Is Google+ REALLY a dead man walking?

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2014 has seen lots of predictions and lots of rumors for the IMC practitioners as a whole.  2012 saw the words ninja and guru thrown around, and 2013/2014 has been content marketing and storytelling. Brands as a whole realize mobile marketing needs to be a big focus for reaching customers, ranging from mobile optimized website to location-based advertising.  

 

2014 has also brought other rumors and one that had me dusting off one of my unused apps, Google+.  Google changed the algorithm and Google+ post were ranking high in Google search, only makes sense to leverage one of your services to promote the other.  Some believe that a link in a Google+ share isn’t treated like a regular web link.  While Google+ may not be the savior of SEO, it was being leveraged to help with those rankings.  Also many make fun the social network for being empty, but you will find niche groups on there and an excellent way to connect.  For example, I am on there with the HootSuite North American Ambassadors and love seeing posts daily from those in the group and the weekly reminders of #HSUChat on Twitter. 

 
Then three days ago, Vic Gundotra, head of social at Google and Google+, announced that it was time for a new journey and he’d be leaving Google.  Many people are saying Google+ has one foot in the grave or dead or in a coma.  According to TechCrunch, who is hearing from multiple sources is that Google+ will no longer be considered a product, but a platform — essentially ending its competition with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.  Meanwhile Google is denying this rumor and it will have no impact on the Google+ community and Google’s Larry Page has already named Google+ VP of engineering, Dave Bresbris to fill the top spot.
 
As IMC practitioners and students, we need to understand every social network and honestly I am shocked by those who aren’t using the Twitter still.  If nothing else, it is important to understand the use for business for the purpose of digital/ social media marketing.  Does Google+ have a place in your strategy or do you see it having a place in 2014 for content marketing and ranking?
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