Nothing like waking up to the news of yet another social media data breach and that we’re losing a powerful marketing tool.
According to Hubspot:
“Google discovered (and reportedly fixed) in March a bug that mistakenly allowed developers access to Google+ user profile [half a million users] information fields that had been marked as private.
These fields include name, email address, occupation, gender and age. According to Google’s official statement, the information potentially exposed ‘does not include any other data you may have posted or connected to Google+ or any other service, like Google+ posts, messages, Google account data, phone numbers or G Suite content.'”
Well, considering all the data breaches experienced by Facebook and other companies, 500 thousand users is minor.
No website or company is 100% hack-proof.
Google Plus is finally closing
So, Google is closing down Google+ by April 2019 (updated 12/11/18). What should you do?
- Do not delete your business BRAND PAGES until Google notifies you that you can download your data. If you have a YouTube channel, your logo and business info is connected with your G+ brand page. If you delete your G+ account, that will take your logo off your YT channel. Google will inform users before the pages go down and how to save your posts and data.
- You can stop posting to G+. If you use JetPack on a WordPress site, disconnect G+. Do it now so that if and when they do take it down, it doesn’t mess up your connections. Disconnect any other automated posts you have going to G+ also.
- Remove any G+ follow buttons and widgets from your website.
Well, since Google My Business is just for Brick-and-Mortar locations — it’s tied to Google Maps — that leaves home-based & eCommerce businesses without the benefit of the connection G+ had to the search engine.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Make sure your profile pages on the other social networks are updated and complete:
- Facebook Business Page – though it’s harder now for a new business to gain followers, it still helps with branding and SEO to have a complete listing there.
- LinkedIn Company Page – You have an individual account on LinkedIn with your name (and picture) and your company should have a company page (the “Yellow Pages”) for credibility and SEO.
- Twitter – have a Twitter account just for your business. Make sure your website is linked there.
- If you’re trying to reach the consumer, Instagram and Pinterest are important. They are all visuals, so plan out graphics and videos for a strategy that works.
- Blog at least once a week. Google looks for fresh, relevant content written for the human reader. If you want Google to notice you, you have to blog.
- Continue posting to the other social media networks. Google picks up links and text from your posts.
You can’t stop.
If you do, Google will think you’ve closed up shop and your competition will beat you to the first page of Google.