Google seems to have made some changes to the process of account creation. Earlier it was quite simple to have Google accounts as all one had to do is sign up with any kind of email address and provide some basic information about the demographic.
But now, in order to have an account in Google one must have a Gmail as well as Google+ account. This new feature made by Google is really not user-friendly. Still if one has to have an account they can simply create a fake G+ account and stay away from using it. This way the problem gets solved. But is it really required for people to use YouTube or Google Docs?
If asked Google will definitely reply that it a step taken the company to integrate all its services but usually a part of the Google's services are inter-related. This seem to be like a step taken by the company to boost the number of users in the social network.
Some of the company's services have not even updated their account creation pages. The people who are not interested in the social network will be literally forced to join it and this is a problem as they can get confused and bothered about the constant notifications and circles that appear.
Also note that when you are signing into Google+, the sign up page does not state that you are joining Google+ explicitly but generally Google though you want to join the social network.
Now you might be wondering why the search engine giant has come up with such a clumsy and user-friendly solution. It could have simply asked the users to create an account in the social network rather than forcing them to do so.