We were recently approached by a client to optimize a Google Plus page for their business account. Great! This is an underutilized social platform that has solid marketing potential for them. We took a close look to make recommendations and we were surprised to find not one, but FIVE Google Plus page business listings associated with their company. If you are in a similar situation with your business, learn how it happens and how to fix it from our experience.
The Google Plus and YouTube Mess
Like a number of our clients, I was caught off-guard about a year ago when YouTube mandated you make a split-second decision to connect your channel to your Google Plus account. Skeptical, I opted NOT to do this. I now regret it, because the result is that I have two YouTube channels. This doesn't seem to do anyone any good. One YouTube account is separate from my Google Plus account and one is connected. For Google Plus business pages, there are other reasons why a YouTube page may not be connected to a Google Plus page. Many companies set up their YouTube accounts before anyone was really active on Google Plus and in some cases they used a personal Gmail account to do so. If they decided to create a Google Plus account for an existing YouTube Channel, when judgement day came, Google thought that G+ account was a person, not a business. Meanwhile, Google Maps was doing a fine job of automatically creating Google Places (now Google My Business) -- or in essence another Google Plus page listing. Unless you were careful, chances are you ended up with one *or more* Google Plus page listings.
First Clean Up Your Google Plus Page
Back to our client with five incorrect Google Plus page business listings...The initial challenge was that they didn't have control over their own Google Plus listing, which had been verified by a former agency or employee. The first step in the re-verification process takes a few days. Google sends an email to the person who supposedly ‘owned’ the listing and asks them to contact us. We were not surprised when this mystery person did not reach out to us. It took a few more emails to Google but after 42 days, our client controlled their own Google Plus page and account! The story does not end there, however, since we needed to delete four more mystery G+ accounts.
Delete Multiple Accounts
The next problem was that our client's YouTube channel was connected to one of the non-verified Google Plus pages. In an effort to fix this, I researched dozens of articles and the general consensus was that there was no way to transfer a YouTube channel from one Google Plus account to another. Period. This was a major bummer because they had a beautiful channel. I knew we could rebuild it if necessary, but also knew we wouldn't be able to find all of the videos. We would also lose the play counts and comments on all videos. However, after further research, I learned the general consensus was wrong!
Consolidate Your Content
I stumbled on a way to actually...TALK TO GOOGLE! I should have seen it before, but there is a little ‘contact us’ button, see their Help Page. In no time I was speaking with Josh, who was very helpful. While I had him on the phone I was able to pick his brain on several issues. He couldn't help with YouTube (it’s separate from Google My Business) but he did send me this link to a form to move a YouTube channel to another Google Plus page. I submitted this form and we had a reply less than twelve hours later. A few more emails after that and the YouTube channel was moved. All in all it took less than six days after I initially submitted the form. So let me repeat -- it is possible to move a YouTube channel from one Google Plus account to another.
It isn't always smooth sailing managing Google Plus pages for our clients. We understand if you are having trouble too, and we hope by sharing our experience you will also be successful. In this day and age of technology, it was great to find a way to speak with an actual human at one of the largest Internet companies on the planet.