Google is finally cutting the dead weight. Due to extremely low participation and engagement on their own social media network, Google informed business owners that their Google+ Business pages would be deleted for inactivity.
The writing has been on the wall for Google+ Business pages for a few years now. Google’s failed experiment to force business owners to engage on Google+ resulted in the creation of Google My Business at the end of 2014.
How will this affect local business owners and their presence on Google?
Do I Need to Keep Using Google+?
For most businesses, this is nothing to worry about. Your Google My Business page will be unaffected by this purge of Google+ pages, and your reviews and Maps data will remain intact. It is also unlikely that any rankings will change, either in the Maps area or the organic results, after this mass deletion of Google+ pages.
As Google+ decayed and participation on the network dwindled to almost nil, reviews and local data were stripped from Google+ Business pages. Now, all that’s left are worthless shell pages with no relevant data, and those are the pages that Google is finally deciding to delete.
It is hard to make a case for Google+ as an important ranking factor or social network when it comes to small local businesses. Google+ pages have largely disappeared from organic search results, indicating that even Google’s own ranking algorithm sees little to no value in G+ pages.
Does Google+ Still Have Any Value?
Major national brands may still gain value from their Google+ pages if they have built up a following over the last seven years. However, 99% of local small businesses never gained much traction on Google+ and they have nothing to lose if and when their Google+ Business page goes the way of Google Buzz and Google Glass.
The only way a Google+ Business page has any ranking value is if it garners engagement in the way of Shares, Comments, and +1s. Simply posting content to your Google+ Business page adds no value to your overall online presence, unless other users are actually engaging with the posts.
What If I Want To Keep My Google+ Business Page Active?
Simply log into your Google+ account, navigate to your Google+ Business page, and make a post. You can also share or comment on someone else’s post and that will stave off the deletion of your page. According to the mass email sent from Google to its business owners, you have until April 15th to take action on your Google+ Business page to prevent it from being deleted.
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