Google forces Google apps users to use multiple accounts and locks some out of Google+

I am the victim of a not so smart Google Skynet

By now most have heard of Google+. One of the selling points or failures (depending on where you stand) of Google+ is their insistence on integrating as many Google services as possible. So when you sign up for Google+, you are not signing yourself up for a single social networking site but rather plugging yourself into the matrix or turning on Skynet. If you have used the internet in the last 5 years, you probably have at least one Goggle service. It might be gmail, Picassa, Youtube, Google Reader, or some other service you signed up for and probably forgot about. One thing you should know up front is Google+ will not work with a Google apps email.

Sign of things to come

Google, in their infinite wisdom, assumed everyone on the internet uses a single email address. That is simply not the case. Like many, I have multiple email addresses I use for various Google services. Before Google+ was even on the drawing board, I was already having problems with this as I used a gmail account for Adsense and my own domain email for other Google services. Google did not allow me to change or merge the Adsense account so I had to log in and log out every time I wanted to check Adsense. This was not big a deal since I don’t need to check Adsense on a daily basis.

The foundation was laid years ago

The beginnings of my current problems started years ago when I used my domain email to sign up for various Google services. When I decided to sign up for Google Apps I used the same primary email. Last week, Google decided that was not going to work with their future plans to integrate all my Google services. Since my personal Google account used the same email as my Google apps company account, they insisted I migrate the data to a new personal account.

Migrating data creates new headaches

I was not given any choice, the migration had to occur if I wanted to continue using Google services. So I create a new personal Google apps account using my initial.domain.com and Google migrated some but not all of my data. The stuff that didn’t get migrated due to compatibility issues included Google+. That data is now attached to a temporary account Google assigned to me. Had I known that, I would have used a non Google apps email to receive the new data but I didn’t so the result of this mess is I now have four separate emails associated with four different Google accounts and Google+ wants me to create a fifth email account to move my data off the temporary account.

No simultaneous logins

So what’s the big deal? Well, Google does not allow simultaneous logins so I cannot have email open in one tab, Adsense open in another, Analytics open in another, and Google+ opened in yet another. Trying to do anything in one account forces a logout in all other accounts and requires a new login.  To add insult to injury, every time I login to Google+ with the temporary account, I am prompted to migrate the account to a new account and it specifically does not allow migration to an existing gmail account, hence the need for a fifth account if I want to continue with the migration. So far, I’ve been ignoring the prompt and have continued to use the temporary account for Google+ but who knows how long that will last.  Of course, there is no effective way to get help from anyone at Google and many people have posted the same problem in the support forum without any replies from Google.

The net result of all this is that none of the four accounts talk to each other. If I +1 something while logged into any Google account other than the temporary account, it is not reflected in my Google+ profile. This is exactly the opposite of what Google was trying to achieve. The only solution is for Google to fix it so Google+ works with Google apps emails since that’s where most of my activity lives. For others, the solution may lie in allowing migration to work with existing gmail accounts so those users don’t have to create a second gmail account just for Google+.