On July 28, 2015 Google is denying access to all unverified Google+ pages. Here’s a summary straight from Google:
“Dear photographers and agencies,
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 28th, 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 their removal of unverified Google+ pages, the Business View tours will still remain available on Google Maps and Google Search.”
Here’s a quick snapshot of small changes Google has recently been making:
- Google Maps no longer links directly to Google+ pages
- Local search ahs been removed from Google+
- Any unverified Google+ pages do not have a link under the search result
There is a suspicion in the SEO community that there will no longer be a separate business page to manage. Instead, the Google+ pages will morph into Google Maps and the Knowledge graph. It looks like they are not deleting any business virtual tours which are converting to Google Maps and Knowledge Graph. This may make it easier and possible to edit directly in Google versus a separate page so customers never actually leave Google to find information on your business. This also may clear up the issue of duplicates. A possible downside could be that there is no more access to incorrect NAP (name, address, phone number) data. It won’t be as transparent anymore if Google has multiple old addresses and business names. It looks like this is a complete deep clean out to separate Google+ from Google Local once and for all.
Note: Any hospitality, food, or entertainment industries have a google testing program to book right on google, called the local finder. It is basically a better version of the old carousel results. The difference between Google Maps and Google Local Finder is that you get 20 results on the map and the search bar brings you back to the main Google page. There is still a ton of kinks that Google is working out, even as basic as general contact info in the results. Once you click on a result, you can see the knowledge graph and information so you don’t actually have to click on the Google+ page for more detail. This could be the last step to separate local from Plus.