The tides. The seasons. The constantly-changing settings of our social media accounts. These are the forces of nature that cannot be controlled. As sure as spring follows winter, you know that just when you figure out your Facebook page layout and privacy settings, they’ll change again. Or that after signing a lease on a new office, you will finally receive Google’s snail-mail postcard to verify your business location.
Regardless of the social media platform, software updates and new functionality are unavoidable and usually good things.
Whether introducing a new feature or improving the UX, updates to our beloved social platforms typically make the experience better, even if the changes can be a little jarring at first. (Who remembers all the way back in 2012 when Facebook changed to the new-look pages?)
For many people, no recent update has been more confusing than the changes to Google accounts and services, including the forced connection between Google services like YouTube and Google+. While the most publicized aspect of this change was the elimination of anonymous YouTube comments, the related effect was that in order to post a new comment on YouTube, users first had to join Google+.
How you feel about this heavy-handed move by Google to increase use of Google+ is another discussion altogether, but for our purposes here, let’s assume you’re not protesting and just want to figure out how to properly set up all your (now-connected) Google services.
The most frequent problem we see from Room 214 clients is that many of them have inadvertently created multiple/duplicate Google accounts for each of the Google services they use. (e.g. one account for YouTube, a different one for Google+, yet another for Google Local, etc.) In the old days, having separate Google and YouTube accounts wasn’t a big deal as long as you didn’t mind remembering yet another password.
However, now with the close connection between YouTube and Google+, having un-linked accounts can diminish functionality (no Google Analytics) and have a negative impact on your search engine optimization (SEO). Unfortunately, when rolling out the changes, Google didn’t explain things very well and now users are left trying to sort out the confusion and feeling a little screwed by Google (aka scroogled).
So how do you properly connect YouTube and Google+ and avoid getting scroogled? The good news is that Google recently updated their support pages and now users can submit help tickets to YouTube to resolve many of the most common issues, such as re-connecting your YouTube brand channel to the correct Google+ brand page. We’ve recently completed this update for several different clients and the help form and process was really straightforward. After a couple of emails with the YouTube’s support team (yes, a real-life person you get to email with!) we’ve been able to un-scroogle even the most tangled up accounts.
When going through this process yourself, there are a few important things keep in mind and the list below should be a good start. If you’re still stumped or DIY isn’t for you, you can also always give Room 214 a call and we can help you assess how to best un-scroogle things.
Long story short, proper setup and structure of Google+ and YouTube are now vital to keeping order in the universe of connected Google services (the Google-verse) including Google search and YouTube search, the first and second-largest search engines on the planet. And sure, just like the ever-changing tides, Google will probably change something else again in the future, but by making these updates now, it means you’ll be better able to ride out the next storm of updates.
Google+ and YouTube Integration – Where to Start
Question #1: How do you want your Google services like YouTube and Google+ to work together? For example, are you an individual or are you a brand or company? The answer will help determine your ideal setup and Google has a nice self-assessment page you can check out
- To save you some reading, the quick answer is that if you’re brand, you’ll want YouTube connected to a Google+ page (brand page) rather than a Google+ profile (individual page). This enables better integration of functionality and also allows for multiple “managers” or admins that can make changes to your brand’s YouTube channel or Google+ page from their own Google account. This is similar to the way Facebook Pages have worked for years now, and is a godsend for anyone that manages multiple client accounts on YouTube and Google+.
- If you’re going the route of having a brand Google+ page with multiple “managers,” (which we recommend) make sure that the “owner” of the Google+ page is a person and/or email address that will always be around. For example, the “owner” could be a general company email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) rather than an individual employee who may not always be at the company. Since only the single “owner” of your Google+ page can add new “managers” this is definitely an important housekeeping tip. If you forget this step or need to transfer “ownership” of your Google+ page, that can still be done by logging in with the “owner’s” email address and transferring ownership to another Google user that has been a manager of your Google+ page for at least two weeks.
Question #2: Are you a brand with multiple brick and mortar locations? Are you setting up your Google+ pages for the first time? If yes, we highly recommend that you first build-out your Google Places for Business account, which allows you to claim multiple brick and mortar locations.
- The reason to start with Google Places for Business is that Google will also by default create a local Google+ page for each of your claimed brick and mortar locations.Depending on your business, this may be fine as it provides more autonomy to each location, but it’s
something to be aware of if you only want a single, company-wide Google+ page to be active. Google’s still working on this functionality too so stay tuned…