Google Webmaster Tools, now called Google Search Console (for several years), has moved their Twitter account from @googlewmc to @googlesearchc. This is in line with their launch of the Google Search Central, where they’re changing their name, consolidating documentation, and refreshing how we look–including a new sidekick for Googlebot.
I’m looking forward to a better, easier to use Google Search Central. But wait.
The implementation of their migration from one Twitter account to another Twitter account is not the way I would have personally made the change. Based on what I’m seeing when you go to the old @googlewmc Twitter account, the account is gone.
But it appears that it’s now literally open for anyone to register (and use) until Twitter removes the account due to Trademark infringement (the word “Google” is in the name of the Twitter account). Even though that Twitter account has the word “Google” in it, they will be able to “get it back” so to speak if someone were to try to use that Twitter handle. But, there unfortunately are people out there that will continue to try to register that ID since it has so many links and, after all, was a pretty powerful account that reached a lot of people.
The same thing happens with trademarked domain names. As soon as they expire, someone will most likely snatch up the domain name even though the domain name has a trademark in the name. Even though it is a serious case of trademark infringement, my recommendation is to not let domain names expire and not let Twitter handles or social media accounts go unused like this.
In this case of the @googlewmc Twitter account, my personal recommendation would have been to keep control over the @googlewmc Twitter account, and post a ‘change of address’ notice (pin the tweet to the top of the feed) and post that they’ve moved over to the @googlesearchc Twitter handle. There is no official way to redirect your Twitter handle to another one. But, you can certainly leave a notice on the former handle that you’ve migrated to another Twitter account.
Leaving a notice on the old Twitter handle will help ‘redirect’ people over to the new handle. And, since the @googlewmc account has more than 12,600 links pointing to it and 1.6 million links (historically), it’s going to make sure that no one will try to register that old Twitter handle for nefarious purposes.
Sure, Google will be able to get the content removed if someone registers the @googlewmc handle. But why have to deal with that hassle when literally you can keep the handle and redirect users over to the new handle?
This is one reason I keep a few Twitter accounts active, one being @billhartzer and the other being @bhartzer, my main Twitter account. It’s easier to control those accounts if you have own them.