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What the Google Plus Shutdown Means for Your Law Firm

by Mike Hoffman | October 22nd, 2018

Since its launch in 2011, Google Plus struggled to gain ground against more established social networks like Facebook and Twitter. And over the seven years that have followed, newer contenders like Instagram and Snapchat have added pressure as web users continue to increase their screen time on mobile devices.

In October 2018, it was no surprise that Google decided to pull the plug on Google Plus. The company was kind enough to provide a firm end date for businesses and consumers—August 31, 2019. You may be wondering what this means for your law firm and where should you go from here. Without further ado, here’s a rundown of what you need to know before Google Plus’ time runs out.

Security Concerns Preceded the Google Plus Shutdown

News of the Google Plus shutdown immediately followed a shocking admission by Google—a security bug had allowed Google Plus app developers to access certain information across 500,000 private profiles, including full names, email addresses, occupations, gender, and age.

There is, however, a silver lining for business stakeholders who utilize other Google products and services: the breach was patched in March and was limited to Google Plus profile data. Private files and other proprietary information attached to your Google emails, calendar, and cloud drives were not affected.

3 Steps You Can Take Now to Ensure a Smooth Transition

Beyond security concerns, many businesses are facing another fear related to the demise of Google Plus: how will the change affect their web presence and digital marketing strategies?

The true answer to this question will become clearer in the months leading up to the shutdown. However, there are 3 steps you can take right now to help ensure the smoothest possible transition to a web without Google Plus:

  1. Remove the Google Plus share/follow buttons from your website.
    If your website features the familiar “G+” share icons, you’ll want to remove them before they appear as broken links on your site pages. If cjID handles your website maintenance, don’t worry—we’ve got this covered!
  2. Phase out your firm’s use of Google Plus for social media and marketing purposes.
    You can safely do this sooner rather than later, as the already-nominal consumer activity on the platform will wind down as news of the shutdown spreads. By refocusing your social media efforts now, you’re giving your audience time to adapt to your presence across other, more popular channels.
  3. Review your firm’s Google My Business presence—whether or not you ever used Google Plus.
    One of the biggest question marks related to the demise of Google Plus is how visibility on Google search may be affected. While search visibility is always complicated (and ever-changing), there’s one simple step you can take to optimize your firm’s Google presence: review your firm’s Google My Business listing. Taking a few minutes to do this will ensure that people in your community have access to the information you want them to see.

cjID Website Maintenance Clients Are in Safe Hands

If your website is maintained by cjID, we’re already scheduling the removal of G+ share and follow buttons on your site. Likewise, our search team is here to ensure your Google My Business listing is accurate and up-to-date, and we’re ready to assist you with any concerns about your firm’s presence on Google search.

Interested in learning more about how cjID can help keep your digital presence in line with industry best practices? Contact one of our cj Advertising Client Services representatives to learn more!