5 Best Alternatives for Google Plus Users

When it comes to advertising and business growth, Google Plus comes to mind. But since the time this social media platform started closing its doors, consumers are heading towards another option. They are on a hunt for an option that matches the features, traffic, and other SEO benefits.

Well, the good news is, there are a lot of replacements for Google Plus.

So if you are really looking for alternatives to Google Plus or what we generally called G+ to grow your business, just go through this resolute dossier on the same.

What was Google Plus and what was the reason for its Shut Down?

Google Plus was basically the 4th attempt by Google to build a social media network. Some of its predecessors are Google Buzz, Google Friend Connect, and Orkut.

During the initial phase, this platform got massive success with 395 million active accounts in the year 2016. This was the time when Facebook started seeing this network as a threat. But within a short span of time, it lost its importance.

This was due to the reason that you have to use a Google Plus account for a longer period of time to use features like Google Photos, Hangouts, YouTube, etc. This makes most of the users use Google Plus only for the purpose of accessing Google photos, YouTube, or so on.

Another reason for its shutdown was a data breach. There was a big glitch that allowed even 3rd party apps to access the private information of about 500,000 Google Plus users.

5 Social Media Platforms are capable enough to replace Google Plus when it comes to the Local Businesses

When it comes to a replacement, there is no perfect match to Google Plus but yes, depending upon your business requirement you can go with either a single platform or all that are listed below.

  1. Google My Business:

Google My Business (GMB) provides you with information about your business’ operating information, reviews, and much more. This will help you appear as a business profile and on Google Maps. It doesn’t matter whether someone is using a mobile or desktop you will be visible.  It means when the user will search for a brand like yours, the business profile will appear like the one shown in the image.

Google Business Listing

 

On Google Maps the business profile will be like

 

Google Business Street view

Business profile on Mobile will be like

 

Google Business on Mobile

Although this information will be on your website, GMB will help you index the content. It also shares it with a broader audience. This will boost search result rankings, revenue, and other valuable insights related to consumers.

Why is Google My Business considered a better replacement for Google Plus?

 

This is so because it is more than just an online local business directory. It is loaded with various social features.

The audience can tap “+ Follow” under listing on mobile-first and receive updates from your business. You can also use this feature to send a “Welcome Offer”.

Moreover, it is loaded with other features like Reviews and a Q&A section. This will help you in building a stronger trust factor with your audience.

How to Use Google My Business?

 

    • Highlight the information related to your business. It includes opening hours, closing hours, website, products, menus, location, etc.
    • You can use the GMB dashboard to see the queries that your audience is using to find your business. You can also see a breakdown of actions and what is the performance of your profile as compared to others in the same category.
    • You can boost your local SEO by going through an optimization process. The keywords will make you rank higher in local search results.

 

2. Facebook for Local Business

 

Facebook is one of the biggest social media networks in the world with 2.7 billion monthly active users. It is also one of the biggest business tools.

Why has Facebook emerged as a Good Replacement for Google Plus?


When it comes to building an online community for the success of your brand there is no match to Facebook.

You can use various options presented by Facebook like Groups and Business Pages to your advantage.

Haven’t you seen various Facebook ads about Magento eCommerce store, Shopify Apps, oncoming sales and discounts on various eCommerce platforms, and so on? This is what certified Shopify experts or Magento experts do and this is what draws sales.

This is so because more than 1.4 billion people are using Facebook Groups every month.  On the other hand, you can use Facebook Business Pages to get some advanced features like reviews, instant messaging, automated replies, analytics, and so on. You can also go with paid Facebook ads to improve your results.

How to Use Facebook?

 

  • Create a Facebook group and share exclusive offers on the Facebook page.
  • Share information like your location, contact details, websites, and much more.
  • Go for regular events.
  • Provide 24X7 instant customer care support.
  • Use reviews in your favor.
  • Go for Feedback, directly.

 

3. LinkedIn for Local Businesses

When it comes to professionalism, there is no match for LinkedIn. It is one of the best alternatives to Google Plus. With more than 722 million users, LinkedIn has become one of the top social media sites.

Although there are some who are using LinkedIn actively. When used correctly it helps to generate leads and carries the power to establish you as an industry thought leader.

Why LinkedIn Is a Good Replacement for Google+?


Circles, yes we are talking about “Circles” which are one of the best features on Google Plus. You can easily create different Circles and add people to them. This will aid you in the segmentation during updates and will help you to keep your professional life separate from your business life.

It also lets you connect with your co-workers and share content to boost your brand.

How to Use LinkedIn?

