This isn’t exactly the topic I wanted to jump-start my blogging efforts. It’s a little embarrassing to admit that I accidentally deleted my Google Plus account this morning, at 11:48 am to be exact. There is little to no information available about how or even if you can restore an account. Writing about it seems like a good way to help others learn from my mistake.
“How did I manage to delete my Google Plus account” you ask?
Here’s what happened.
Over the weekend I spoke at a conference for a group of freelance writers, my topic was Google+ and Google Authorship. The presentation went well and I walked away even more excited about Google Plus. In the spirit of trying to have the best presence possible I decided to finally delete the duplicate profile that I’d set up many moons ago.
This morning I signed into Google and found the old profile, I carefully switched back and forth between the settings page to make sure I deleted the correct page. From the settings page of profile I wanted to remove, I clicked on delete and checked the box that said I understood it couldn’t be undone.
What I didn’t stop to think about was that the two profiles have separate login’s. So, since I was logged into my main account that’s the one I deleted. I don’t really understand why I could access the settings for the secondary account while signed into my main account, but apparently they were linked together in some way.
You can imagine my surprise when I clicked on my Google Plus bookmark and didn’t go to my Home stream, instead I landed on an empty shell of my about page.
Looks promising, right? It looks like it might be as easy as going to the password-assistance page and completing a few steps.
I poked around a bit more and discovered which action to take once I get to the page and I found this page.
So I followed the instructions (several times).
First I selection the option “I don’t know my password” and entered in my email address.
Filled out the captcha code to verify I’m a real person.
Entered in the last password I remembered:
Selected “I can access my phone or back up options.” If you haven’t set up the two step verification process yet, now is a great time to do it.
Next I followed the password reset instructions and created a new password.
I thought the next step would be some sort of form that I would have to fill out, verifying my identity and that my intent is to recover the account. Instead it was a page entitled “Account recovery options” so I re-saved my verification details.
As of write now, the url for my profile page https://profiles.google.com/u/0/+BethBrowning/about – resolves to a nasty 404 error page, because it no longer exists.
Although it’s strange because according to Mark Vang.
The spirit of Beth’s profile lingers on….
“If I click on Beth’s image in one of the circles she’s in, I can open her old profile. If you look closely, it’s just the About section and when I refresh the page, it resolves to a 404 error.
It’s like the spirit of Beth’s profile is lingering in some digital netherworld.
Does anyone know a digital medium? Perhaps we can hold a virtual séance and try to communicate with her profile… Step away from the light Beth’s profile! Step away from the light!!“
I’m devastated. All of my posts, pictures, circles, Google Authorship verification, and whatever authority I’d built in the past year has disappeared.
So far, gmail, AdWords, Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Google Drive all seem to be in tact. I sure hope the Google hamsters don’t run extra hard overnight and delete all of that as well.
In a Hail Mary move I sent a letter outlining my debacle to the Google office in Pittsburgh. More than likely it’s a wasted $27 to send it overnight, but hey – one never knows.
I’ll keep you posted and in the meantime you can find me here.
Word to the wise – if you have multiple Google Plus profiles and want to remove one, be sure you are signed into that account when you click delete.
Click here to learn about Google Plus training.