Google recently announced that a data breach coupled with low usage and engagement led to the decision to shut down the social network. While most users aren’t surprised to see it go, the announcement of the data breach does come as a shock.
What this means for marketers: In the same blog post that announced the end of Google+, Google also revealed a previously undisclosed data breach that occurred in March. A bug in the API gave third-party developers access to the data of 500,000 users without authorization. This data included fields like name, email address, gender, occupation, and age. Google says it found no evidence that any of this information was misused.
In its early years, Google+ and the +1 button did seem to influence search results. Evidence suggested interactions on Google+ were once used to personalize SERPs. There was also a strong link between Google+ and Google local results. However, as it lost steam, many features were unsettled.
Google intends to wind down Google+ over the next 10 months, giving users time to export data. This will be the official end of Google+’s role in SEO strategy, although it has not been a ranking factor in recent years.