personal to them.

As for the impact on SEO, it’s difficult to say right now. The algorithm Google uses is an evolving beast and those tasked with improving it have to call on a complete tool kit of methods to get websites optimised.  The quality of the content shared remains king rather than the platform used. That isn’t about to change.


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