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Google+ New Update: Businesses Pushed to the Wayside

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This week, Google announced the new look and feel of its Google+ product, which, as it stated in its official announcement, is now primarily focused on collections and communities. Unfortunately, this means that the new Google+ does not focus on businesses. If you compare the new and old versions of business pages, you will see that there are several things missing — namely reviews, descriptions, categories, photos, and more. Things that you and your Internet marketing team probably spent a lot of effort and focus on … gone in a flash.

This latest update may be mobile-friendly, but it certainly isn’t friendly for local business.

Below Are a Few Things You Should Know About This Latest Update:

Customers Can No Longer Leave Reviews on Your Google+ Page.

On a business’ Google+ page, there is no longer an option to leave a review. Countless businesses changed the way they operated to encourage reviews on Google+. Not only can you no longer do that, but reviews don’t even appear on your page. Did you work really hard to get Google+ reviews? Your profile no longer represents that.

So how can I leave a review for a business on Google?

The only place to do that now is Google Maps: www.google.com/maps.

Sadly, this is a poor user experience, as people do not habitually use Google Maps to review businesses — they traditionally use it to find directions. Now, instead of going to your Google+ profile, customers will have to go to Google Maps, search for your business, find the correct location, and then leave their reviews.

There will be a left panel with all of the information that used to appear in Google+. At the bottom, there will be a section for reviews where they will have the option to write a new one. Unfortunately, your Google Maps profile is not indexed, and the entire process does not make it easy to share your thoughts or leave a review.

Old Paths to Google+ Tabs Will No Longer Work.

If you were previously linking to a specific tab on your Google+ listing (ex: /about), you will be taken to a pop-up that is not properly formatted. Other old paths will redirect the user directly to the new home page of your Google+ profile. It is worth your time to update any of those old links so they are pointing correctly to the right path. Like it or not, you will be forced to use the new platform and make adjustments.

Google My Business Is Still Valuable for Local SEO!

Just because Google+ is moving away from supporting local businesses, it does not mean Google My Business is devalued in SEO efforts. By setting up and claiming these listings, you can still provide accurate information that includes a consistent name, address, phone number, a specific business category, and more.

Have questions about what this Google+ update means for you and your business? Our Internet marketing experts are only a phone call away, and we’re here to help you. Give us a call today.