Social media is a great way for law firms to interact with potential clients and other members of the general public. It’s also a place where you can build a healthy portfolio of backlinks to your law firm’s website and score search engine optimization (SEO) points.
So when the social media platform Google+ announced that it was shutting its doors in the near future, we knew it was a dark day from which there would be no return.
Google+ has only been a confusing and quiet social media outlet that has created more headaches for legal marketing than it’s been worth. Pulling the plug has been long overdue.
Google+ Shuts Down
Last month, after seven years of development, non-use, criticism, and finally data breaches, Google announced that it was “sunsetting” its social media platform, Google+.
One stunning statistic provided in support of the decision was something that we all knew about Google+: 90% of Google+ sessions lasted fewer than five seconds.
We at Myers Freelance knew that the platform was quiet, but… wow.
The social media outlet will be slowly phased out, a process that is “slated for completion by the end of next August.”
The End of an Era of Headaches
Google+ has always been a headache for online marketers, precisely because it was (1) run by the dominant search engine, and (2) largely ignored by everyone on the planet.
When it created the social media outlet, Google wanted Google+ to be a place where people and consumers interacted with brands and companies, sending signals to the search engine about what was worth promoting, online. That’s right: Google+ was all about getting user input on what was relevant and important on the internet, so Google’s search engine could provide better results.
Marketing professionals knew this, and poured time, money, and energy into promoting on the platform, in the thought that it would enhance rankings in the search engine’s results pages. Google pushed this strategy through its “Plus 1 Buttons” and its shaded insinuations that building “Plus 1s” helped a website’s rankings (though it never confirmed they would actually help).
However, the platform never took off with the public. People were too busy with Twitter and Facebook to pay much attention to Google+, leaving it quiet and empty. Marketers—faced with the reality that they were pandering to the search engine but not to real people—slowly moved away, as well. Google kept trying to drive traffic to the platform, but recent years have watched them slowly give up.
Going forward, law firms who worried about scoring some cheap SEO points on Google+ can shift their focus elsewhere.