 

  • Join industry or niche LinkedIn groups to connect with people. This will help you in establishing your brand.
  • Start sharing updates and opinions related to your brand or business.
  • Take the help of your 1st-degree connections to connect with 2nd or 3rd-degree connections.
  • Do not forget to publish articles on the LinkedIn pulse with actionable content.


4. Pinterest for Local Businesses


If you own a visually appealing eCommerce brand then you can go with Pinterest. This is so because Pinterest is having more than 367 million users.

This means you are going to bring your brand in front of those audiences who are sitting down there and are ready to spend anytime you show them the product of their interest.

Why Pinterest is seen in the form of better Replacement to Google Plus

 

Pinterest as alternative to Google Business

 

When it comes to boosting sales, Pinterest leads Google Plus which was most commonly known for sharing updates and creating a community.

Pinterest first rolls out buyable pins followed by promoted pins. Thus it encourages the audience to take action on feeds’ inspirational content. It is one of the favorite platforms for females and youngsters.

One thing you need to take care of is, as the site is a visual search engine, so your brand must have that element to shine. If your brand fails to match niche interests and demographics, it might not prove to be a replacement that you are actually looking for.

How to Use Pinterest?

 

  • Use SEO to optimize your profile, boards, Pins, etc. This will boost your brand’s visibility.
  • Go with visually appealing pins to get more users to click-through.
  • Activate those pins that are rich and make them shoppable. This will help you with conversions.
  • Use tools like Tailwind. This will help you to pin at the best times and will bring more engagement
  • Do not forget to invest in Pinterest ads.

5. Instagram for Local Businesses


When it comes to trending social media platforms the name of Instagram can’t be ignored.

With more than 1158 million active users Instagram has emerged as one of the top platforms for building relations and bonding. It is also one of the effective platforms for expanding business. It is capable enough to give a boom to your business as it has more of a young generation on its platform.

Why is Instagram a better replacement to Google Plus?

 

Instagram as Alternative to Google Plus

If we generally made a comparison between Google Plus and Instagram then Instagram has a lot more to offer in addition to Google Plus.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s about uploading photos, multi-person instant messaging, Video calls, location tagging, and so on, Instagram has it all.

In addition to this, Instagram has more added Shoppable Features and ads that can help you in the growth of your business. Moreover features like Reels and Instagram IG makes it more favorable. It is a boon for eCommerce. This is the reason why Magento Certified Developers, Shopify experts, and other experts from different eCommerce platforms are in favor of Instagram.

How to Use Instagram?

 

  • Begin with creating a content calendar for your feed posts, IG Lives, IGTV, Reels, etc.
  • Add stories on a daily basis to stay on top.
  • Go for hashtag research to find terms that your ideal customers are using.
  • Go with targeted ads to boost sales.
  • Collaboration with brands is the key to increasing sales.
  • Use storytelling techniques to the fullest in your captions.
  • Photography is the key. The quality of the photo matters a lot.
  • It is good to go with highly shareable pieces of content.

 

How these alternatives to Google Plus can aid you in your Local Business?

 

Do you still carry some doubts in your mind regarding these alternatives? No worries here are some benefits of using these alternatives.

Create Brand Awareness and Get Recognition

You can easily spread words about your business using social media networks. It’s all about showing up online. The more you do it, the more benefit you will earn.

Increase Local Business Traffic

You can use social media platforms to promote your blogs. This is so because content marketing is all about attracting the audience. You can even go with YouTube videos to remain in front of your audience all the time.

Use analytics to Improve your Marketing

You can take the help of some platforms that offer you some analytics. You can use analytics to increase both your customers and sales.

For this, you can take the help of Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Provide Unique Customer Service

If you really want to grow your business, you have to provide a rich user experience. The more care you take of your customers and the more quickly you solve their problems, the more interest they will show in your platform.

For this, you can go with Facebook to solve complaints on an early basis. This will help you to build a solid relationship with your customers.

Conclusion:

You must have realized by now that there is no exact duplicate to Google Plus. But there are many options available that you can use to your advantage. The alternatives that have been provided to you over here will not only help you to achieve the results that you are looking for but they come with additional features.

The additional features will not only help you to do your task easily and rapidly but will also aid you in getting better results.

Google Mobile-First Indexing Best Practices You Need To Know in 2021

Mobile-first indexing means that Google is principally using the mobile version of the content for the purpose of ranking and indexing which previously was using only the desktop version of sites.

We are living in a world that is trending towards mobile technology where the quantity of internet mobile usage has overtaken the overall usage of desktop internet usage during these last five years. So, it’s very obvious for Google to support the mobile version of sites for ranking and indexing content as more people have switched their focus from desktop screens to mobile pages.

