Proposal To Google: User Accounts System Needs a Complete Makeover
We all know we need a Google Account to access much of the companyís services. Fair enough, itís their service and they can do what they like.
However, over time, as the services were introduced I have used different logins to use those services as they were not interconnected. For example, YouTube, AdWords, Gmail, etc. Why different? Well, I didnít necessarily want my personal information linked to business information.
But, when you have been using Google services that go back to day one of the servicesí introduction, there was no such thing as a Google Account, so the separate logins persisted over quite a long time.
Over the years, logging back in to use that particular Google service, I was faced with some sort of obligation to switch to using a Google Account, or to enter a phone number for recovery.
I get the idea of the phone number for recovery. However, the linking of accounts has become an ongoing nightmare. Iíll admit, itís tough keeping track on whatís linked to where, and which access and password is required. These were originally separate services, so it's good practice to use different logins. However, when attempting to log in, error messages pop up, for example, saying, you must accept the terms and conditions. Click on the terms and conditions and it says you don't have access to that information. "Click here to return." Guess what, the return doesn't work, either. I end up going in a circle and getting nowhere fast. Cookies, you might say. Clearing them doesnít appear to help. Use Google Chrome, is Googleís response. Eh, what? I have to use Chrome now! Well, guess what, Chrome didnít work, either.
Another example: When trying to use an agency log in it requires a G+ page to link to. I enter the G+ page and it comes back and says, please correct the highlighted information. The highlighted part is the information for the G+ page. Despite the G= page being valid, I re-enter it, and the highlighted error continues in an endless loop.
What if you want to disconnect the identity you originally signed up with from day one of the service and to connect it to a more relevant user account? You guessed it, thereís no easy way to do this. In fact, itís got to the stage where itís easier to sign up with a new account and ignore the existing account.
I tried signing up with a new account, and, it may come as no surprise that an error persisted. I sent an error report via e-mail to Google, expecting a response via the newly created account. Guess what. I got a phone call from Google. Eh! I never gave them my name or phone number for that account. Clearly, Google have a some magic software to view linked sign-ups, perhaps through IP, or through domain names, or a combination of them all.
What it seems to me is that Google has added layer upon layer of account login forms, help screens, and facilities to link accounts and services without testing it as a complete seamless system. It is especially frustrating for early adopters of each of its services.
Wouldnít it be great to have access to that magic software Google uses so that, in my instance, I could see what accounts are linked to what, and would have the opportunity for a tidy up!
On another similar topic, i'm regularly called for help and assistance from business colleagues and friends that are presented with a change to a Google interface, or terms and conditions, or new reports, or new capabilities within its services. This is without even talking about changes to search. The calls for assistance have become a frustration for me, and clearly, it's a frustration for the people calling for help.
In my view, many of Googleís services really should be in constant beta, making every user is a beta tester.
Enough! I want it working and finalised properly, and set for a fixed period before adding on capabilities.
I also think Google ought to undertake a complete review by using usability teams outside of the company with a view to test every option and login, and change, and update. Perhaps itís being done. If it is, itís not working very well, imho.
Additionally, isnít it time that updates were introduced at specific times, and not constantly updating? My colleagues get very frustrated when a tweak comes though and the menu item is not where it was. This destroys productivity.
This was all well and good when Google was a small business, and you adopted a service on the basis that it was new. Itís not new any longer, and I hadnít signed up to beta test every time I logged on.
I guess you didnít want to read this, but I felt better writing it. Thanks for listening.
Welcome to this WebmasterWorld Weekly Round-up.
The previous WebmasterWorld Weekly is here.
With the suggestion of a new version of Windows, 8.2, coming out next year, will the Windows Start Menu return. Either way, "Threshold" as it's codenamed, sounds interesting.
This week, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook called for an end to NSA data surveillance. The group presented a plan to regulate online spying and urged the United States to lead a worldwide effort to restrict it.
Linking, and whether there's a risk in that link: Our thread this week covered the pros and cons of certain types of link, and whether it will be seen by Google as bad, resulting in a potential penalty.
As if at lightening speed, Firefox 26 went to the release channel and it now has all Java plug-ins defaulted to click-to-play.
In a major move, Google AdSense announced custom ad sizes this week. This should help give publishers the ultimate in flexibility.
This topic comes up quite regularly, and it's an important topic, too. The question of negative SEO. How vulnerable are sites to negative SEO, and what can site owners do about it?
Gmail announces it's going to cache all images on its servers, thereby diluting the e-mail marketers data stream.
In a swift about turn, Twitter has immediately backtracked on changes to "Block" functionality. It was quite a quick about face as it was only announced a few hours earlier.
There was a report going round that Nokia is building an Android phone. It seems odd that it might, considering it's as good as Microsoft's company. Watch this space.
There's another report I heard that Microsoft is considering offering free Windows Phone, and Windows RT for developers. That's the very least they could do, imho.
Here's something that seemed a major positive step. Harlem, New York, is to get the country's largest, free public WiFi network. Nice! If only they'd roll that out more widely.
In another NSA revelation, according to the Washington Post, the NSA uses Google's "PREF" cookie for tracking.
What's this crawling: Yahoo:LinkExpander:Slingstone. It appears Slingstone is Yahoo's next generation of personalization platform, whatever that might mean.
China's Huawei is exiting the U.S. markets as it was accused of cyberspying. It's a major manufacturer and I wonder if there will be any impact, or shortages, on the products it supplies.
For those of you that like to keep up-to-speed on Google AdSense, you might want to participate in our AdSense Earnings and Observations thread for December.
Is there a new AdSense Sitehealth Scorecard in the works? According to rumors, there is.
There's a news story out there that suggests Google is considering designing its own server chips with the help of ARM.
I thought this was an interesting offering from Google for museums and exhibitions. Google has launched Open Gallery to enable online exhibitions to be shown, complementing the bricks and mortar museum.
I'm going to include this story as I liked the title: Google's Android Developer, Andy Rubin, Heads Google's Robotics Arm LOL
Google is getting involved in the tours and activities market, according to reports. This, if true, will start to impact a significant tourist and vacations sector.
More Google news this week (they keep pumping them out), "Build Your Own Google Street View." This looks a great idea for business.
According to Yahoo, it says Microsoft search is providing it with 31 percent of revenues. That seem an a reasonable figure.
Not long after Microsoft said Windows 7 would become end-of-sales, the company quickly retracted the deadline.
There's a major facelift to WordPress admin panel, which has needed attention for some time, with the release of WordPress 3.8
Twitter's mobile Apps got a tweak this week with photos in DMs and a swipe between timelines capability.
In an interview with Fortune magazine, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer believes he got more things right than he got wrong. In such a huge and important company, it's not good to get things wrong at all, and we can probably point to a few things that haven't been too good. I guess we notice those failures most.
Do you use e-mail authentication? According to Google, 91.4pct of authenticated non-spam emails via Gmail use either DKIM or SPF standards.
Today's video is very current. The question is, "What should I be aware of if I'm considering guest blogging?"
Do have a terrific week.
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