The future of Google+
Google+ has endured a turbulent ride since its introduction in 2011. Pitting itself against social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, many industry insiders assumed Google had bitten off more than it could chew. And while the platform has survived, it hasn't quite been the revolutionary tool many supporters heralded it would become.
So what's next for Google+? Can it continue to claim a space among its powerful peers, or is it going to be quietly retired like so many other Google innovations?
What does the future hold?
Initially, it was hoped that Google+ would have the ability to take on social giants and win. Looking back three years later, it's clear the network hasn't succeeded – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn remain on top – but that's not to say it’s been a complete failure.
In fact, one of the biggest advantages the platform has over its competitors is the fact that if people want to use other Google products, they are expected to sign in to their Google+ account. This provides the software company with an invaluable amount of data regarding its users, which it can then use to inform and drive advertising revenue.
It seems unlikely that Google executives will retire its social media platform. Instead, it will continue to be realigned to ensure that it remains profitable and relevant in different ways. This will probably mean more changes in the future as Google continues to capitalise on the fact that Google+ is only one product in a suite of many – making it a business essential for companies with an online presence.
Google+ and SEO
Google+ not only provides businesses with potential advantages in terms of innovative ways to connect with customers, but it can also play a huge role in their SEO strategies.
The biggest advantage comes from linking your Google+ page to your content via Google Authorship Markup. This allows Google to return your Google+ profile picture and business information next to the content produced in relevant search results. This can increase the clicks to your site and also help boost your page rankings.
There are also benefits for companies that don’t regularly produce content. Having a Google+ page has a significant impact on Google My Business searches, with businesses on the platform more likely to appear in an eye-catching carousel.
The future of Google+ may be uncertain in some regards, but it’s clear that it will continue to shape the search engine's quest for the perfect way to connect users with the right content.