For those who do not want to read through my whole post, the bottom line is that if you are using Google Apps for Business for your own domain on google servers: DO NOT Create your Google+ account or business pages or YouTube Channels from and any account in your domain. If you ever cancel your Google Apps account, they will be lost.
For many years I have been using Google Apps for Business for my team email addresses and other features and Apps they offer. I loved it. The Dream: using my own domain with the features of the gmail interface (better email search than Outlook is my favorite benefit).
I downsized my team in 2013 to myself and a showing agent (need to rebuild based on lessons learned. Another post). Wanting to do some budget cuts I decided I really did not need to pay for Google Apps anymore, especially since Keller Williams moved our email addresses to Google Apps and the features I use most are there.
So What is the Nightmare? You Might Ask.
Well, I made a plan to move everything to my KW account on google apps. I moved my domain over to my hosting company, Bluehost. Then moved all my mail and docs to my KW account. I then added my email address to that account. Success.
I moved all my contacts. Success. I moved my showing agent's email as an addition POP account on his personal gmail account. He didn't use it much, so did not have much to move. All successful.
So now I just had my apps domain account left on google's servers. I noticed my Google+ account, business page, and YouTube Channels were tied to my TheresaGibson.com domain on Google Apps. So I contacted Google Apps support to make sure that if I took the last step to delete my domain from Google Apps that I would still have access to my Google+ profile and my YouTube account.
"I believe so," he said. He then checked with a co-worker to make sure and they both said that I would not lose access to my accounts on those services.
So I proceeded to delete my domain from google servers and the nightmare began. My Google+ account was gone, my YouTube personal channel was gone, and my business channel was gone. I was a fool and had not backed up about 6 listing photo slideshows I had created there (not too many, thank God).
I am so thankful that I had not been the biggest YouTuber yet. I did not lose too many videos. However, I have to recreate my subscriptions, redecorate my channels. Hours of work. I had to redo Google Authorship for all my sites. I am sure there are some things I will need to do that I don't even know I lost yet.
My main gripe is that Google support reps don't even know their own product. After this happened. I realized that it really didn't make sense that I would still be able to access these things. You can't have a google+ account unless it is tied to a gmail address or a google apps domain. Once my domain name was not longer on google servers, any accounts tied to it were deleted and unrecoverable.
Support gave me things to try to recover, but nothing worked.
My advice is to never create Google+ profiles, business pages, or YouTube accounts/channels with your email addresses tied to a Google Apps domain. Or make sure you migrate everything to a new accounts on a gmail address BEFORE you delete your domain.
If I had know that all would be lost, I would have moved my content over before deleting my domain. Howeve, that is still a lot of work to set up new gmail connected accounts and redecorate and add the content back in. I still would have had to redo google authorship.
The goal of this post it to keep others from having their dream turn into a nightmare.