Despite Google+ being one of the top social networks, it’s still relatively new.
The standard functionality you would expect is working well and looks good, yet digging deeper into the network will uncover holes that haven’t yet been plugged.
This article is not a dig about Google+, it’s aim is first explain how to change your email address on your Google+ account, and then highlight some of the problems that could occur as a result.
Changing your Google+ email address
Unfortunately you can’t directly change your main email address for Google+, but you can transfer all the circles over to a different account – so a long winded change instead of a quick option.
Transferring your Google+ account will move all the people who have circled you, over to your existing account, but it will not transfer any content (including profile information).
#1 – Create a Google+ account with the email you would like to use
To be able to transfer your existing Google+ account, you need an account to transfer it into, so make sure one exists.
This account MUST have the same name otherwise it will not let you.
I’d suggest filling your profile details and picture before continuing as you might find users uncircling you if you don’t have a picture.
#2 – Sign into your original Google+ profile and go to Google Takeout
Google Takeout is a tool (provided by Google) that allows you to export all of your data, but you can also migrate your circles from within this tool.
#3 – Click ‘Create an archive’
#4 – Click the transfer icon next to Google+ Circles
#5 – Enter in the email address for the account you would like to migrate into and click ‘Sign in to this account’
#6 – Sign into your new account
You may need to click the “manage accounts on this device” link, then add account before you can sign in.
#7 – Click ‘Transfer’
Once you’ve clicked transfer, there will be a notification on your Google+ account for 7 days saying the account will be transferred.
After those 7 days, it can take a further 3 for the transfer to complete. During which, you will have reduced functionality on Google+.
Problems with migrating a Google+ account
As if changing your email address, and migrating your circles to a new account wasn’t hard enough, there are some more hurdles you will have to cross.
Your content will not transfer
Throughout the transfer process, it does warn that your content will not transfer. It will remain on the old account, however your new account will be starting fresh.
This could be a bonus if you’re looking to move away from bad content, but a negative if all you wanted to do was change an email address.
Your vanity URL will not transfer
If (like me) you set the vanity URL for your old account, you will no longer be able to use this URL. It will not transfer and they do not currently provide a means of changing it.
If you set up a gplus.to link, then you can’t update that either as they do not provide that functionality.
You will lose your Google Authorship
Any websites that link to your profile to show your face in the search results will no longer work.
You will need to update any websites that should link to you with your new profile ID number and then wait a while before it starts to show your face again.
This is a pretty big negative if you have authorship. I lost approximately 20% of search engine traffic as a direct result of losing the face next to the search results.
The top and bottom of it
If you can avoid changing your email address, or migrating your circles in a new account, then do. If you HAVE to move your account, then good luck!