Google Plus is driving conversions, but we don’t mean just of the customer type!
Recently, we spent about 3 hours mapping out Google properties with one of our clients on some Google Plus Pages (at least we thought they were Pages). Specifically, this client had created multiple Pages for the same local business before we began working with them. Some of these Pages had Reviews that they wanted to keep, and some of them did not. However, Google had chosen to hide the “important” Pages in favor of the others, and our client wanted us to fix the issue. It was a mess to say the least, in part because each of these listings had created a separate YouTube account and, you guessed it, the primary YouTube account was linked to a less-important Page.
If you’ve ever tried to “fix” a Google+ issue, you know that it can be quite the challenge. At the end of the day, we opted to just delete all of the properties with a plan to start all over.
Here’s the bad news:
When you delete a Google Pages account and the corresponding email, you cannot get it back in most cases. Attached to it may or may not be a YouTube account as well. Any reviews, photos, videos, recorded Hangouts, etc. will be lost if you delete the account.
Here’s the good news:
Google is undertaking a massive effort to move up all of the old “Local Places” to the Google Plus “Pages” layout. (This was supposed to have happened some time ago, but in fact, it’s just now happening for some businesses.) During this conversion process, duplicate listings are being generated, and as a result, Google has to be a bit more flexible with the recovery and consolidation process for businesses. Now don’t get too excited. “Merging” was not a term that they used. But in the case of our client, they were able to get on the phone with Google, recover the deleted Pages AND simultaneously create a single, converted Google Plus Page.
Fast forward several days, and imagine my surprise when I logged in to my own Google Pages dashboard only to find duplicate Pages for Polka Dot Impressions. I know I had created only one, so I was perplexed. I quickly hopped on the phone with Google and had the same experience that my client did – quick resolution to the duplicate Pages issue. It was explained that it was my “turn” to have my Places Listing moved up to a Plus Page, but since I had already done this, it was a simple process of deleting the duplicate “new” Page.
Why this matters:
If you find that you end up with two (or more) Google Pages, your future Reviews and user searches for your business will be inaccurate. Google may deliver up the false Page that you don’t even know you have, and it will appear to prospects that your business isn’t legitimate, or at the very least, isn’t open any more.
What you should do:
Log into your Google Plus Pages dashboard to verify your business is there, and only once. (This will also help you ensure that you are the owner of your own Google Plus Page!)
- Go to http://www.google.com and sign in to your Google+ account.
- On the left-hand side, hover over “Home” until the pop up menu appears. When it does, select “Pages.”
- When Pages opens, look for your business. There should only be one Google Plus Page for your business. If you have had a Local Places listing in the past, you may see more than one. If that happens, you can delete the “new” one by clicking on “Manage this Page,” “Edit business information,” and scrolling to the bottom to “Delete Page.” Follow the prompts which will ask you to acknowledge the severity of what you’re doing, and complete the deletion process.
- However, if you only see one Page, but you have had a Places listing in the past, you may want to check this dashboard regularly until your turn to move up to Pages comes around. When it does, take the appropriate steps to remove any duplicate listings.
- Note this, however. If you find complications like our client did, do NOT arbitrarily delete any of your Google properties right away. In circumstances like these, it is best to talk to a rep at Google before you take any action. The even better news is that right now, they’re answering the phone!