Google+ Shutdown : Reasons and its Impact on SEO
On June 28, 2011, Google launched a social network named Google+, more famously known as G+. Google-operated it, and the network was launched in an endeavor to compete with other social media networks. G+ was used to link other Google products like YouTube, Google Drive, and Blogger. The next thrust of Google, the service into social media networking, encountered robust growth in its starting years, albeit the usage statistics manifold, dependent on how the service was determined.
Whenever Google does something, it makes headlines. Now, whether it is launching a new product or its shutdown, it spreads all over the world in a few minutes only. This and public response to such news is massive, and uproar at times like when there was a potential shutdown of G+. the reaction was quite evident since people were frightened to lose their stored data. It will also affect search engine optimization, digital marketing strategies, and much more. Many possible reasons lead to the sudden shutdown of G+. Some of these are mentioned below:
- Google found a bug in the system back in 2018 that they assumed could have led to a data breach.
- G+ was announced as a social media platform to challenging other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. But the total quantity of users was comparatively less than that of the other social platforms.
Google was quiet regarding the flaw in their security in an application programming interface (API). It is generally supposed that 500,000+ had their profile details visible without consent. The choice to stay silent caught the attention of cybersecurity officials since the laws in California, and Europe says a company must disclose a security episode. On the contrary, Google’s decision to not say anything was taken because it did not intervene with the Privacy & Data Protection Officer of the company, and it was not legal to report it. They declared in a blog post that no one obtained access to user details. There is no evidence that any program developer was acquainted with this bug or harmed the application programming interface (API). No evidence was found that any users’ profile data was misused. Google, nevertheless, claimed that the breach was of no harm and no one got access to user details. Despite having determined groups, loyal users, etc.
The situation was grave if we recollect the same incident earlier when Facebook recognized that Cambridge Analytica, a British research organization that had executed work for the Trump campaign, had insufficiently got gain to the personal details of 85+ million people active on Facebook.
The information is restricted to fixed, uncompelled G+ profiles containing details like name, e-mail ID, employment type, and such others. G+ profiles do not consolidate any other information someone has posted or connected to G+ or any other service, like Google account data, G+ posts, direct messages, contact numbers, etc.
The G+ shutdown impacted several areas of work, and search engine optimization was one of them. The effect of G+ shutdown on SEO is listed below:
- It is known that social signals play a vital role in spreading awareness for a website and creating an authority to better its search engine results page (SERP) rankings.
- The aggregate shares for the top-rank holding website are somewhat higher. Shutting down G+ is similar to lose a link in the sequence. However, you might disagree that all websites would yield the same link. It would seem practical to say that the top-ranking content mostly has the maximum G+ shares.
Say, for example, that Google restructured its algorithms and G+ signals had no effect on rankings, then each website would be affected in the same manner. With all website-related G+ data are disappearing, the outcome would be consistent over websites. It feels blue to see that Google’s management left the social media network to have a collapse. The more complicated part to believe is that none of the six independent board members of Google has ever posted in public on G+.
It makes us curious when we see such results since G+ has a high impact on the business sector and the point that it was not restored elucidates why it got to such an extreme point. However, the data breach was inevitable in this case, so the main question that arises is that ‘How could decide to shut down G+ influence search engine optimization (SEO)?
Google introduced plus one button for websites in the year 2011. Some said that they used them as ranking signals, further used for search quality and rankings of their website. But Google did not accept the accusation and defended by saying that they had never used Google+ or plus ones as a ranking signal.
G+ began as a blooming project, but it suffered a slow death, with zero enthralling features to provide. There was a time when Google strived to make people operate it and have interactions on the various social media networks by highlighting Google+ content in search results and Google News. But after some time, it was all for nothing and became a key reason for laughter in the SEO communal.
Through a blog post, Google announced by explaining closing the social network. They said that it did not get fame and acceptance even after all the efforts were put in. If we look at this situation from a critical point of view, it can be said that there might be a few cases where the websites could face a minor impact.
Every user had time until August 2019 to save their data. So they took whatever they required before summer when it was about to close indefinitely. During that time, Google said it would offer more information to users to download that data or transfer it. Google might make new features or products, but only for the business sector because, as they held, the exceptional attention now is to offer enterprise facilities.