Is Google Plus dead?

With so many promotional online platforms, business owners must choose wisely. Which network is most relevant to my audience? Where will I get the most exposure and best results? How will content and posts impact on SEO? Launched in 2011, Google promised to be a worthy rival of the most popular networks Twitter and Facebook – with multiple additional benefits on the side for businesses looking to raise their rankings. But since then things only appear to have gone downhill for Google’s least successful spin-off. So seven years on we ask – has it stood the test of time – and is it worth yours?

No – it’s rarely the focus of media attention, press and perhaps most importantly users

Google Plus is rarely the subject of press attention, media reports and general industry focus. SEO blogs rarely mention it, many younger audience members below the age of 20 don’t know what it is, and it doesn’t often feature on ‘top three’ lists of social networks. This is worrying – as even during Twitter’s slow decline over the past few years, the platform has still grabbed headlines and continues to be a mainstay talking point amongst users and professionals alike. Few high-profile companies and celebrities use the network actively, and an even smaller number of worldwide users still post content and engage with posts by others.

Yes – it’s still good for SEO

There is one strong argument for keeping a Google Plus account populated – and that concerns the understandable advantages of this approach from an SEO perspective. Like YouTube, Google Plus is prioritised as a network since it has the highest authority available – it’s actually owned by Google. This SEO power could considerably diminish however as the usage of the network continues to dwindle and focus realigns elsewhere – especially as newer, more engaging networks take centre stage and fewer users are active on Google Plus each year.

No – the stats confirm it

When it comes to crunching numbers, Google Plus certainly doesn’t come out on top. In fact, it is the worst-performing social network according to a number of limited polls, which indicate that it fails in three primary criteria necessary for the success of a social platform – likes, comments and shares. This worrying data is enough to turn businesses who already have a profile away – and naturally puts off anyone without an account who may previously have considered signing up.

The verdict

Google is still spending time (and money) on its social network, which indicates that future prospects may be bright for Plus. But right now the benefits experienced from using it as a social platform (especially at the expense of another, perhaps more lucrative networks) are unlikely to be significant. It’s, therefore, better to plough resources and money into a selection of social networks and strategies with proven benefits for your business both now and in the long-term.

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