Google (the big Internet giant, the Big Daddy) and its products have become an indispensable part of any business online. Whether it is search algorithms or local listings, you have to take into account the Big Daddy, its products and the policies thereon to thrive and flourish online. Whenever the Internet giant makes changes in search algorithms, launches or closes its products, the world starts shaking out of ambiguity. The hottest topic of the discussion is based on the question – Is Google Plus shutting down? Is it true or is it just a rumor? Well, it is true, and discussions are heating about how it will affect local business. First, let’s understand what happened.
Why is G+ Closing?
Although the announcement to end G+ didn’t come as a shock to every business and individual, there are those who are still wondering what happened and why this is happening? Well, there are basically two reasons behind the closure.
Lack of Use
G plus was launched in the year 2011 with high expectations. Its makers believed that it will outperform Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and others. While the initial response was positive, it quickly waned over time. According to Google’s own report, around 90 percent of users spent no more than five seconds on engagement. This sudden downfall in usage is the main reason why G+ is closing down.
The Internet giant learned (in March 2018) that a glitch, which started in 2015, existed in the G plus system which exposed contact info and details of nearly five lakh users. While the Big Daddy kept this glitch secret from its users, a wall street journal article spread the news. This move spiked an enormous critical wave, which eventually lead to the closure decision.
How Does this Affect Local Business?
Gone are the days when a website’s ranking was mostly dependent on natural searches, link building and site optimization. Today, social media plays an important part in boosting your site popularity and rankings. Also, social sites now rule the heart and soul of businesses as well as end users alike. In fact, many people use a social site search box to find information and products instead of opening a Google page.
As a result, social media sites have their role in search (SEO) algorithms. When your accounts on social sites are linked to your website, a layer of trust is added to your site’s ranking in search engines. An increasing presence in social media can effortlessly boost your site ranking. So the shut down decision of G plus came as a major shock for many marketers. This is more so for small and local businesses that thrive on social platforms to get customers quickly. G+ impending closure casts concerns on accounts and SEO rankings of this social platform.
Due to the option of up-voting posts, the G plus 1 have positively impacted the SEO of companies and businesses who happen to be a part of the social platform. Closing Google+ is as good as closing one of the lights in your office. While you won’t be left in total darkness, you will definitely understand the difference.
Other SEO Worries to be Accounted For
While the effect of the shut down has not yet surfaced, there is one particular area that will be absolutely hurt after the closure. In case you have a G plus account, you certainly have a link to that account on your business website. After the closure, you are going to have broken links wherever you might have placed the link. Broken links tend to leave a bad impression among users.
People think that you are not serious about links through which you get visitors. As such, they get a feeling that your site is not worth their time. When this happens, you lose a potential customer. Also, one customer informs other customers, and you lose many prospects in the process. Although this is not something like a worst nightmare, you just can’t afford to have broken links in today’s highly competitive online world.
What Will Happen to Google’s SEO Algorithm in the Wake of Closing?
Just like other details related to algorithms, the Big Daddy has not revealed anything on closure and its impact on SEO. However, there are certain situations that you can work out on your own. Firstly, it is possible that social media presence might no longer be considered as a part of SEO process. Another possibility is the calculations on SEO might be re-worked through a completely different route. Finally, the most anticipated move is the strength of social media part of the SEO algorithm could change.
What Should Local Businesses Do to Fix the Uncertainty After the Shutdown?
Since the search engine King is not revealing any details about the potential impact of the G+ shutdown on SEO, each and every action you take right now is only a speculation. Of course, you do not wish to base your site’s future rankings on a knee-jerk reaction. At the same time, you should not sit quietly and hope for good results as a result of the closure.
Best Practices to Protect SEO Rankings in the Light of G+ Shutdown
Although no one is certain what actions the Internet giant is likely to take, there are certain things you can do to stay on top of SEO rankings. Be vigilant and monitor the ranking of your website frequently. This will keep you aware of any changes.
Stay informed about news centered on G+ closure and expected changes in the algorithm. However, be careful to check the authenticity of the sources from where you get such details and information. No tidbit of info or rumor is worth expanding your time. Hire a reliable agency to watch and check your site ranking. Finally, stay abreast with any changes and make necessary adjustments accordingly.
Although the news about G+ closure and possible changes in the Google SEO algorithm are unsettling, avoid the urge to overreact or panic. Apply alternative ways to enhance your website ranking. Above all, consider hiring an expert SEO professional who will take care of all legwork associated with keeping your site’s ranking safe.