Sunday, June 29, 2014

How to get around YouTube: Creator Studio, Settings and Guide

What happened to my Settings, Playlists, Channel and Video Manager?

Last week YouTube made a significant change to navigation. Clicking your channel avatar used to display an extensive menu at the top of the page, but now all you will find is more simplified menu that lets you select Creator Studio, settings or switch channel identities. Several options - such as your Video Manager - are now several clicks away.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Back up your YouTube videos!

Do you have a backup copy of your YouTube videos? 

If your videos are important to you, I highly recommend you keep an archived backup on your own hard drive, DVDs or other storage location. Fortunately Google Takeout lets you download almost all your content stored by Google - including your YouTube videos - quickly and easily.

Why do you need a backup? YouTube does not guarantee your videos will be accessible forever. Even if you keep the access details for YouTube account up to date, and keep your Google account secure from hackers your videos can be lost if:
While you can download MP4 files of your uploads in your video manager, Google Takeout allows you to download your original YouTube video files.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Use Google+ without a Profile: manage Google+ Pages, YouTube channels and more

Mostly no problem anyway- read on for details

This article has gotten quite long and messy as options have changed over the years. Here is the bottom line:

Your Google+ Profile is required for:
* Google+ posting and commenting

* Posting comments on Blogger (or other sites) with Google+ comments enabled

* If you use Google+ comments on your Blogger blog, managing those comments

* A few YouTube features (Messages, name verification, notification bell)

* Using apps in the old Hangouts video calls interface and in Hangouts on Air

If you delete your Google+ Profile:
* All Google+ posts, comments and +1s will be permanently deleted

* All Google+-based comments on Blogger blogs will be deleted

* YouTube comments should be retained (but if you shared them to Google+, those shares will be deleted)

* A few YouTube features will stop working (Messages, name verification, notification bell)

YouTube is in the process of completely separating from Google+, so those features may change in the near future.


Since publishing this article in June 2014 the requirement for a Google+ Profile has been gradually removed from a number of Google products and services:
-  October 2014: Google Hangouts extension and apps no longer require a Google+ Profile.
-  March 2015: Google Hangouts no longer requires a Google+ Profile for sharing photos or group video calls
-  May 2015: Google Photos launches, no longer requires a Google+ Profile
-  July 2015: Google announces Google+ will eventually no longer be required for other Google products, including YouTube. 
- October 2015: New non-Google+ Google My Business  Pages dashboard introduced for managing Google+ Brand Pages and Locations
- November 2015: Google "About Me" page ( introduced, allowing you to manage your Google identity without a public profile
- November 2015: You can now create a new YouTube channel without Google+ and delete your Google+ Profile without affecting your channel
- February 2016: Google Play Games introduces Gamer IDs
- April 2016: Leaving a review for a business on Google no longer needs a Google+ Profile
- June 2016: Google+ Page now a service on a Brand Account
- August 2016: Picasa Web Albums retired, replaced by Album Archive
- August 2016: Google+ Profile no longer required to leave a Google Play Store review
August 2016 Google My Business app no longer supports Brand Pages or other Google+ data and 
Google My Business Insights for local businesses will no longer include Google+ data- October 2016: Creating a new YouTube channel with a "business or other name" creates a Brand Account without a Google+ Page
- December 2016: YouTube Custom URL system now independent of Google+

Here are the current reasons to have a Google+ Profile (as of January 2017):
  • You use Google+ as a social platform with your personal identity
  • You want to leave comments on Blogger blogs (or other websites) using the Google+ comment system
  • You have a YouTube channel with your main Google account name, and you want it to be eligible for name verification, or get comment notifications under the bell 
Here are the reasons to have a Google+ Page:
  • You use Google+ as a social platform with the identity of a brand, business or organization (anything other than an individual identity
  • You want to manage your local business on Google Maps - a Local Listing can be managed at Google My Business (, but still exists as a Google+ Local Page
  • You have a YouTube channel that uses a business or brand name, or any name other than your personal Google account name, and you also want to use the Google+ social network
It's not widely known, but you are not required to have a Google+ Profile to manage a Google+ Page or Page-connected YouTube channel. A Google+ account can manage up to 100 different Google+ Pages (each with its own YouTube channel), all without a Profile.

But what about other Google products and services? Some, like Hangouts, require a Google+ Profile to use all their features. Others, like Blogger, don't require a Google+ Profile at all.

This article will cover how to create a Google+ Page without a Profile, what happens if you delete your existing Profile, and using a Profile-less account on your mobile device.


If you plan to delete your Google+ Profile, please start here to learn what will happen to your account.

All the information in this post should be accurate as of June 16, 2014. I will update the details as I learn of changes to products and apps. If you have any questions or notice incorrect information, please let me know!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Google My Business for YouTube Creators

Update April 18, 2015: Google My Business gets a new icon 
Update September 2015: Google My Business logo updated with new "G"
Update October 2015: new Google My Business Pages dashboard launches

Google has just launched Google My Business (GMB), a brand new interface for Google+ Pages.  Despite the name, Google My Business isn't just for businesses. It's also for Google+ Pages that represent brands, organizations, bands, YouTube shows, or any identity other than a common name.

So what's new? For Google+ brand Pages, the new GMB dashboard is a one-stop-shop for managing your Page and getting a snapshot of your Page and connected website and channel's activities.
  • Insights graphs your Google+ Page's views, followers and post engagement
  • Google Analytics gives an overview of visitors to the website connected to your Page
  • YouTube gives you a summary of views and subscriber changes 
You can also edit your Page details and manage your Page's Managers and Settings.

Get all the details from the new Google My Business help center

Another nice update for YouTube creators:  you can now easily navigate from your Google+ Page to your YouTube channel.

Read on for details...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Blog as a Google+ Page: real name not required

If you have a YouTube channel, gamer tag, business or brand, you may want to blog using that identity, rather than your Google+ Profile's common name. If your Blogger account is connected with your Google+ account, you can associate you blog with a Google+ Page. But even after you've connected your Page, your Google+ Profile name will still be the author of your blog posts.

So what can you do if you don't want your personal Google+ Profile name associated with your blog? How can you blog pseudonymously or anonymously?

You have a couple of options:

1. Use a "limited" Blogger Profile

2. Add your Google+ Page as a blog author and write posts as your Page.

Authoring posts as your Google+ Page lets you keep your pseudonymity while using Blogger's Google+ features. That's the option I prefer.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Convert a Google+ brand Page to a Google+ Local Page: Get on the map

Google+ Pages come in two main flavors: there are Google+ Pages for brands, organizations, bands, and online businesses and there are Google+ Local Pages that represent a business offline location.  Local Pages can appear on Google Maps and let customers post reviews.

So what can you do if you created the wrong type of Page for your business? Or you inadvertently ended up with both a Local page and a non-Local page?

While it is not possible to merge Google+ Pages, you can now convert a Google+ brand Page into a Google+ Local Page. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Set a default YouTube Channel Identity for your YouTube account

Tired of selecting or switching YouTube channel identities every time you sign in?

Now you can select any of your YouTube channels - either connected to your Google+ Profile or a Google+ Page you manage - to be the default when you sign in. After setting a default channel, the next time you sign into YouTube you won't have to select a channel identity to use.

There are two ways to set the default channel:
  1. Select a channel when you sign into YouTube along with the option "Don't ask me again"
  2. Set a channel as the default in the channel's advanced settings (
Note that this replaces the option to select a channel for "Signing into older apps" previously found on your Google+ Profile-connected YouTube channel's advanced settings page.