Will Google Shut Down Google Plus as Vic Gundotra Moves On?

UPDATE: In early November 2015 Vic Gundotra announced the following:

“I’m excited to announce that I’m joining the amazing team at AliveCor.

Dr. Dave Albert and team have developed a mobile electrocardiogram (ECG) device, compatible with most iOS and Android devices, that you can buy today on Amazon or our website http://goo.gl/HypmkR for $75. This simple mobile device can record accurate ECG’s, and heart rate anywhere, anytime at an affordable cost. Simply rest the device on your fingertips or chest to record an ECG in just 30 seconds.

Most exciting of all, based on FDA cleared, machine learning based algorithms, users know right away if an ECG is normal or if atrial fibrillation (AFib) is detected.

Smartphones and wearable devices combined with machine learning are giving us new insights into diseases and proving the importance of putting the control of your health in your hands in a way never
before possible. After all, no one will advocate for your health more than you.

As Dr. Dave likes to say, let’s “go save a life, one innovation at a time”.

Cheers to the team at AliveCor!”

Good luck Vic!

Is Google Plus done? Is it going to die? Have we seen the last attempt of a social network from the search giant Google? For over two years I have been a very active user on Google Plus. So much so that I have amassed over 625,000 followers and I have worked with many that currently are or were part of the Google Plus team. I know the product like I know the back of my hand. Hangouts on Air, communities, autoawesome photos or just getting a shit ton of +1’s or reshares have been part of my Internet life for quite some time.

Today, April 24th, 2014, Vic Gundotra announced that he was not only leaving Google Plus but he was leaving Google. This came as a shock to many as Google Plus was Vic’s baby. He used the product on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. If you plus mentioned him into a conversation many times he would answer within the hour. He was one of the most engaging Google Plus users and he often used phrases like “it is just the beginning for Google Plus” and “that’s a plus”. The fact that he stepped down today makes me wonder where things are headed. For more on the unique value of Google Plus check out this resource: Google Plus SEO vs Facebook.

google-shut-down-google-plus

Will Google Shut Down Google Plus?

Most of us that have been on the Internet for more than 14 hours can remember Wave, Buzz, Orkut and several other Google products that got axed. I honestly thought Google Plus was different because Google was tying all Google employees bonuses to the growth of Google Plus. Every time there was an interview the major Google executives stated that they were in for the long haul and it simple took time for a product like this to grow.

Well, if they were in it for the long haul why is the same guy that came up with Google Plus now leaving the company? At this point we do not know where Vic Gundotra is going but the non compete contract must state that he cannot go to a social media competitor like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn. Some felt as if Vic was a shoe in for the Microsoft CEO position that came open in late 2013. For those that do not know, Vic once worked for Microsoft before heading over to Google Plus.

The question I will be asking myself over and over in the next few days is “can Google shut down Google Plus?” As much as I hate to admit it, there are still very few local or IRL (in real life) friends that use the product. Most of the people that use the product are looking to enhance their search rankings in some way or another. Very few people use it to converse or just have fun on the web. This is one of the reasons Google Plus has seen such slow growth in small towns throughout the United States.

If you go into any small town and ask the locals if they have Facebook, well over 50% of them will say yes. If you ask this same group of people if they have Google Plus 98% of them will say no. I would guarantee about 97% would say “what is that?” This has been a huge problem for Google Plus which is why there are some many rumors floating around that Google is going to show down or close shop on Google Plus.

Even though there is not a ton of local or small town interaction there are still some communities that thrive on Google Plus. If you are interested in an Android phone, a Chromecast TV gadget or Star Wars gifs you will find hundreds of thousands of people talking about that. You won’t find anyone talking about the latest Johnny Depp movie but you will find people discussing HDR photography and the best times to catch a sunset.

With some Google Plus communities having over 300,000 people it would be a shock to see them simply close shop. I could see them adjusting how they run the ship but I cannot see them giving up on this product or platform or whatever the gurus want to call it. The thriving communities also love the product. Just go on and post a “Facebook Sucks” gif and you will see exactly what I mean. Also try an “Apple vs Android” photo and you will get tons of +1’s and reshares. This is a resource that should help you to understand how to get more engagement on Google Plus: How to Share Gifs on Google Plus.

What Does the Future of Google Plus Hold?

In my opinion, I think we are going to see a much different Google Plus over the next six months. The replacement to Vic Gundotra is Dave Besbris who is more on the coding side of things. If there is one complaint I have about the current Google Plus product it is the glitches and intricacies of doing anything basic. Google is constantly changing how to start a Hangout on Air, the layout of communities and the overall look of a business or personal page. Change is fine but it causes great confusion to users.

