Google+ was long held as the frontrunner in a new age of links between social media marketing and traditional SEO. Since Google+ was the social media platform of choice backed by Google itself, it was reasonable to think that eventually, Google would favor Google+-based search results over any other type of social media result. However, in 2014, Google+ started seeing a series of changes that led many to question that prediction.
Google Authorship took a serious hit, with limited visibility for Google Authors on external pages. In April, the head of Google+ (Vic Gundotra) announced that he was leaving the company. Since Gundotra was a leader in pushing Google+ developments, many questioned how the social platform would fit into Google’s strategy moving forward.
Ultimately, Google+ became something closer to a platform, rather than a separate product, eliminating some lines of competition with powerhouses like Facebook and Twitter while keeping Google+ a usable entity. Social media marketers are still using Google+, to some degree, but search engine marketers are no longer viewing it as the significant platform they once projected.