Search Engine Land is reporting that unclaimed Google Plus Business pages are going to be unverified and closed by July 28th unless they are claimed. In the SEL piece they mention that this move is Google’s first step in separating Google Local from Google+. There has been rampant rumor and speculation that Google is wanting to shutter the doors of Google+ due to it not performing the way they intended. The debate over that is a hot topic on the social network itself which I have participated in extensively. Search Engine Land also points to an email from Google that has been making the rounds around blogs and forums.
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 this removal of unverified Google+ pages, the Business View tours will still remain available on Google Maps and Google Search.
Like any other business Google has to do some house cleaning from time to time and this purge is part of that. As far as the separation of Google Local and Google+ I don’t know the motivation behind that move but Google has moved other services away from Google+ recently. Perhaps it’s part of a larger plan to streamline services? One can only speculate. One things for certain though, Google+ is still here and so are it’s millions of users.
image courtesy http://socialproofinteractive.com/