Google officially announced late last week that they would be taking action, beginning during December, to delete Google accounts which have been inactive for two years or longer. The news originally went out as a notification to many Google accounts back in May of this year.
In order to avoid account deletion, users can simply log-in to their Google account and complete a Google search to show account activity. Of course, this is an action that must also be repeated two years in the future, to prevent the account from landing back on the deletion list.
What Information is Google?
Google announced that all inactive accounts of over two years will be deleted along with all of their contents. Contents being deleted by Google included but is not limited to:
- Calendar entries
- Much more…
How Do I Prevent My Account From Being Deleted?
To begin, Google has clarified which accounts will and will not be eligible for deletion. Any business or school accounts, WILL NOT be eligible for deletion. Additionally, any accounts which have uploaded a video to YouTube, have an active subscription or a monetary balance will also NOT be eligible for deletion. If your account is eligible for deletion (a personal account with no Youtube videos or active subscriptions which has been inactive for over 2 years) there are very simple actions which can be taken in order to remove your account from the deletion list. See some of the actions you are able to take below.
- Read or send an email
- Watch a video on Youtube
- Using Google search (while logged in to the account)
- Downloading an app from the Google Play Store
- Using Google Drive
How Could This Effect Small Businesses?
Small business owners have long had frustration with Google Business Profile’s review system. Many times, valid reviews are filtered as spam or fake while other reviews with no account history are immediately shown. This change to Google’s account policy could greatly effect review counts for small businesses across the country. We have not yet been able to confirm if Google reviews will, or will not, be deleted along with the Google account itself. At this point, it is our assumption that these reviews WILL be deleted when the account information is deleted. The reason for this suspicious is that all other account information is being deleted. While there may be a chance that reviews may be salvage, it is important to know this change may be coming to help account for fluctuations in total amount of reviews.
What Should I Do to Prepare?
There are two main actions which business owners should be taking in preparation for this upcoming change by Google. The first, and most important, is to log in to all of your business’s related Google accounts. While Google will not be deleting business accounts, many small businesses utilize personal Google accounts for business purposes. To avoid massive headaches, make sure all of your Google accounts have activity over the past 2 years.
The second action which should be taken by small business owners, if it has not already been done, is to start a reputation management program. Reputation management is a fancy way to say getting more quality reviews for your business! In order to mitigate the impact of any deleted reviews to their Google Business Profile, businesses should focus on constantly adding new positive reviews to help offset those. There are a number of ways which reputation management can be executed. Whether it be by software, or manually completed, it is absolutely crucial to ensuring businesses have a firm grasp of their reputation online. Of course, there are a number of ways that you can help your reputation management program by building in review generation to your operational procedures.
Have more questions about Google’s upcoming account deletion, or reputation management? Contact Results Guaranteed Digital Marketing today and speak with Michael about what the biggest impacts to your business could be!