HELP! I have too many Google Accounts (and some are duplicates!)
Realizing how important connecting your business to all of the various social media options that Google has (Google+, Google Local, YouTube) is something that many small businesses are finally coming to grips with. You may not know a single person who has ever logged onto Google+, but that means nothing. Google is logged into Google Plus, and if there is a good way to feed the beast more information on your company in order to get a higher search ranking, or to present more information on you during search results, then by golly – it’s worth all of the time in the world.
NOTE: I say that because untangling multiple Google accounts and streamlining them into one place is definitely requires mental gymnastics (and can be a serious time suck).
So, let’s say you’re finally turning your attention to how your Google accounts look. Like many people you may find you have multiple Google Accounts. Whether you didn’t streamline them all with one email address (which could easily happen if you have one person uploading to a Google account and another managing your Google Local) – or if like most businesses you have taken a “set it and forget it” approach and set these accounts up, but never checked them or updated them and managed to do them all under different email addresses.
Because Google values quality over quantity – it is a good idea to streamline all of these accounts under one email and make sure that Google has verified them and linked them to your website. How best to do this?
We’re going to call each of Google’s social media accounts a silo. So, Google+ is one silo, Google Local is another silo and YouTube yet another silo. While we had multiple emails across the board we also had multiple accounts in a few of these silos.
Many people may find this the case with their own businesses. This is because while you may have set up a Google+ account for your business. If you had a Google Local account that was not linked to it Google, in their infinite wisdom has likely set up a “phantom” Google+ account for you. We discovered this when we were uploading lots of info to our Google Plus account and yet when Google pulled up Google+ information for us and we went to that account – none of it was there!
No problem. Just erase one, and use the other. Right? Yes, but before erasing anything you need to evaluate which account is more valuable. In our case the Google Local account had 21 very positive reviews linked to it. We didn’t want to touch that, but the Google Plus account linked to it had NO followers. Our other Google+ account had a much higher number. In order to ensure that we ended up with only the accounts of value, we did the following:
Steps for cleaning up duplicate Google Plus Pages
- Both of our duplicate pages had the same business name. This was very confusing. To circumvent any confusion, we uploaded two different photos for the circular icon logo in the Google+ account (which is what Google uses to show you which account you are toggling back and forth to).
- We added the email address for the Google Local account as a manager for the Google+ page. (You can add/delete page managers if you are in Google Local and you click on the Settings button – which is a gear icon, and then pick the MANAGERS tab).
- IMPORTANT: Make sure once you invite the other account to become a manager you log into that email and ACCEPT the invitation.
- Then begins a 2-week wait time before you can transfer ownership.
- After 2 weeks log back in to the NEW account and terminate the OLD account manager and take ownership of the account
- With both Google+ pages under the same email account as your valuable Google Local (remember- the one with the 21 reviews!) you can get rid of the Google+ account that you do not want, and there is the least amount of confusion and possibility of erasing the wrong account.
For us, it didn’t end here. We had our most valuable YouTube channel (the most viewers, and the one that we had set up and branded with graphics and logos) under a different email account. We now wanted to bring this YouTube account in as the official YouTube account for our Google+ page. This way when someone clicks on the VIDEOS button on our Google+ page they will see all of our videos and we don’t have to manage them in more than one place.
Also, and perhaps way more importantly, Google is able to see and identify that we do web marketing videos, and in addition to that we have now linked all of that information (including the reviews that discuss the web videos that our clients have loved) we are just giving Google more access to what we do to make it easier for them to deliver us in searches.
Steps to Link Your YouTube Account to your Google Plus Account
This is actually pretty easy. At first, we tried switching the email from one to the other. That didn’t work. YouTube told us that there was already an existing account for Google products under that name.
We didn’t want to lose the power of our YouTube page, so instead we followed similar steps to the ones that we used to change the Google+ page.
- We added the correct email (the one we used for the streamlined Google+/Google Local account) address as an additional manager
- We waited the requisite 2 weeks
- We transferred ownership to that manager
- We logged into YOUTUBE and clicked on YOUTUTBE Settings
- There you can link your Google+ page to a YOUTUBE account.
- Disconnect the account it is connected to now (if there is one)
- Connect the right account.
For your last step make sure that Google can “verify” as much of your information as possible. This means:
1. VERIFY your address in Google Local (Google will prompt you to do this with a bar across the top of the page)
2. VERIFY your website with your Google+ account (Google will give you a code to place on your site that will link it to your account)
NOTE: There were times during this process that Google became battle weary. Their system does not always like rapid logging in and out of accounts, and transferring profile settings. There were a few times where the pages would load to errors. There were times when the pages just wouldn’t do anything more than show up completely blank. Each time we logged out for the rest of the day and went on to do something else. By morning the accounts were right as we left them and we were able to move forward.