On March 24, 2014 I did the unthinkable. I deleted my Google plus profile. After trying everything I could think of to actually restore the Google Plus profile including sending a FedEx letter to Google, I resigned myself to the understanding that I was going to have to start over.
The Good News and the Bad News
The good news was that I had a profile already established, it happened to be the one I intended to delete but at least it was a place to start. My profile was in need of tender loving care and so my first step was to update my “about” section and fill it out completely with my story, work history, and contact information. The other good news is that the Google Plus network is full of awesome people who are willing to help.
The bad news was that the account I deleted had really started to build momentum. I had over 1600 followers, Google Plus was driving 15 to 20% of my website traffic. I was generating leads from my relationships,and seeing an increase in engagement with the content I was publishing.
Some of the fallout from deleting a Google Plus profile include the fact that a ghost profile seems to hang around for an undetermined amount of time. It turns out that all of the people you have circled are no longer associated with the profile but the profile remains in the circles of anyone who is followed you.
It’s a little annoying because that means people can still circle you and invite you to events and the worst part is that people who had me circled but aren’t aware of the fact that I deleted my profile just think I’ve dropped off the face of the earth. Slowly but surely I’m reconnecting with many of my friends associated with the profile I deleted.
There have been some other glitchy things associated with Google authorship but I think for the most part that sorted out now. For a while the headshot associated with my deleted profile was still showing up in search results but now the headshot with my active profile is displaying some of the time.
With the success I was beginning to experience, I knew there was no choice but to jump in and do whatever I could to rebuild my network as quickly as possible. It was really heartwarming to learn just how helpful the people are on Google Plus are. Many folks jumped to my assistance when they learned I had deleted my account, posted about my dilemma and help me jump-start rebuilding my network.
Rebuilding on Google Plus
On the day I deleted my Google Plus profile the account I was starting over with had seven followers today, May 27, I’ve grown my network to include 871 followers. In many ways the experience of deleting my profile has been a blessing in disguise because not only have I reconnected with the people I was already actively engaging with I know more about Google plus now and have been able to connect with people because of my dilemma that I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.
It took me over a year to build my connections to 1600 and change, but that year of experience put me in a position where I’ve been able to rebuild my network much faster than the first time around. I believe I will come out of the experience with an even stronger set of relationships and opportunities through the Google plus network.
One of the advantages I have this time around are the very real connections that I’ve made with people on Google Plus. Those relationships and everyone’s willingness to help me is playing a huge role in how quickly I’ve been able to rebuild.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or rebuilding as a result of a deleted profile the key to success is really simple. It’s very much like how we behave in our “real world.”
If someone walked into your store you would have a conversation with them you wouldn’t walk up to them and silently push a brochure in their face. Likewise on a social network you don’t want to constantly post the equivalent of a sales brochure. Social networks are a fantastic way to make real connections, build trust, and differentiate yourself from the competition.
If you’re not on Google Plus yet, I would really encourage you to reach out to someone you know that is actively participating in the network and get their insights. Many people think about Google Plus as though it’s just another social network, it’s really much more than that.
It’s Google’s way of verifying an individuals online identity. More importantly it’s a way for people to connect with other people in a very open and transparent way. When you think about it in our off-line world we naturally network, look for opportunities to do business with new people, and share our stories.
With so much business being conducted on the Internet it’s essential that we take our off-line behavior and transition it to online. Platforms such as Google Plus, Facebook, twitter, and all the rest provide the mechanism through which we can introduce ourselves and make connections with people who share similar interests and may be potential clients or customers.
So the title of this post is “How to recover if you delete your Google plus profile.” Unfortunately you really can’t recover your Google plus profile but you can recover your Google plus network which is really the important part.
Tips for Success on Google Plus
- Set up your personal profile – make it complete, compelling, and relevant
- Connect with others who share your interests – keyword searches can help you find people, communities, events
- Participate -be present and active in Communities, hangouts, and chats
- Focus on Building Quality Relationships -stay away from spammy followers – quality trumps quantity
- Share other people’s content – include commentary about why you found it helpful or interesting
- Give credits and acknowledgements – acknowledge the authors of the content you are sharing (if they are on Google Plus +mention them)
- Create and share valuable content -the quality of your content defines you and your brand
- Use Hash tags
- Be Yourself!
Side Note: Why Beth Hasn’t been Blogging
Since I was already in a position of rebuilding I decided I may as well take the opportunity to give my website and blog a face-lift as well. I made the mistake of taking the DIY approach to my website the first time around and learned a lot of painful (but valuable) lessons as a result. This time around I engaged the assistance of a professional who could create a truly responsive design and improve the navigation and overall look and feel.
It did mean going two months without blogging, but interestingly the traffic to my website has remained fairly steady. This goes a long way to demonstrate that quality content is evergreen and will continue to drive traffic and generate leads. It makes me wonder where my traffic might be if I had been continuing to blog at a regular interval over the last two months.
Now it’s back to regular programming!
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