How to Manage, Delete, and Merge Google Accounts
Duplicate or redundant Google+ pages can be difficult to remove. They often conflict with your brand to do not properly represent your business. Luckily, there are ways to deal with them.
The following guide is updated for Fall 2016*. While a number of articles already exist covering this topic, Google's procedures, support pages and other guides quickly become outdated as we have learned the hard way. Learn how to take charge of your brand's presence on Google+.
Start with Google My Business
The first thing you will want to do (if you have not done so already) is to create, and get verified, a Google My Business account. Follow the steps on Google's My Business support page to get started.
Google+ Profile Vs. Page
There are two types of Google+ pages; Personal Profiles and Business Pages. A Google+ Profile page is like your personal Facebook profile. You post as yourself, not your brand. Don't get that confused with a Business page which typically has a Google Maps listing associated.
In the past, businesses would create a Google+ Profile page and style it according to the brand. This type of page is not optimal for business use. If you have previously created a Profile page and now have set up a Business page, you will want to remove the Profile page. See more below.
Google+ Page Ownership
In order to take actions on a Google+ page, whether it be a Profile or Business page, you will need to have ownership of it. You can easily determine if you have Business page ownership by visiting the Google My Business Dashboard. Once logged in, a list of locations you manage will be listed.
Sometimes a Google+ Business page may exist that you did not create or do not have access to. Don't worry; there are steps you can take to gain ownership of it or have it removed. See more below.
Shutting Down a Profile Page
If you have a Profile and a Business page for your company and have ownership of both, you can shut down the Profile page easily. If your Profile page has a YouTube account associated, the YouTube account will not be deleted, and you can still use it. To remove a Profile page you manage, do the following:
- Log into Google+ using the profile associated with your Profile page.
- In the top left, you will see the navigation icon (three horizontal lines). From there go to Settings.
- Scroll all the way to the bottom; you will see a Delete Page option.
- Make sure this is the course of action you wish to take. Once deleted, it may not be recovered.
Contact Google My Business for Support
If you do not have ownership of a Profile or Business page that needs to be removed, Google My Business phone support can help. Yes, they have phone support! Start by visiting the Google My Business Help page and make sure you are logged in. In the upper right of the page, you will see a link labelled 'Need More Help?'.
Choose the 'Ownership or access to my business' option, then 'Other problem', finally click the FIRST 'business accounts' link. Scroll a bit down the page and you will see a 'Request a call' option. Input your contact details and a Google My Business support rep will call you.
When speaking with the support rep, let them know you are trying to gain ownership to or requesting removal of a Google+ page that impersonates your business. They will need the Google+ URLs of these pages. In most cases, the support rep will advise you to fill out a form that requests this formally. When submitted, Google will contact the owners of these accounts and request that they transfer ownership to you.
In some cases, the owners may not respond. If this is the case for you, call Google again after 7 days. They will now be able to manually remove these pages.
Important note regarding the form submission noted above: you must be logged into a Google account that has verified ownership of your true Business page. Pay special attention to the form fields and what kind of information they are requesting. Only submit information that matches that of they verified Google+ Business page.
- Google My Business Dashboard
- Google My Business Help
- Creating a Google My Business Account
- Transferring ownership of locations to a business account
Did this work for you? Do you have other questions? I'd love to hear from you. Use the comments section below and tell me your story!
* The pages and links noted in this article are current as of September 2016. Google often updates their support page, procedures and policies. The above may quickly become dated or invalid. Please be aware of this if you are reading this in the far future. Cheerio!