Google may have dropped their social child Google+ as a requirement to access their services, but that doesn’t mean that you should totally forsake it. First, the not-so-popular social network is still good for a multitude of things, and just because YouTube users don’t like it, doesn’t mean that you should get rid of it. The tech giant plans on keeping its ill-fated network, and it is in the process of being rebranded, or so it has been hinted at in recent interviews with Google’s reps. Either way, it is no time to give up.

What happened?

Before the change, Google+ had been mandatory to use any other services, including things like YouTube, Gmail, and everything else that the company offers (which is pretty much everything). This was much to the chagrin of users, who felt like they were being burdened unfairly with something they didn’t want. On top of that, social networks like Facebook and Twitter were just far too cemented in people’s daily lives to pry them away. No matter why the network didn’t live up to hype, what’s clear is that the majority of people didn’t want it.

What’s next?

What is still clear is that Google + business pages will still be a great tool for your business. Being able to be indexed quickly, appear in the results with your hours of operation and other info, and being able to post photos are still invaluable tools. The most likely direction for the network is to focus in on services they provide like streaming and photographs. If there is anything that we’ve learned, it is not to underestimate Google.

Why you should stick with it

Even though it will not be a mandatory service, Google+ will still have a dedicated pool of users. Aside from the direct search result benefits mentioned above, you will still be able to reach out to a large group of people. Personalized search is also part of the social network, which means that if you are followed by a certain person, your posts will show up higher in the rankings. If they +1 your page, then all of their friends will see it, etc. And lastly, don’t underestimate the power of pictures. Users on this network love them. Posting beautiful photos of your business and employees will help build a connection, and get you seen by thousands of people.

Google + may be out as a mandatory prerequisite for services, but that doesn’t mean that you should forsake it completely. For one, nobody should ever underestimate the kings of the online world – they always have something up their sleeves. We expect them to take a look at the data, and tailor the network to fit the needs of their user base specifically. The search engine and networking benefits of a page make keeping your account active a must. Google + isn’t gone, it’s just different now.