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When in 2012 Google announced its launch of Google Plus, I got excited. Mainly because I didn’t like Facebook breach of privacy (not that Google is any better, however, Google uses your data for internal use and won’t announce it to the world).
I registered with Google plus and I was able to adapt to it quickly and increase my popularity (which helped increase our site’s rank on Google almost immediately).
Although Google Plus social engagement was mimicking real life more than Facebook and you didn’t have to embarrass yourself by requesting a friendship, however, to my surprise, Google Plus had a huge disadvantage: it was very complicated. Some features such as “circles” and “hangout” were hard to get your head around.
Despite the huge hype Google Plus had, I knew that it would be hard for Google Plus to compete with already popular Facebook.
Google didn’t give up so easily.
They included new important features from Google Plus into the search results such as “authorship” and “+1’s”. They also integrated Google reviews with Google Plus accounts (for businesses). Furthermore, they made it mandatory for new users to have a public Google Plus profile. These pushes were aimed to further popularize Google Plus.
The efforts however seems to be declining. Google Plus’ architecture, Vic Gundotra left Google in April. Then in June, Google quietly removed authorship images from the search results and a few days later the authors’ name. The excuse was that not enough webmasters were optimizing sites for Google Authorship (at about 25%).
Google Plus pages for business are still very important. That’s where your practice has all its reviews. So, I wouldn’t move quickly to abandon your business’ Google Plus page. But the question remains: would Google eventually abandon Google Plus altogether? Perhaps creating another service for businesses?