Google makes changes to Google+
What impact will this have on local SEO?
Google keeps being the company I love to hate. Once I wrap my head around how to use one of their products or services they go and change things on us. This is no different then the announcement Google released on Monday. You can read it here.
The main goal of Google+ profiles was to allow users to have a single identity with all of Google’s services. Basically the Google+ acted as your hub for all their services and they were all tied together in a nice little dashboard which made it easy to manage. For power users, SEO experts and people who loved Google, this was a great (for the most part) system. I could login and see what was going on with all of my properties and keep track of the people and companies I was following.
However, if you where just a casual user or only used one of Google’s services, such as YouTube, then the Google+ was a pain in the you know what. Speaking of YouTube, this will be the first service that is detached from Google+. Users will no longer need a Google+ account to upload, share or comment on videos. Also, YouTube users can detach their YouTube account from their Google+ account if they so chose to. If you want to detach these 2 accounts, you will want to wait a little bit before doing so. YouTube indicated that it would be a couple of months before they are ready for this.
Google’s other products will slowly be detached from Google+ in the coming months. A couple of months ago Google took its photo-storage from Google+ and repurposed it in to a stand-alone product.
So what does this mean to small business and their SEO efforts? To be honest its to early to tell. If you run a small business, I would suggest keeping everything tied together under the Google+ platform, for 2 reasons. First, I believe it enhances the users’ experience. Typically before a consumer opens their wallet for a large purchase they are going to do some research. Making it easy for a user to research your company or product will lead to higher conversions.
The second reason is I think it still builds trust with Google and how it grades your “off-page” SEO. Keeping all your profiles interlinked builds trust in the semantic web.
So is the end of Google+ as we know it? I doubt it. Looking long term, Google+ will survive but in a couple of months or years its going to look a bit different. How this will impact local Denver Search engine optimization is still up in the air and only time and testing will tell.