Recently, a Wall Street Journal posted an article claiming that Google accidentaly exposed private information of hundreds of thousands Google+ users over the course of last three years. Google found out about the security breach in March 2018 and quickly fixed the bug, but they kept silent about the issue.
Google+ was created back in 2011 as a social media network that should challenge Facebook and Twitter but never managed to grab any bigger attention. Many of Google or Gmail users don’t even know they have their Google+ account and their Google+ page since these are probably given by default. Some probably tried using once or twice and that’s about it but alot of users never actually used Google+ (including me).
Google is now thinking of shutting the service down but the exact date when the service will stop to work and exist is still unknown.
How to check if you have Google+ account?
Here’s a simple way how to determine if you have Google+ account: go to Gmail and at the right side of the screen click on icon next to a bell (probably with your picture/avatar) and you’ll see a window like this with a link to your Google+ profile.
How to check if you already have Google+ account?
How to close your Google+ page and with all data stored?
Apparently, sooner or later, Google+ will stop to exist. If you don’t use it and don’t plan to use it you can simply remove your Google+ account by following these simple instructions.
- Clicking on that Google+ Profile link like on a picture above will take you to your Google+ page. If you haven’t used it at all, it should look like this.
Typical Google+ page
- Here are a simple steps that will safely remove your Google+ page. While on your Google+ page, click Settings (as shown on the image above). Then on the settings page scroll all the way down to the and of the page and there you’ll have Delete your Google+ profile link:
Scroll down and find Delete your Google+ Profile link
- Clicking on that link will ask you once again to login to your Google account to confirm your identity and after a login you’ll see a page like this:
Confirm the removal your Google+ profile
- This page will contain all the information you need to know about removing your Google+ profile so read it carefully. If you agree with everything written there tick these two boxes and click Delete. Note that deleting of your Google+ profile can’t be undone so once you delete it – it’s gone for good! Also, removing your Google+ profile has nothing to do with your Google or Gmail account. These are totally different things and it won’t affect your Google or Gmail account.
- Once you have pressed the Delete button your Google+ account is gone! The page that follows is an optional survey where you can leave a feedback about why have you decided to remove your Google+ account.
Optional survey about reasons for deleting Google+ account
If you have followed the instructions above you now no longer have a Google+ account. Go back to your Gmail, give it a refresh and you’ll be able to see that your Google+ Profile link is now gone:
Google+ account removed
Also, if you try to load your Google+ profile page in your browser you’ll reach a 404 page, meaning that your Google+ page no longer exist:
Google+ Profile page removed
While I was working on my referral traffic spam article today, I have noticed one more form of spam in my Google Analytics statistics. It’s called a language spam and in this case it had something to do with Trump LOL.
Here’s the language spam volume:
When I filter it by country I can again see that these bots are coming from Russia (same as with referral spam). Now, apparently, someone from Russia (actually the guy behind this is Vitaly Popov, a well-known Analytics spammer) wants me to open this url: secret.ɢoogle.com and to vote for Donald Trump ?!?!? Mind blowing, really… As, you can clearly see that it’s again multi-byte domain, and that the letter G is multi-byte letter, and that it’s clearly a fake url/domain so don’t open it!
This spam actually just hits your Google Analytics, and no bot traffic is sent to your site, so all you need to do is to simply filter out these fake languages. To make things perfectly clear this kind of spam can’t harm your SEO or Rankings because there are no real backlinks or traffic to your site and Google also deosn’t use data from your Google Analytics for website ranking. The only one this spam is affecting is you! You are the only one who can see it while you’re checking your Google Analytics, and you should block it so your statistics are accurate and you can make some good decisions based on them.
Here’s the best way how to block the language spam: go to Google Analytics, and click Admin. Now under your account click All Filters:
and then click on Add filter and make a filter like this (follow my arrows from top to bottom of the picture):
- Filter Name: write something descriptive so you know what’s this filter for: blocks language spam is a good name
- Filter Type: pick Custom
- Filter Field: search for and pick Language Settings
- Filter Pattern: enter \.
- Apply Filter to Views: select views that you want to apply this filter on and click Add (moves them from left to right into selected views list)
- Click Save
That’s it! You have created a filter that will discard any language containing a dot (basically a domain name). This should remove your language spam from future Google Analytics stats.
However if you would like to filter current data and see the correct stats without the language spam hits you’ll have to create a new segment like this: on just about any report in Google Analytics click on +Add Segment:
and now click on red button +New Segment:
Now enter some meaningful name, for the language pick does not contain and just add a single dot in the filed right to it and press save above:
Here you can see the result of this filter with before and after charts:
This way you can filter data on any report. Just click add segment and search for the new segment we created (so it’s important to add a meaningful name to the segment so you can easily locate it anytime you need it).