If something works stop trying to fix it. Google loves to update and change things every day and this is causing many businesses to neglect Google Plus. My business is to help businesses rank well in search. One way to do that is to build a strong presence on Google Plus. Almost every business owner I talk to explains that Google Plus is just too hard to understand. If Google Plus is too hard to understand for a business owner something needs to change.

The fact that hangouts is already a stand alone app makes me think that hangouts could be it’s only product that is baked into YouTube. Communities are very successful so I could definitely see a communities based app for Android and iPhone that immediately allow a user to login in to their favorite community or communities and start engaging rather than having to log in to Google Plus first.

The one thing that I think is set is stone is that Google Plus cannot kill Google Plus Local. They recently released Google Plus Post Ads and Google makes billions off local businesses. In the next few months I feel as if there is going to be a very strong push towards getting more local businesses active on Google Plus. How they are going to do this, I have no idea. I do not think Google Plus will become LinkedIn style but the acceptance of Business and Local pages is going to have to become commonplace for the product to have any change.

If you are a business owner and you are looking to ramp up a Google Plus presence, especially now that it will likely be more business focused, please reach out to me. I work with several clients that have seen a strong increase in their search rankings because they use Google Plus in the proper way. Contact me at jwojdylo@gmail.com and we can discuss some of the reasons it is smart to use Google Plus to create natural links that point back to your business website. I can also teach you how to get more followers on Google Plus.

I am your everyday Google Plus user that is wondering what the future holds just like anyone else. Please feel free to leave a comment with what you think is going to happen to Google Plus in the next few months. Do you think it is going to fold like Buzz and Wave? Do you think Dave Besbris is going to be a good change? Do you think it will only be a social network for SEO and social media gurus? Feel free to chime in.

In my opinion, Google Plus was doomed to fail because almost everyone there wants to fulfill their lack of knowledge of Google algorithms, SEO or Android products. Those that do understand mortgage broker SEO have no desire to spend one second discussing it with anyone else. They either do it for themselves or do it for clients. Either way, they are now making tons of money and do not have to sit on social media.

Business owners that rank for California FHA mortgage or best personal injury lawyer in Houston, Texas will never spend one second on social media; especially Google Plus. It is almost like Google Plus turned into the place for business owners that failed at online marketing.

UPDATE

There have been many rumors that Vic Gundotra will go to Secret, Twitter or another social network. It will be very interesting to see how this works out as I am certain Google made it very clear that he could not work for a competitor in a specific industry. That said, Vic is a man that has quite a bit of money so the loss of stock options or an exit bonus will likely not be a concern for him. As the story continues to unfold I will be sure to update this resource. If you have any “secrets” as to where Vic may be headed please feel free to comment below. Maybe he will head over to Pinterest or Yelp as these are both social networks that seem to be doing quite well right now. If you are interesting in Pinterest check out this resource by Anna Cantwell: How to Get Started on Pinterest for Business.


7 thoughts on “Will Google Shut Down Google Plus as Vic Gundotra Moves On?

  1. Doug Kale

    Hi Jesse,
    Great article on GooglePlus! I enjoyed your research and your vision for what the future may hold for GooglePlus. One of the confusions I also hear and see often is the name itself. Do you write it as GooglePlus, Google PLUS or Google+. Right there is something Google needs to grind into people’s minds. How do you use it on the Internet, blogs, websites,etc. Once they smooth out that confusion and place consistent ads on prime time TV and demonstrate how average users and local businesses can use the platform to their benefit, it will then move GooglePLUS up the ranks as a major social network.
    Thanks again,
    Doug Kale

    Reply
  2. Bhim Kumar-Reyes

    The only problem I have with Google Plus is the lack of security. I get people that put me in their circles without even sending me a note for an icebreaker. And when I click on their profiles, there is no pic. And then there are some of those who just want to do porn (aka show their private parts)…it’s the one thing that is turning me off from Facebook. If I’m looking at Google Plus or Facebook at work and then one of those profiles pop up while my boss is in the room, I could get censured or even fired. I chose Google Plus to get away from the porn at Facebook, but it seems to migrated here.

    Reply
    1. Jesse Wojdylo Post author

      I would agree with your assessment Bhim. I get thousands of followers weekly that are profiles without pictures. I have no idea why this is so common, but it is. It is almost like most users on social media want to be anonymous. With that being the case, I wonder if Google will create an anonymous social network like Secret or Reddit.

      Reply
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  5. Stephen

    I hate Google plus. As a user I find it intriguing, as a social media manager I find it infuriating. Nothing works right for businesses. Local businesses with multiple locations have to have multiple Google plus accounts. You can’t actuially get a custom url of your choosing. Updating your business page is a headache and I have to figure out how to get to the pages I manage every single time. I only use it for SEO. For anything else, it is garbage.

    Reply

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