Google Plus Changes
Google rolled out a highly anticipated mobile responsive Google + update and redesign, which will have an effect on your local listing.
With the redesign, Google has opted to focus on content and community, removing the ability visitors have to view or generate reviews. At first glance, we understand that this new look could be a cause for concern regarding your local business. We’d like to take some time to explain the changes so that you can feel worry-free about your local listing in Google.
Previously, your Google+ page acted as a highlighted version of your website, where patients posted and read reviews and could catch up on your posts to the page. This earlier design of Google+ acted far more as a directory listing versus social media network.
The new Google+ page alleviates the clutter of the previous directory listing version and allows patients to get vital contact information quickly.
Further, Google’s update focuses dominantly on improving local community awareness and collection sharing. This will make it easier for users to find other people who share the same passion for a particular hobby, interest, or organization. In doing this, we can see that Google is really pushing to enhance the social media aspect of Google+ in order to compete with other more popular social platforms, like Facebook and Twitter. For now, Google requires users to have their own Google+ page before leaving a review, but it’s rumored that anyone will be able to leave a Google+ review in the future, as Google may continue to make its platform more open and accessible.
How does this affect my SEO??
Unfortunately, the “Write a Review” option is no longer available on the Google+ page. This makes it difficult to point patients in the right direction to write a review, but the option to review a business is still available on the knowledge graph in your Google search.
As a proactive measure, our SEO team here at Sesame has begun to redirect our members’ traffic from the Google+ icon on their websites to the new review destinations in the Google search knowledge graph. However, since it is still very early on in the effects of the update, it’s difficult to say if reviews will carry the same weight in local search rankings moving forward. We will continue to monitor Google’s changes and work to put our members in the best possible position in local search listings!
How can I help?
Please be cognizant of your inbox as the SEO team could be reaching out to you with questions regarding your Google+ page. The SEO team may need your help removing any duplicate Google+ listings in order to drive traffic to the appropriate listing.
Thank you and feel free to contact the SEO Team with any questions regarding the new Google+ Design!