The SEO and local business community is all abuzz this week after a recent change to Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) that has stripped listings of links, ratings and reviews from Google+, Google’s social network. While there may be a few reasons behind this change, it’s likely another step in a trend that’s been developing for some time now – Google is diminishing its focus on Google+. So what does that mean for you and your business?
Mixed News for Local Businesses
Well, it depends. On one hand, review data from G+ won’t show up in search results, which means that if you’ve got stellar reviews on G+, you won’t get the same benefits from them as you used to. On the flip side, your company’s website will show up instead of your G+ page, which should be good for traffic and conversions overall.
Is My Google+ Page Still Important?
This update may lead practice owners to question the significance of maintaining their Google+ page, but for now it should still be a part of your overall SEO and social media strategy. Keep in mind that the G+ ratings still show up in the Knowledge Graph, and Google+ is likely still a factor in the Google ranking algorithm. Furthermore, patients may find your practice through Google+ or rely on your G+ page for information on your location, hours or reviews, so I’d recommend continuing to focus on keeping it current and high-quality.
A Trend to Watch
This update is still new, and it remains to be seen how it will affect rankings for local businesses. It may be a response to criticism from companies like Yelp, who have accused Google of favoring its own properties over other results, or it may be another one of the many tests that Google runs. In summary, I wouldn’t recommend making any major changes to your practice’s SEO or social media strategies just yet, as it’s still too early to determine what this update really signifies. For now, it’s another data point in the long (and declining) saga of Google+ – a saga that practice owners will want to keep tabs on in the coming months.
As an Account Executive at Wpromote, Megan is responsible for assisting clients with their search engine marketing needs. While helping clients become recognized in search engines is an integral part of her job, she is also a regular contributor to the blog. In her spare time, Megan enjoys Dodger games and trying out new recipes like chocolate chip cookie dough truffles! Learn more about Wpromote at TeleVox.Wpromote.com