On Monday, Google announced big news regarding Google+ accounts: They are splitting up from YouTube.
While the idea that Google+ is dying as a social media platform has been speculated for a while, this is the first time Google has really acknowledged it. Currently, using a Google+ page is a common practice to complement other social media networks and to get some SEO benefits out of the page. Marketers have studied the effects of a Google+ page on a business’ ranking and data seems to show that having a page can have positive influence on your position in the search rankings as well as link up with maps and other Google products. Though, Google+ has definitely had some issues in its lifetime as a social network.
In its blog post, Google acknowledges some of the social media platform’s shortcomings and shares that a Google+ profile will no longer be necessary to access some of Google’s other products.
Google states, “People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier. But we’ve also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.”
What does this mean? It means that you no longer have to have a public Google+ profile to use share photos, email contacts, or use YouTube. You can still use a Google Account to use these features but your account information is neither searchable nor public.
Some of these changes have already taken effect, such as new Gmail users not having to create a public Google+ profile. Google+ Photos has also been axed and will not be available to users come the first of August. Though it should be noted that it’s been replaced with Google Photos, a “new” standalone product separate from a Google+ account. Google is also focusing on implementing Collections as part of the Google+ experience.
The next separation will be Google+ and YouTube, meaning your YouTube Channel does not need to be tied to a Google+ account. Essentially this goes back to the YouTube before Google acquired it and merged it with other Google products.
For Google My Business pages, we’ll be watching Google’s blog very closely to see what sort of announcements they make regarding this product and what changes will roll out with it. As the YouTube blog announcement warns, do not make any rash decisions and delete either of your channels. Wait to see what process Google rolls out to help separate these accounts so you don’t lose out on your current marketing efforts.
We will continue managing clients’ Google+ pages and optimizing them using current industry best practices until further notice from Google.