Hidden In Google Profiles: More Social Network Connections On The Way?

google-profile-accountsIs Google readying several new “connect an account” options in Google Profiles?

Today, if you visit the connected accounts settings for your profile, Google offers a dropdown with six options: Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Quora, Twitter and Yelp. But, as James Slater pointed out today, there are several additional social account options that appear to be hidden in Google’s system.

Slater noticed that each of the existing options is associated with an ID number, but those IDs range from 3 (Twitter) to 18 (Flickr) with several numbers not being used. MySpace is associated with ID=2, for example; Foursquare is ID=10 and Digg is associated with ID=11. Others Slater discovered include Hi5, Microsoft, AOL, Plaxo, Wretch and GitHub.

None of the IDs currently work for connecting those account types, so it may be something that Google’s still working on. Still, Slater wrote a Greasemonkey/Greasemetal script for Firefox/Chrome users that makes the hidden accounts visible. See his blog post for more on that.

But is any of this necessary?

Even though Google officially lets users connect only six accounts to a profile, you can still add other social profile links (or website links) via the “custom link” tool on the Edit Profile page. As you can see below, I’ve added links to my YouTube, Last.fm and Google Reader profiles this way — along with several other websites I’m involved in.


What’s unclear to me is the difference between connecting a social profile via the “Connect an Account” dropdown and adding a link via the “custom links” tool. Google’s profiles help doesn’t offer much explanation of that.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: Accounts & Profiles


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://www.planetc1.com/ Michael Dorausch

    You lost me Matt. Is there an advantage to having these accounts connected?

  • Matt McGee

    Well, social results that appear in Google’s SERPs, for starters. But I’m not sure if that only happens with connected accounts, or if it also includes the custom links.

  • http://www.stareclips.com/?twitter Bob Bigellow

    I’m pretty sure that the officially “connected” accounts means a number of things.

    When you add a custom link on your profile, Google may not officially scan your connections through these links. So, items your friends share might not appear in your search results. So, by officially “connecting” the accounts, there will be more data integration where you can see social information (that will be unique to your login) in your search results.

    Also, you can technically connect your accounts *without* actually sharing this linkage publicly. This gives you more control. Whereas the custom links can only be public.

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