Google+ Changes Yet Again

Google+ Change Encore Une Fois

Google+ Changes Yet Again

When you log in to your Google+ profile you’ll be walked through a pretty vector infographic about new Google+ changes. If I’ve been counting right, this is the third (maybe fourth) “Welcome to the new Google+” in 2016 alone.

When you login you’ll first be greeted by this screen:

New Google screenshot

Then you’ll be welcomed by this screen:

New Google Welcome Screen

In the end, they won’t really explain anything new at all other than driving you to the Collections tab rather than the Home screen.

Collections is not a new feature of Google+, but it is a feature they’ve been trying hard to push throughout 2016. In fact, I’d like to wager a guess that this third (or fourth) unveil of a “New” Google+ is more just the third attempt to brand a change that never really changed and to get more people active with their Collections and Communities.

The Collections page looks like this:

New Google Collections

You’ll be encouraged to follow these different collections based on what Google assumes may be useful or important to you.

If you simply navigate back to your Home page, everything looks the same and no real changes have occurred. You still see a feed of pages you follow and you still have the little pencil hidden in the bottom right corner where you can easily forget the ability to make new posts ever again. What? It’s the truth.Newsfeed on Google+

When logging into your Business Page, you’ll be walked through the same introduction, which can be confusing. When you log in to your business page, you’d normally expect to see your business and not a bunch of subscription feeds.

From your business page, however, you’ll still see the same squares that take you to Google Apps. From here, you’ll still find “My Business” (aka Google My Business) as an option. However, when you click on My Business, you will no longer find a business description anywhere in your header.

What Hasn’t Changed About Google+

From My Business you will still be able to:

  • View followers
  • Edit your business phone number
  • Edit your business URL
  • Edit your business category
  • Edit your business hours
  • Edit your business address
  • Manage what photos show for your business
  • Add a Virtual Tour

What Did Actually Change About Google+ Local Listings?

While some sources say you’ll still be able to edit your description from your Google+ profile, they don’t make it easy and it isn’t the same description that used to exist on your Google Maps.

To edit your description click on Google+ rather than My Business from the Google Apps dropdown in the top right corner of your business page.

From here, click “Edit Profile” which will take you to this screen:

Google Edit Profile screenshot

You can see that below your business name you can edit a 140 character description of your business by clicking “Manage Page.” This is the same as the link you use to set your own story and privacy settings when logged in as yourself. If logged in as your company, you should be able to navigate to that same link to go directly to editing this description.

Areas of your business profile that are no longer available for editing and no longer show up on your profile include:

  • Icon URL
  • Landing Page URLs or other links
  • Alternative phone numbers
  • Additional categories
  • City
  • Full length description
  • Email
  • Fax
  • Payment Types
  • State

State has been changed to “Administrative area.”

City has been changed to “Locality.”

Now you’re starting to sense a great deal has changed, right? Funny how their “Welcome to the new…” walk through doesn’t quite express that. In fact, they don’t tell you anything. They leave it to you to assume or find out here, on the BoostBlog.

But, we want to let you know that you’re not going crazy. These things really have disappeared. In fact, your Insights have changed as well.

Why Do My Insights Look Different?

Insights changed a while ago, prior to the buzz about Google+ changes or any Google+ “walk through.” Google made a separate announcement about these changes, but didn’t really deem the announcement notable enough to walk business owners through an explanation of new insights. If you haven’t had a chance to view or get used to your new insights, here is what you can expect.

Google+ metrics has been removed from your basic dashboard. Instead, your Insights now includes more detailed metrics on the source of your views to your Google My Business profile. Now, you’ll be able to tell how many views come from search versus maps, for example. You’ll also be able to see how many of your search views were direct or discovery searches.

The new insights are actually quite interesting and provide some very helpful information about how your business is being found and viewed online. I encourage you to visit your Insights page and click around for more information.

Do I Need To Prepare Myself For Any More Google+ Changes?

Absolutely. Google never stops. Anything we learn to rely on, is rolled into another new project or cancelled forever. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need to take part of what Google has to offer every time they come up with a new idea or project. Your Google+ Local profile is necessary to list your business on Google Maps. Not only do you need to stay up to date on every change. You need to log in and make sure the changes haven’t affected your profile negatively. For example, our profile used to have a Virtual Tour on it that has suddenly disappeared. Click through your profile carefully to audit any changes that may have occurred and to ensure you’re keeping your profile up to date with the latest information.

Have a question? Let us know in the comments below!

Caz Bevan
[email protected]

Caz is the Founder of Be Impossible marketing agency and Co-Founder of Anhelaré startup advisory. Caz has extensive experience blending business goals and marketing tactics into comprehensive company strategies. Her creative innovation and expertise has helped shape customer experiences and drive continual engagement for a variety of companies and products including Sony Music Entertainment and SpeedTV. Connect with Caz: Linkedin