Update October 8, 2018
Our friends at Google have confirmed that Google+ will be shut down in August of 2019. This 10-month grace period has been allotted so that users will have every opportunity to ensure a smooth transition to life without Google+. More details in the coming months will be provided regarding this shutdown, specifically referring to the ways that users can download and migrate their data.
With Google announcing last April that they would be deactivating inactive Google+ pages, we’ve seen a good amount of Google+ links still on veterinary hospital websites. These pages now lead to a broken Google 404 error site, which features a picture of a sad, broken robot—a perfect visual metaphor for the now-dead social media platform that was once Google+. These links reveal what we in the industry have suspected all along—the tech giant is pulling the plug on Google+ Business pages, due to low participation and engagement.
How Does this Affect My Business?
The removal of these Google+ pages has no impact on your hospital or your Google Business page. All reviews and map data will be unaffected, and this expunging will likely have no influence on Google rankings. Due to the decrescendo of Google+ activity, the company removed content from Google+ Business pages, leaving lifeless shell pages with irrelevant data—these pages will eventually be deleted. However, with these links still active on your hospital site, they create a bad user experience for your client trying to interact with you on Google.
What Should I Do Now?
Since these links are, in effect, broken, it is advised that you perform light housekeeping and update your Google+ link to your actual Google Business Knowledge Panel. This handy tool can help you in your quest to purge your website of its Google+ link and update it accordingly—it creates direct short links to your hospital’s listing, which you can use to swap out your Google+ link for your Google Business listing. With the addition to Google Questions and Answers as well as Google Posts, Google has fully made the transition from Google+ to Google Business.
At iVET360, our mission is to educate the veterinary industry on all digital trends and to keep hospital websites and marketing tactics fresh and up-to-date. For more information on our suite of services, or to contact us for general queries, please reach out to us at 503-765-6360 or through our online form.