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Rest in peace, Google+ ⚰

Widely known as the controversial Facebook clone and an attempt to challenge Twitter, Google+ will end its attempt at building a social media network on April 2, 2019.

Google+ content in consumer accounts will be deleted starting on April 2, 2019, as part of the "consumer" Google+ shutdown (focused on all non-G Suite users).

Here's what you need to:

Have a competitive edge when speaking to the C-Suite about potential implications of the Google+ shutdown, understand how it impacts your business' online presence, communicate the changes within your organization and lead your team on managing the transition.

Google Plus

––– Update the C-Suite

Timeframe of events

  • Monday, February 4 – Google+ pages cannot be created. Google+ Circles will not be able to add new users. Blogger and other sites using Google+ as their commenting service will lose that feature.
  • Thursday, March 7 – Google+ in Classic Google Sites will no longer work. All G Suite Android users will need to update their Google+ Android app.
  • Tuesday, April 2 – Users will not be able to create new collections. Google+ Circles will not be able to create new circles, add people, or share a post.
  • Domain-restricted public or private communities will continue to function as they do today. Outside your domain, public communities

Why the shutdown?

"In October 2018, The Wall Street Journal revealed that data from 500,000 Google+ users had been exposed over a three year period, but the company decided to keep quiet on the matter."

– Business Insider, January 2019

"After that was fixed, another issue was found, leading to an earlier shutdown date of April 2019."

– Fortune.com, Feb 2019

––– Impact on business

How will this impact our online presence and website traffic?

Begin with reviewing your websites analytics report. If you received substantial traffic from your Google+ profile, you should create a post announcing how your followers can connect with you on alternate profiles.

Consider creating a URL redirect strategy to ensure any traffic to information on Google+ will be directed to you once the platform is no longer active.

Transitioning your activity from Google+ to another social media platform is ideal, however, moving off social and onto a platform you own is the safest option.

Are there any SEO implications?

Inbound links, links on your website, email template footers, presentations, and any other collateral that communicates how your audience can reach you via social media networks will need to be reviewed.

While Google+ did provide an added SEO value, the content you download is still of value. Consider repurposing it on other social media networks if it is evergreen.

This is also a good opportunity to make sure your Google Business Listing has correct information for all of your locations and service areas.

––– Preparing your team

Who should be in the conversation?

This change will most likely affect the online assets used by your website developers, marketing team, and communications department. Discuss your inbound traffic, potential SEO implications, events and communication tools with these stakeholders to initiate immediate changes before the April 2 deadline.

Resources to share and reference:

––– What you need to do

Secure and download your content:

  • Google+ Pages
  • Google+ Event descriptions and links
  • Google+ +1's on external websites will be deleted
  • Google+ Circles Contacts

Anyone with photos or other content they’d like to save on their account should download and save those files prior to the shutdown. Photos and videos will be backed up to Google Photos. However, any other posts or content on Google+ pages will be gone. Photos and videos also stored in Google Photos will not be affected.

"Android Police recommends using a download tool called Google+ Exporter for power users of the social network."

- Business Insider

Create a plan for future social media departures.

Since businesses rely upon social media networks to build brand loyalty, communicate with consumers, and drive online traffic, it's important to remember it's merely another tool. (And the average lifespan is not very long.) By incorporating an exit strategy into your overall social media plan, you can stay one step ahead of your competitors and maintain control of your communication channels.

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