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Google+ Shutting Down in April—Save Your Data!

author image Written by: Lia           Categories - In The News

Social Service Set to Close Following Low Usage, Data Breaches—Here’s How to Save Your Data

Late last year, Google finally announced what many have been suspecting for some time: Google+, the company’s attempt at launching a social media platform, is shutting down on April 2. Now, they’re offering users ways to save their data from the platform before it gets deleted. This closure comes after security flaws exposed 500,000 users’ data to third-party app developers in October of 2018. At that point, Google announced an August 2019 sunset date, but another flaw (found in December of 2018) in the Google+ API wound up leaving the data of nearly 52.5 million users vulnerable. Following that, Google sped up the timeline of the closure and deletion of Google+. Since February of this year, users haven’t been able to create new consumer Google+ accounts. Community, pages, and event post functions also no longer work. Google plans on gradually deleting all content from consumer Google+ pages following the April 2 closure. Positioned as an alternative to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Google+ never quite took off the way other platforms did. Google’s latest post discussing the platform’s closure mentions low usage and “challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations” as reasons for the closure. Google also cautions that, following the service’s closure, some Google+ data may still be visible to G Suite users until consumer Google+ is fully deleted.

Saving Your Google+ Data

If you’re looking to save your Google+ data, now’s the time to do it. Google’s offering users a few options for saving some or all of their Google+ data. Their support page provides users with ways to download all or specific portions of their data from the platform. This is important if you’re looking to save photos, posts, communities, and events pages. You can even download Google+ data for an account that you’ve previously deleted. Users can download the following types of data:

  • Google+ stream (including posts, photos, events, and other content)
  • Google+ circles (including names, nicknames, display names, and profile URLs)
  • Communities pages (including names, URLs for Google+ profiles of community owners/moderators/members/banned members, links to shared posts, community metadata, and community images)
  • +1’d content on external sites (links to articles, blog posts, and other content +1’d by users)

Check out the support page for Google+ data downloads to get started.

Lia

Google Updates Its Guidelines for Search Quality Raters

10/20/2021

Google has finally updated its Search Quality Raters guidelines this week after a year without any updates.

For those who are unfamiliar, Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines offer insight into how Google assesses the quality of online content.

The last update took place on October 14, 2020, and was 175 pages. The latest update saw three of those pages removed, reducing the document to 172 pages. However, according to Search Engine Round Table, 3,635 changes were made – 807 replacements, 812 insertions, and 356 deletions.

Here is a quick summary of what was changed:

  • The definition of the YMYL subcategory ‘Groups of people’ has been expanded

  • Direction on how to research reputation information for websites and content creators has been revised

  • The ‘Lowest Page Quality’ section has been restructured, updated, reorganized, and refreshed

  • The definition of ‘Upsetting-Offensive’ has been simplified and redundancy in the Lowest Page Quality section has been removed

  • Other minor changes have been made throughout the document, such as updated screenshots and URLs, wording, and examples for consistency removed outdated examples and fixed typos.

Here’s what the ‘Groups of people’ section looks like now: 

“Information about or claims related to groups of people, including but not limited to those grouped on the basis of age, caste, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, immigration status, nationality, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, victims of a major violent event and their kin, or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.”

Along with reporting from Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table, SEO consultant Glenn Gabe also took to Twitter to share some of his insights on the new document.

Check it out below:

 

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Google Caps off Volatile Week With Another Algorithm Update

10/08/2021

What in the world is going on with the internet this week? It was only Monday that we reported that Google had rolled out a massive unconfirmed update, and the following day, Facebook experienced a colossal outage affecting billions of people around the world. Now, Search Engine Round Table is reporting yet ANOTHER unconfirmed update appears to be happening. And yes, this all happened in the span of a week. What a wild ride it’s been. 

While this latest update doesn’t appear to be as big as the one that took place last weekend, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table is reporting that tracking tools seem to show that an update began rolling out on October 6th, peaked on October 7th, and is now starting to slow down.

This time around, there is way more industry chatter going on in the SEO forums. Here are some interesting snippets posted in WebmasterWorld around October 6th:

“Seeing a return of the drop in USA traffic in the middle part of the day again. Starts in the morning and traffic remains very low for hours. Back to the old June patterns…”

“For me traffic has fallen off the cliff edge today with hardly any multiple page view visitors.

Over the last few weeks I have also seen many, many visits by Singapore, Huawei Clouds.” 

“Yesterday was my worst traffic day in years. Gulp!” 

“All competitors I am tracking are down today with only one exception, me lol I am in the same position as I was yesterday but the biggest volume keywords were targeted and pushed down the serps. Some low volume keywords improved. The algorithms constantly target high volume keywords.”

Tracking tools aren’t showing a ton of volatility, mostly just a shift in the Google search results. Overall, things look pretty calm compared to the update last weekend. Still, we’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Check out the screenshots posted by Search Engine Round Table:

Semrush:

SEM Rush tracking 

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitive SEO report

SERPmetrics:

SERP Metrics report

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