I thought it would be easy. Or at least I hoped so.
I have two YouTube channels, one of which is connected to my main Gmail account, Google profile and Google Plus. For reasons I’ll explain, I wanted to switch to having the other channel connected to those items instead.
As I started looking online for a way to do that, I found firstly that I was not alone in looking for such an outcome and secondly that it wasn’t going to happen.
But I did a lot of searching and reading through blog posts and forum discussions before I accepted that conclusion and realised that I had to settle for an ok solution rather than an ideal one.
You may save yourself some time by reading this
So if you are thinking of trying to connect a different YouTube account/channel to your main Google account, this blog post may save you going through the time-consuming process I inflicted on myself.
It was really all about branding.
In case you are interested in the detail, basically I had a YouTube channel with a username that had been fun to use some years ago – beachblogger1. But then as I started to use my now preferred deswalsh handle across as many social networks as I could, I wanted to have that deswalsh handle as my YouTube username too. Regrettably, deswalsh was not available but deswalshtv was, and I thought that was a pretty good handle for the purpose.
So I proceeded to set up a new account and new channel with the username deswalshtv, so the URL ending was /user/deswalshtv.
I then started to upload new videos to this new channel, basically letting the older YouTube account/channel languish.
That seemed to work ok for a while, and to be perfectly honest YouTube was not at that point something I saw as central to my business presence.
But after a while, as I started to create some more videos, I began to get frustrated that my preferred YouTube login, with the new channel, was not synchronised with my main Gmail account, Google+ and so on.
The account switching challenge
Every time I wanted to upload a video or check on a video, I had to log out of my main Google account and log into the new YouTube account, with a different email address.
Eventually that got quite boring.
Probably more importantly, although I am not an expert on search engine optimisation (SEO), I felt that it would be better, for SEO purposes, to have all my main Google accounts aligned.
Which is why I proceeded to spend a lot of time in research to try and figure out a way to be able to attach the /user/deswalshtv YouTube account to my main Gmail address. But although there seemed to be an option for that for older YouTube channels, it was not available for channels created after May 2009: which meant that switching the …/user/deswalshtv account was not an option.
So as the more practical course of action, I settled for leaving the …/user/deswalshtv channel I had set up, and going back to using the …/user/beachblogger1 as my main one, thus overcoming the annoying process of having to log out of Google, log in to my YouTube account, then log out of that and back into my main Google account.
It’s not a bad solution. Although I can’t change the …/user/beachblogger1 URL, I can change the publicly displayed name of the channel and have done that, so it is the new Des Walsh TV channel.
About older videos
I wondered about moving some of my videos from the formerly-favoured but now-to-languish channel. A Google search showed that this question is asked frequently. The short answer is, you can’t: you have to re-upload your videos if you want them on the channel you are planning to use now.
In my case, there were only a couple of videos that I thought were worth re-uploading, but there could be some work involved for anyone with a lot of videos they want to move to the channel they are now going to use.
Leaving a notice for those who find the other channel
For those who one way or another might find themselves at the channel that has now become effectively redundant, I have uploaded a banner image with an “I’ve moved” message.
Could I have just deleted that account? Yes, I could. But having read Google’s instructions about how to do that I found them a little confusing, so I’m not treating that as a priority. In any case, the links to the account are out on the web and I’d rather someone seeking to visit had the chance of seeing the “I’ve moved” message with the new address, than having a Page Not Found result.
Maybe I can just disconnect that YouTube and related Gmail account from the associated, unused, redundant Google+ profile Google set up for me and delete that Google+ profile, but I don’t find the instructions on that crystal clear either. So no rush on that.
Caution is advised
I did read a blog post or two that I understood to be offering a way to circumvent Google’s barrier to linking the newer channel to my main Gmail account. But the closer I looked, the riskier the course of action looked.
Which is why I chose the path of least resistance.
And after all, as long as the links I provide lead people to my preferred channel, my concern over whether the URL ends in /deswalshtv or /beachblogger1 is probably academic at best.
I mainly regret the time I spent watching videos and reading blog posts offering to tell me how to fix the problem some other way!
Oh, and I’d love to have some new subscribers (Hint)
I’m certainly planning to use the channel more actively, including to upload explanatory videos for social media, especially for LinkedIn. So if you have a moment, please visit the channel and subscribe. I’ll then make a point of visiting your channel and returning the compliment.