Google Accounts Hell...p
That was one of the alternative titles that came to mind while composing this post. Today is the 3rd day I've tried to coordinate the various accounts and services I have gone to Google for. The main culprits in this post are Adwords, Gmail, Android and Google Apps for your group. But there is also Picasa, Google Buzz, Blogspot, Feedburner, YouTube, Google Maps, iGoogle, Custom Search, Calendar, Webmaster Tools, Voice, Mobile... Yes, I find all these Google tools pretty fab or I would not be using them, but there are some pitfalls to look out for that can waste a lot of time. Here I am -- the sky is blue, the weather is fair in Paris, the afternoon is fading, and I'm still in front of this computer...ugh. At this rate will I ever get outside or fulfill the long-held dream of organizing the sock drawer or winter clothes before winter arrives?
Who is this article for? Others who might try to get their Google offspring all playing together nicely. If you have no accounts with Google but intend to set some up, these tips might prevent headaches. (looks like I will be adding links to this article from now on...)
Google Accounts. https://www.google.com/accounts -- The mother of most of your Google services (but they might not necessarily have the same father).
TIP: You can create a Google Account in order to use many Google services.
Decide if you are, as my brilliant friend Larry Butcher said: "the kind of person who likes to take two things and put them together, or who likes to take one thing and pull it apart."
One account for everything or not? If it is better to keep your personal and business life apart create an account for each. Create the one you need now and don't use it for services that fall into the other domain. For example, say you create a business account for Adwords using your name and later you create a YouTube account for your goofy home videos. You may want one unified identity online, or you may want to limit your audiences. Do you feel compelled to try total transparency? If you are someone who behaves the same in front of your boss and your childhood friends in physical reality, sure, go for it in virtual reality.
My advice: better to divide and conquer with Google; entanglements are hard to break off.
Names. For two accounts, create your business account with your business name (unless your name is your brand; then use a nickname for the personal account). It is not recommended to take Google up on the invitation to create a Gmail account for your new Google account. For your business, use your business email like "firstname.lastname@example.org" to help you avoid this issue: Why is my Gmail username showing in my AdWords account?
If you create an Adwords account, or are invited to login to someone else's, Google will warn you that you must have a Google Account to login. Many people make the mistake of thinking a Google Account means a Gmail account. This is NOT true. You can login with the business email for the Google Account you created above.
TIP: if you already have an Adwords account, or ever did, even in a past life, the email you used with it can not be associated with any other Adwords account. Even if you closed the Adwords account, even if you did not create it but some friend who is out of business and retired to Tahiti just put your name on it as a user, it will never give up hoping you might come back someday and it will never release your email. If your primary email is trapped in a co-dependent relationship with Adwords, my advice is to create a forwarding only email for the new connection that describes what it is, like "email@example.com". In the Adwords > forum > lost souls topic, you can see "adwords 2, 3, 4..." and "adwords-delete-me@" to overcome this.
DANGER, DANGER: If you have to use forwarding emails to deal with your split personality and the invitation email for your new Google account is forwarded to your main inbox, copy the acceptance link to another browser or you may inadvertently associate Adwords to the wrong email account. The next thing you know you will be creating "firstname.lastname@example.org".
Yay, I got an Android phone and I like it. In order to download Apps from the market, you have to use your... you guessed it, Google Account. I put in my main email and downloaded apps. My phone started beeping every 30 seconds. I had to clear the little envelope constantly. I had entered my main Account, duh! This account gets hundreds of emails a day. Now I'd done it. I suppose you could create filters and groups, but sometimes you don't want your main account on your phone. It can be next to impossible to remove or change your Google account without losing all your information and starting from scratch again. Here is help for anyone who has gone down the same path.
If you are a small business and use Google Apps to manage sharing documents, calendar and set up emails you might think the emails created in Google Apps would be recognized as Google Accounts but they are not. Even if you create a Google Accout with your Apps email, they are still not linked (at this writing). I was a little hesitant to make an email I created via Google Apps the arbiter of a Google Account that would manage financial transactions in Adwords simply because if I stop using Apps the email will go away. So, once again, using the Google Account you set up with your business email is the better choice.
Google lets you merge these accounts as of August, 2010, but with warnings.
Google's explanation of the difference between Accounts and Apps before the transition to allowing merging - Accounts Help http://ow.ly/2Ayt1
How merging Apps and Accounts works (a user's experience with good information)
Some additional helpful information about Google integration:
If you need to call for help, contact Hoi Moon marketing. We will consult, console, make you laugh and support you.