Have a Google+ page that you haven’t used in forever? Well if you do the page may be shut down on July 28. All business pages will be “unverified” that are unclaimed or with owners that have been inactive. Google occasionally has these general cleanups in an effort to unclutter the popular network.
The cleanup is expected to be the final phase of splitting Plus from local. Some have hinted that this is part of a larger move away from G+.
In recent releases Google has states:
“In the past few months, you may have seen some changes in the look of Google+ pages that have been associated with Google My Business (GMB) accounts. These changes, including how we treat business pages without owners, are part of Google’s ongoing effort to simplify people’s experience with our tools. We are constantly working to provide only valuable and rich content to our users.
On July 28, Google will begin shutting down those GMB-associated Google+ pages that have not been associated with user accounts and are also not verified. You may find that some of your Business View tours also sit on such pages, but note that after this removal of unverified Google+ pages, the Business View tours will still remain available on Google Maps and Google Search.”
Pages that remain unclaimed continue to cause problems for users. It’s simply clutter that needs to be removed. On top of that, Google is offering perks right now for everyone to claim their pages and regularly connect to Google My Business.
The Google Maps team has commented on the cleanup and has made recommendations as well:
“Encourage your business customers to verify their listings if they wish to retain their Google My Business page .
If a business owner decides later that they would like to have a Google My Business page, please advise them to create a new page and verify their listing. The Business View virtual tour can be then transferred to the new verified listing. Please log a case to our support teams to request that images for your business customer be forwarded to the new GMB page.
Please point your business customer to their images in Google Maps.”
Verify those pages and don’t lose them to the cleanup accidently. There are other concerns about the cleanup as well. Some people are questioning whether this will make SEOs job more difficult in the future. Diagnosing where to improve SEO may become more challenging because information can be gathered about unverified pages, such as a look at poor NAP. This is something that would need to be resolved, but may becoming increasing difficult to spot after the cleaning.
What are your thoughts on Google cleaning house? What other changes would you like to see to Google+?