So, here in this ultimate guide, you are going to find how you can check whether Google has swapped your site to the mobile-first indexing or not. And if it hasn’t done this yet then how can you organize it by yourself.

 

Have you Switched to Mobile-First Indexing?

 

It was 2016 when Google made its first announcement about shifting its desktop site algorithms towards the Mobile-First Indexing. During that time, Google has also released that today; most people are browsing Google from their mobile devices.

So, from that time only, they have started rolling out mobile-first indexing for many sites. And by the end of March 2021, Google has planned that they are officially going to Prepare for Mobile-first Indexing for every single website. This means that Google’s indexing from March 2021 onward will be provided for mobile sites only.

Further, here I am going to provide you more detailed timeline about Mobile-first indexing:

November 2016 – In November 2016, mobile-first indexing was introduced for the first time by Google and being approved for some sites.

March 2018 – Mobile-first indexing was officially announced by Google.

December 2018 – More than 50% of crawled websites were rolled out to Mobile-first indexing.

July 2019 – New Websites were provided with default Mobile-first indexing from 1st July 2019 onward.

March 2020 – Now the data of Mobile-first indexing for crawled websites has increased up to 70%. They had also announced at that time that mobile-first indexing would be used for every site by September 2020.

July 2020 – the procedure of switching to mobile-first indexing for 100 websites was being stopped due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic situation.

March 2021 – Aim of launching 100% Mobile-first indexing by the end of March 2021 with uncertainty.

Here, as per the latest released facts by Google, more than 70% of the websites have already switched to Mobile-first Indexing by the end of March 2020.

For switching the index of your website to the mobile version, firstly your website is required to be responsive. Now if your website is built either in WordPress, Magento, Shopify, or in any other platform then your site is likely to be responsive. So, here your website will be autonomously switched to the mobile version of the index by Google itself. Further, if we talk about Shopify, then here the majority of Shopify themes are mobile responsive. This means if you are using a Shopify theme then your website will look the same on the mobile screen as it appears on the desktop screen by autonomously reorganizing the theme as per the size of the mobile screen.

You can also review this by yourself using the Google Research Console to check whether you are one of that 70% of website owners who have switched to Mobile-first indexing or not. And for reviewing this, you can simply go to ‘Settings’ and then move to the ‘About’ section where they will identify the Crawler for your website and will inform you if your website has been switched to Mobile-First Indexing or not. Now if you have already switched then they will also provide when it happened.

Here, if you have found that your website is still featuring the desktop index instead of mobile indexing then it may have happened because of the complex coding used for creating your website. Whatever be the reason for this, you still are required to switch your site to mobile-indexing rather than desktop indexing otherwise you are definitely going to face some troubles in the future while ranking your website on Google.

 

Prepare for Mobile-First Indexing: 

 

First of all, I would like to make it clear that there is no different index separately available for desktop websites or mobile sites. Google has only one index which is slowly shifting from the desktop version to the mobile version of sites. This is basically a major concern because the content which you are not able to see currently on the mobile version of your screen will further not be available on google after it has been completely switched to the Mobile-first indexing.

As we have already discussed above, if you are having a responsive website then this is not going to be an issue for your site but having a complex website would be troubling for you. Apart from this, people who are having m-dot sites are also going to face trouble when Google has completely shifted its indexing towards the mobile version of sites.

Now, further here I am going to provide you some key point for your websites which you are certainly required to check for the smooth transition between desktop version to the mobile version:

  • Technical Checks
  • Keep important content
  • Navigation and links

 

Technical Checks:

 

First of all, if you are a certified Shopify developer or expert in some other technology as well, then make it certain that the various technical elements of your website are placed right for the mobile version of your website. For ensuring this, you can simply create an account on Google Webmaster Tools then crawl your website here. When you do this, your website will be eventually crawled on this site with the help of desktop user-agent tools. In simple words, you can understand it as here you are going to check how your website will appear on the desktop version of the screen which you can simply change by going to the ‘Crawl Settings’ tab during setting up your project or in another way, simply go to the ‘Project Settings’ and update the user-agent to mobile from desktop.

Here we would like to advise you to first crawl your website for the desktop version using the user-agent tool and then go for checking the mobile version. This is because we provide you here with a feature where you can easily check the comparison of both i.e. desktop version of your site as well as the mobile version of your site. So, you can easily examine the changes that have occurred and any kind of issues if they have arisen during the switching procedure. Now here we are mainly talking about the issues which you are facing right now while using the mobile version but they were not present at all during the desktop version of your site.

When you are going to click on any issue, then there is an option of ‘Show Changes’ which will highlight the changes that occurred when you click on it.

