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Google announced it was to break up its Google+ platform into Photos and Streams back in March 2015. The announcement was greeted with a mixed to negative reaction from people who feel that the platform won’t ever properly compete against Facebook. So what changes have Google+ made and will they be enough to finally take Facebook on?
As students of mine will testify, I’m not a big fan of Facebook as a social media tool. Quite simply the core functionality of Facebook doesn’t do enough to provide value and it has simply become another paid platform with great targeting options. Yes I know there are exceptions to the rule and many businesses are happy and have had good success with the service they receive but think of this, for every success story, how many stale facebook pages exist and ask yourself how much traffic is really driven to your site? If you also examine the vast majority of the success stories, you will find many involve a heavy use of apps, additional social media tools and money in order to achieve this success.
While my interest in Google+ has cooled somewhat over the past year, it still remains a tool that cannot be fully ignored for businesses and in particular local businesses.
Google+ as a social layer over all of Google’s products have merged Google Places and Google Local information together, which provides some pretty good results for SEO
Only a couple of months after they removed authorship profile images from Google results, John Mueller from Google announced via Google+ that the project has been pulled. According to Mueller, “..we’ve observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results. With this in mind, we’ve made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results”
In a disappointing move, John Mueller from Google recently announced that author profile pictures will no longer appear in search results. Officially the decision apppears to be to improve and simplify how results appear across multiple device. See Mueller’s post below
Dodgy rhymes aside. Is Google Plus useful as a digital marketing tool and will it possibly replace Facebook as the dominant social media platform in the world.
Only time will tell but for the moment I’m strongly recommending all businesses join Google+ as it offers several core features which make it a must for any companies digital marketing presence