Last month, reports surfaced that search engine giant Google would un-verify inactive local business pages on Google+. Now it looks like Google will be removing these unverified pages, too, leaving only verified local business pages on its Google+ platform.
A report on Search Engine Roundtable suggests that Google is removing unverified pages starting on July 28, 2015.
(Is your local business page on Google+ not active / verified? Here’s how you can use Google My Business to restore the verified status of your page.)
The report cites an E-mail that’s apparently being sent by Google to a number of business owners. The E-mail reads:
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.
What happens when the unverified Google+ pages of local businesses have been removed? Well, according to local search expert Mike Blumenthal, it appears that their (businesses’) main presence will be through either Google’s search engine results pages or Google Maps.
“Clearly this is a final step in separating local from (Google+),” wrote Blumenthal. “Whether local will stay “debranded” or possibly take on a Local Finder essence beyond basic search and Map results isn’t clear. What is clear is that G+ and Google Local are no longer going to be bed partners.”
Are you using Google My Business? Let us know in the comments section below how Google’s recent changes have affected your marketing and SEO efforts.