I don't believe I am a Google+ user and I am trying to minimize my use of Google products. I believe that I took a specific action to ensure I am not a Google+ user at some point in the past. I do use gmail and I am under the impression that if I use gmail, I have at some point in time been classified, on Google's initiative and perhaps without my knowledge of it (because I don't want to read boring user agreements), as having a Google Account. I believe that Google Account is sufficient to allow logging into stackexchange websites.

However, the logo on the stackexchange login appears to be a Google+ logo.

Is the logo the wrong logo and should it be replaced with some sort of Google Account branding?

1 Answer 1


I believe Google's OpenID provider is considered to be under the auspices of Google+ in terms of branding, which, indeed, is technically separate from having a Google+ account.

All you actually need is to have a Google Account, which means you have an email address (which may not even be Gmail-backed) that's associated with a username and password that you use to login to Google services. Or, conversely, if you have an @gmail.com email address, then the username/password you use to log into that Gmail account is, also, a Google Account.

So, technically, you could have a hotmail (or your own custom mail provider) email address, and only have a Google account for login to services like Google Play or Stack Exchange. There is not really much that Google tries to do to "bundle" a bunch of their services together; you can easily take what you want and throw away the rest.

  • Google doesn't speak OpenID anymore (only OAuth), but yes, it treats all accounts the same regardless of G+ status. Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 6:24

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