I have received a copy of a post made to Google Photographers’ forum. This was also recently posted at Linda’s forum:
Dear photographers and agencies,
In the past few months, you may have seen some changes in the look of Google+ pages that have been associated with Google My Business (GMB) accounts. These changes, including how we treat business pages without owners, are part of Google’s ongoing effort to simplify people’s experience with our tools. We are constantly working to provide only valuable and rich content to our users.
On July 28th, Google will begin shutting down those GMB–associated Google+ pages that have not been associated with user accounts and are also not verified. You may find that some of your Business View tours also sit on such pages, but note that after their removal of unverifiedGoogle+ pages, the Business View tours will still remain available on Google Maps and Google Search.
Essentially, it appears this means that if a page is verified it will also have a G+ Page and if it isn’t, its main presence will be through the Knowledge Graph in the main Serps or in Google Maps. It seems to me that this change was foreshadowed by the many recent minor changes we have seen with the inability to get to Plus from Maps, the removal of the Local search from Plus, the removal of the G+ Page link from search results that weren’t verified and the change of the name of the link on closed pages to Place.
Clearly this is a final step in separating local from Plus. Whether local will stay “debranded” or possibly take on a Local Finder essence beyond basic search and Map results isn’t clear. What is clear is that G+ and Google Local are no longer going to be bed partners.
As to what this means for G+, in my opinion not much. It appears to me that it is being lead down the path of sinking or swimming unaided by props from across Google.