Google Plus (Google+), created in 2011 is Google’s social network platform that is in some ways similar to Facebook with a Newsfeed and ability to post photos. In 2014, Google gave its local business platform, Google Places, a major update to Google My Business. This update promised to integrate Google Search, Maps and Google+ in one platform for local businesses.
When you claimed a local Google My Business listing, Google also automatically created a Google+ business page for you.
Google+ didn’t seem to gain the traction that Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms did, and over the years Google+ has changed course. It is now more focused on Google+ Communities which are groups where users share information around a given topic. As a consequence, it is no longer tied directly to Maps and Google My Business.
First, Google stopped creating Google+ business pages automatically when you claim a Google My Business listing. Then Google added the ability to create posts/offers/events directly in Google My Business and these show directly in search and maps for the business.
Now Google is in the process of removing Google+ Pages for businesses that are not using the Google+ platform to share content. (Note that the Google Posts in Google My Business are different and are not affected by this change).
If your page is going to be removed, you will receive an email like the one below to the email accounts that claim and manage your Google My Business, informing you of the change. If you are currently active on Google+, your page is not affected at this time.
Google+ and Your Website
You may have linked your Google+ page to your website (which was a recommended best practice for SEO to establish publisher and author info). If you did this and your page has been deleted you will want to remove the link as well.
There are two ways you typically would have linked your Google+ account to your website:
- Using a Google+ social icon along with your other social media icons
- Linking your website through an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO if you are using WordPress and one of those plugins
If your Google+ page has been removed, make sure to remove the icon from your social icons to avoid a page not found error.
If you are using Yoast SEO, there are two places the Google+ information may need to be removed.
Follow these steps, from the WordPress Admin area:
- Click on Yoast SEO and navigate to Social
- On the Accounts tab, remove the Google+ URL
- On the Google+ tab, remove the URL from the Google Publisher Page field. The Yoast SEO plugin is slated to remove the Google+ publisher tab altogether in the future, but hasn’t done so yet
Google My Business and Your Website.
Since so much local search is location driven, and Google My Business lets you create posts to promote your business, you might consider adding a link to your Google My Business Map Page on your website. (Google Posts give you the opportunity to promote your business directly from Google Search and Maps. Learn more about new Google My Business and Posts features.)
Especially if you are a location based business, you’ll want to add a link to your Google My Business page on maps. Follow these steps to add your map icon:
- Go to Google Maps
- In the Google Maps search bar, type your business name
- Select your business and press the share button
- Copy your share link and paste into your site
You may want to link using the Google Maps icon:
Bottom line, if you weren’t using Google+, the page may be removed so check your website and remove any links you created. If you are a local business with a physical location, consider adding a link directly to your Google Maps listing.