As a happy Google+ user, I wasn’t too alarmed. All they’re really saying is that they are reshuffling their staff and will no longer force Google+ integration onto their users. It looks like they have listened to complaints, especially from the YouTube community, and adjusted what they’re doing.
In both articles they refer to Google+ as a social network, whereas it is a platform that sits over many Google services including Gmail, YouTube, Analytics, Images, Maps, Earth, Finance, Drive, GoogleDocs, Wallet and, of course, Google Search. [source: SocialMedia Today]
They’re not turning off Google+. They’re not deleting your content. What they are doing is no longer insisting that you have a Google+ account when you open some of the aforementioned services.
As Jim Dougherty points out in his less melodramatic take on it, which I recommend you read,
My argument that the world is okay without those 1000 people working on Google Plus has three points: #1 – The business services the Google Plus provide won’t go away. #2 – Content won’t have to change because optimisation is network agnostic. #3 – Google Plus lives.
You may also find Mashable’s post interesting but the point is…
5 ways Google+ lives on in recruitment:
Members who are very easy to contact. For free!
Sure, you need to be more creative in your ways of finding people, it’s not a repository of CVs like LinkedIn, but when you do find them, you can contact them. Without an expensive license. Without major restriction.
2. Employer Branding (…and SEO)
I’ll never be a SEO expert but from running my own business I’ve learned that Google ‘owns’ search and being on Google+ increases traffic to my website.
As I discussed in Are You Feeding Social Job Seekers, it’s essential to be creating and sharing content that shows off your employer brand; your people, your culture, your achievements, and why people should come and work for you.
If you are already creating content, sharing it on Google+ is a logical step, especially if you want to maximise it’s reach and visibility. +1s and shares in Google+ are very beneficial to this.
Connecting your Google+ page to Google places and obtaining reviews is also an essential part of standing out from your competitors.
As any good blogger will tell you, connecting their blog to Google+ to obtain authorship is extremely beneficial. Over simplifying it, it helps because your profile pic appears in the search results, which increases click through rates.
If you are using your blog to attract recruits, this is a vital step.
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4. Google+ Communities
Do you remember LinkedIn groups 5 or 6 years ago? When the majority were properly managed? Before the spammers took over? Before SWAM made we genuine users fearful to engage?
You’ll love Google+ communities then. They are free of advertising and spammers. Super engaged. And a great place to find your future recruits.
There are two types of Google+ Hangouts, Video Hangouts and Hangouts on Air, and they are both a free service.
Video Hangouts are private and could be useful in the interview process, especially if you have multiple people involved in different locations. It has many features including the ability to share your screen.
Hangouts on Air are a great way to raise awareness and generate content, content that can be repurposed. You can have up to 10 people ‘seated’ in the Hangout and unlimited people watching.
Louise Welcomme runs the #RecHangout and, to give you an idea of what they look like. this is the one I was involved in:
How could you use Hangouts in your recruitment?
In summary, I don’t think Google+ is going anywhere anytime soon. And with Google being such an important part of search, you don’t need to be making any rash changes.
Do you agree?
This post originally appeared on Winning Impression.