Posted on November 30, 2015

Google+ and Local Part Ways

The one thing that is constant with Google is change.

I borrowed and changed the quote above a bit and thought I’d start this blog out with it because it cuts straight to the heart of the matter – Google changes all the time; continuously in truth and that is not going to change. We often forget that Google is a company providing services like any other company and that like other companies they are free to do pretty much anything they wish with their own services and products. Yet because their products and services effect so many of us we feel attached to them more than others and thus we get a bit twitchy when things change. Sadly, we have to get used to it. Fortunately for you, we are here to help you through the ever changing world of Google so let’s talk about the latest changes – The parting of Local and Google+.

Two People at a Cross Roads Shaking Hands

Many moons ago Google forced us all to end up with a Google+ account. With it, came all sorts of features and benefits that Google threw in to try and get everyone to love their version of a social platform. It didn’t work, but many of those features that were part of Google+ businesses became dependent on. They all had the added benefit of being conveniently located in one simple place. Now Google has finally stripped all of those “extra” features like categories, links to your website and the all-important reviews (which were so helpful to businesses) away from Google+ and left many wondering what to do now. Well the answer is simple – nothing. Well, not really.

Google has been moving on this direction for quite some time, so this comes as no real shock to any of us that follow Google’s crazy nutty changes, but it does pose an interesting question for businesses – what do I do about all the information that was in the Google+ that I want people to find when they search? Again the answer is nothing, not really.

If you, or a company you employ already control your Google My Business page, meaning you have gone through the verification process and added all of that wonderful content into the page through the control panel – you are totally fine. Repeat – you are okay. If you have not, you will want to do this right away, now, today.

To add some context to the conversation. All of the information in the Google+ pages have always shown up in search in what is called the knowledge graph, from a desktop search and essentially maps in mobile. Though the mobile is a bit more complex. The knowledge graph is that display on the right hand side of a search that has all of the hit and quit info of a business – name, address, phone, office hours, category and review. If you do a search right now for your business you will notice it is still there and functioning just as it always has. And if you search on your smart phone you will see the same. The only thing that has changed is that this information is not intertwined with the Google+ pages anymore. That’s it. Google+ and Local have parted ways but Local is still alive and kicking.

Now this did create a bit of hiccup for the reviews. As reviews are no longer accessible by Google+ and many many businesses were linking to their G+ pages to provide easy access for their customers to review them – this is not a valid avenue anymore. Again, don’t worry folks can still review you by doing a simple search for your business or by the old method of following a link. The link has simply changed. Currently at Glacial we are going through each and every link we can find and recreating them so people can continue to review you. This will just take a bit of time. We are hoping to have this process completed by the end of business by the middle of December. If you would like to contact your client manager to make sure you are on the project list please feel free to do so.

As always we are on top of the issue and currently working diligently to resolve it quickly and painlessly for you. Thank you for your time and Happy Holidays.