Google+ Links & Reviews Stripped from the Branded SERPs Now Too

Linda Buquet

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Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,307
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Image Via Joy Hawkins on Twitter, Link Below​


In one of the final nails in the coffin for G+ Local pages....

Remember when Google recently took the Google plus link out of the SERPs and we were all trying to find the easiest way to get to the G+ page. One of the suggestions was to search for the brand, because it still showed the G+ link in the brand SERPs.

Well now G+ page links are gone from brand SERPs too. So are reviews. Say what? Yep you heard it right!
Both are gone from the SERPS. (Reviews still show in the Knowledge Graph next to it - but no G+ link.)

This came up last week at the Local Search Pros Community and on Twitter. I was sure I posted about it, but can't find it. Some of you may have already seen these posts but I'm sure many of you have not.

I don't have time stamps, but I think Jenny F from Organik SEO at the Local Search Pros Community last Friday was the 1st to mention it and show a screenshot of the missing G+ link on a branded search. A lively albeit discouraged conversation followed.

Google + and Review links stripped away from branded searches?


Around the same time I think, Colleen Harris alerted me on Twitter.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Because Google's not changed enough - branded stars gone? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LocalSEO?src=hash">#LocalSEO</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/mblumenthal">@mblumenthal</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/localseoguide">@localseoguide</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CatalystLocal">@CatalystLocal</a> <a href="http://t.co/XIIJ5FUXrT">pic.twitter.com/XIIJ5FUXrT</a></p>— Colleen Harris (@cdawg2610) <a href="https://twitter.com/cdawg2610/status/642390849297489921">September 11, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Twitter discussion here: https://twitter.com/cdawg2610/status/642396769540788224


Then Joy posted this:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Google just removed the links for reviews & G+ page now for business-name searches via <a href="https://twitter.com/CatalystLocal">@CatalystLocal</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/OrganikSEO">@OrganikSEO</a> <a href="http://t.co/iy1LQuRJTq">pic.twitter.com/iy1LQuRJTq</a></p>— Joy Hawkins (@JoyanneHawkins) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoyanneHawkins/status/642405309122654208">September 11, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Full Twitter convo here: https://twitter.com/JoyanneHawkins/status/642405309122654208


Then a couple days ago, Tim Capper, a new Google Top Contributor posted this at our Pro Community

Disappearance of Google+ Page Link

So they are gone, together with the review snippet!

Google must have data to back up their removal from SERPs, but for me, I personally feel that its a bad user experience.

After making such a big song and dance about "Google My Business", "Lets Put our Cities on the Map" ..... i am beginning to feel that local business, no longer matters :(

Here is one of my comments in Jenny's thread:

I reported a couple weeks ago about local packs where Google had totally removed the review count and stars too. I have a feeling this is all connected to the eventual pay-to-play I keep predicting.

Those "Nearby Businesses" ad units are showing up more and more. Often they are a 4 pack too, which pushes the free 3 pack way down. But with the home service ads there is no free 3 pack below, the ads replace the pack.

Small changes are gradually made little by little, all leading up to: If you want to rank high - in the top pack and have a call button and your precious reviews showing, need to pay.

What do you make of all this???
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HichamD

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
8
Well that changes nothing in the mobile SERPs, the KG is still taking the whole screen.

I think local directories might be able to take couple more clicks from desktop SERPs and survive a little longer :)
 

CCarter

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
19
Wow, I never thought THIS would ever happen as they removed G+. I figure the impact is going to echo loudly. I foresee Yelp seeing an increase in the SERPs cause of this.
 

Linda Buquet

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Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,307
A lot of big media outlets picked up this story and are misconstruing my message.

So I've been running around clarifying it on all the sources that are linking to this story and misunderstanding the situation. The whole story and all screenshot were about BRAND search.

Those of you following Local and all the changes know what I was talking about and I explained it right on top.

"Remember when Google recently took the Google plus link out of the SERPs and we were all trying to find the easiest way to get to the G+ page. One of the suggestions was to search for the brand, because it still showed the G+ link in the brand SERPs.

Well now G+ page links are gone from brand SERPs too. So are reviews."
Well a bunch of big sources misconstrued that to mean, here is another sign that Google+ is dead or dying. AND some are even wrongly saying now reviews are TOTALLY gone from Google SERPs, which is TOTALLY incorrect!

Here is a statement I've been issuing to try to correct the misconceptions, just in case anything I said in the original post was unclear.

Want to point out that this in no way indicates Google is "phasing out" G+. This move does not change G+ at all. The point here is that the Google LOCAL platform is distancing itself from the G+ Local page. Has been gradually for some time. But G+ social is still the same.

Also reviews are "not dropped from Google search results". This isn't about the general search results or the pack. It's purely about Branded searches for the business. Reviews are still in on the G+ page and on the Knowledge Graph and on the results that are in the main search results (3 pack) and also on the Local Finder.

The point of my post is that 1st they removed the G+ link from the pack. Now they also removed the G+ link as well as reviews from a branded search, specifically for the business.
Here are a couple of the stories with misleading titles or statements:

<a href="https://www.seroundtable.com/google-drops-google-links-reviews-completely-20909.html">Google Drops Google+ Links & Reviews Completely</a>

<a href="http://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-links-and-reviews-dropped-from-google-search-results/141262/">Google+ Links and Reviews Dropped From Google Search</a>

<a href="http://searchenginewatch.com/sew/news/2426483/google-phases-out-google-even-further-or-does-it">Google Phases Out Google+ Even Further - Or Does It?</a>

I sincerely appreciate all the links to this story and the follow up posts. But just wanted to set the record straight because while I think my post was clear to those following all the local changes - if you are not following everything, I can see how maybe the brand search part of the story which is the whole focus of the story, got lost in the mix.
 

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