You can turn-wise click on any of the issues number New, Added, or Removed for checking Google Search Console where you need to find ‘Enhancements’, then ‘Core Web Vitals’ and finally go to the ‘Mobile’ option.

Ads, Pop-ups, and Interstitials: 

 

You can check all these manually on your website using the mobile version of your screen. Here one thing which you need to double-check is whether you have too many interstitials when users interact with your site and how much screen they are covering when they appear in front of it. Here you can also check a few guidelines for interstitial which Google has provided to Help users easily accessing the content from the mobile version of the site.

 

Mobile Indexing Best Practices: 

 

The popular and best practices in Mobile Indexing are Tap Targets, Text Size, and Padding, etc. Now here you can get quick information on all these by directly going to the ‘Google Search Console’ then ‘Enhancements’ and then ‘Mobile Usability’. Further, you can also go through a test provided by Google named as Mobile-Friendly.

 

Further, you can also check this ultimate guide on Mobile-first Indexing Best Practices provided by Google.

Here if you have separate versions of your site for both desktop and mobile platforms, then you might have to ditch the mobile (m.) version of your site because your desktop version site will eventually start operating well on the mobile screen as well when Google will completely switch its ranking and indexing to the mobile-first indexing. The other way to handle the mobile (m.) version of your site is either you can make it responsive or you can add one conditional logic in your website code which eventually redirects your users to the desktop version of your site. Overall the mobile (m.) website code is complicated so here we would like to suggest you completely ditch the code as your desktop version of your site will be eventually switched to the mobile version by google itself.

 

Keep Important Content:

 

Here when you open a site on your desktop screen as well on your mobile screen then you obviously see a huge difference based on their screen size. As the mobile screen is smaller in size so you are not able to see all the content like you see on your desktop screen. Further, there is no additional space for the menu buttons or sidebars so it becomes appropriate to exclude the few contents displayed on the desktop sites.

Now the content present on the mobile version of your site isn’t required to look alike the desktop version of your site but it’s recommended to choose the most valuable content for displaying on the mobile version of your site.

Here if you are an expert in whatever technology, either you are a Certified Magento Developer or Shopify expert or other, here few things can be easily excluded like email opt-ins which is absolutely not going to be a big deal for SEO people but hiding other important things would create a bad image concerning your site among your audience.

Further, if the content didn’t appear by default on the mobile version of your site then ultimately it would be considered as less than visible. So, for making content more visible for your site as per the small screen of mobile devices, somewhat you will be needed to update the design of your site where you can choose options like tabbed content. Here for creating a better user experience, Google does not discount the content hidden.

We have observed that various e-commerce sites are performing really well after using these design elements which are able to provide various informational details such as frequently asked questions, required product details, existing user’s feedback, etc. when requested by the users.

 

Links and Navigation:

 

Here don’t worry at all about your external website links as they will be autonomously consolidated along with the mobile version of your site. All you need to make sure is that the canonical tags of your website are attached well in your website code which ensures the external links are counted as mobile pages of your site.

And for the internal links of your website, here you only need to verify whether all the important links still exist or not after the procedure of switching to the mobile version of your site by Google. For example, it may have skipped the secondary navigation system used for locating your user just for saving space. What exactly has changed here?

 

 

Here you would like to check what changes have taken place with your website issue which you surely want to start by checking the tags like Meta Descriptions, Title Tags, Meta Robots Tags, Canonical Tags, Hreflang Tags, Alt Text on Images, and Structured Data as well.

Further, you are required to check:

 

Robots.txt

 

If you are having an m-dot version site then you are definitely required to check whether the robots.txt sub-domain has any kind of different rules for this file or not. And for doing this instantly, here you can directly type yourwebsitename.com/robots.txt and m.yourwebsitename.com/robots.txt in the address bar and then analyze the difference between the two links. If it seems difficult to you then simply copy and paste both these URLs into any of the text Text Comparison Tool.

Moreover, you will also want to perfectly crawl your other website elements like JavaScript, CSS, and images as well.

 

Speed: 

 

Based on the mobile version of your site, Google will autonomously calculate your Page speed. And for manually checking the speed of your webpage, you can directly go to the Further, various sites are using the same kind of menu options in the mobile version which they earlier were using in the desktop version. All these things could certainly affect your website ranking because they might update the Google Page Rank algorithm for your site.

 

Conclusion: 

 

So, from all the above discussion, here we truly wish that your website version is already switched for mobile-first indexing where you don’t have to take stress regarding the upcoming mandatory ranking and indexing updates by Google. If unfortunately your site is not yet switched for the mobile indexing then you definitely need to be concerned about this and start preparing now for the same while the time is still in your hands. Mobile has become the new normal for people and for that you need to make sure your sites are available on the mobiles.