If you are reading this post, you most likely are looking to transfer ownership of your Google+ account but haven’t begun the process just yet, or are unsure of where to begin. Or perhaps you are seeking information on why you may need to transfer ownership in the first place. Either way you are in luck, because this post will help you answer both of those questions!
Recently, I went through the process of transferring ownership of a Google+ Business account for a large company that had over 4,000 listings. In addition to transferring ownership, Seer helped the company grant Google+ access of their local listings to additional managers to help them better manage their accounts.
The difference between Google+ management access vs. ownership access
Each company has a unique goal for their local Google+ pages; however, the main business purpose is pretty unanimous - Google+ helps drive existing or potential customers to a brick-and-mortar store location. How can companies ensure that the content listed on their Google+ pages is accurate, up-to-date, and professional? (Not to mention in-line with Google’s ever-changing requirements) There isn’t a one fit-all solution; however, you can control your Google+ content by appointing the correct members of your team as the owner, manager, or community manager of the account.
There's one owner of a Google+ business page. The owner has access to sensitive information, such as password details, the ability to delete an account, and permission to add managers. Seer recommends registering the owner under an official company email account to ensure that the local listings remain with the business and is not linked to just one person. (Check out the transferring ownership section below for more details).
Managers, besides not having access to sensitive information, have access to almost all features on Google+, such as editing profile information and managing YouTube videos and hangouts on air. Managers can also post to customers, respond to reviews, and view insights (an analytics platform to monitor google+ engagement.) A great person to assign to the manager role would be a team member who organizes social media initiatives and local SEO efforts so they can easily assign community managers and quickly react to time-sensitive updates without the owner’s permission.
Community Managers can be thought of managers' supports, as they have the capabilities to post to customers, respond to reviews, and view insights - all while under the official profile icon and name of the company. Seer recommends assigning this role to a social media/ review manager to keep your brand tone consistent across all social media channels and to ensure customers’ comments are being addressed in a timely manner. Check out how to grant management access below.
Why should you transfer ownership of Google+ business page?
If either of the following is true, I would recommend transferring ownership of your local Google+ pages:
- Your brand name/company email address is changing
- If your brand name changes and the email addresses at your company are updated to match the brand name change, you may need to switch the email that manages your Google locations before your access to the old email account is shut down.
- The email account used to originally create and manage the listing is a personal email account.
- Setting employees’ personal email accounts or even their individual business emails as the Google+ account owner, can make it increasingly more difficult to update information or monitor pages if only one person can access Google+ local pages. By transferring the owner to a professional business email, for example, email@example.com, it is not only easier for your company team to manage the page but your Google+ page will appear as a more authoritative source to Google’s crawlers.
If you don’t want to fully transfer ownership, but would like to give an additional member of your team the ability to make business updates and monitor engagement on your business’ Google+ local pages - granting manager and community manager access is the better option for you.
For example, at Seer we have an owner of our Google+ page as well as a few managers. Instead of having to rely on one sole owner, by granting manager access to several team members, this ensures that important Seer information is getting updated and that users receive timely responses on Google+.
How to transfer ownership of multiple Google+ business pages
1. Identify the business email that you want to use to own all of the company listings and future new listings. For example: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you already have a business email, you can skip to step 2. However, if your company currently doesn’t have a business email that you want to use for Google+ listings, create your business email account here. Once landing on this page, fill out the required information as shown below.
In order to fully transfer listings to a new email account, it will need to be verified. You can verify this new business email account in two ways:
a. You can transfer ownership of an individual listing (see how to transfer ownership below) to this business email.
b. Create a new listing that is owned by this account. If you choose to go this route, you can find out more information on verification by following these steps or by contacting Google Support.
2. Before transferring ownership to a new person (or email address), you must first invite them as a manager. To do so, log into your Google+ account under the existing owner email. Then go to settings. Once in settings,click “managers.” You will be given the option to invite a new manager.
Add in the email address to make that new business email or person a manager.
3. Once the new person (who you assigned above) has been a manager for at least one full day, ownership can be transferred to them. After a day, log back into your Google+ account with the original owner email. Then go to settings and then click the managers tab. This is where you will be given the option to transfer ownership to them. By the image of the new manager you added, click the drop-down to the right, and then select “transfer ownership.” (If you assigned the new business email as manager (see step one a), it may be longer than a day until the account is verified. Once an account has been verified, you will follow these steps to grant them ownership.)
4. Once ownership is transferred, the new owner will receive notification by email.
How to transfer ownership of a single Google+ business page
1. Similar to transferring ownership for multiple locations, you first need to give management access to the person you want as the new owner. To do so, log into your Google+ account under the current owner email. Then go to settings. Once in settings,click on the managers tab. You will be given the option to invite a new manager.
2. Once this person has been a manager for 1 day, you can transfer ownership to them.
3. To transfer ownership, go to settings and navigate to the managers tab. Once you find the image the image of the account you wish to give ownership to, click on the drop-down to the right. Then select “Transfer ownership to.”
It’s just that simple!
Hopefully these steps make your Google+ business ownership transfer easier. Running into trouble while transferring ownership or need additional local SEO assistance? Leave a comment below!