It is now possible to claim custom Google+ urls but they haven’t got it quite right, and here’s why…
So you may already be aware that around a year ago Google released custom Google+ URLs for celebrities and big brands. This meant that instead of having a Google+ URL full of random numbers (like this: plus.google.com/u/0/114711949141720580472/), users could claim a nice neat URL like this: plus.google.com/+TomStables. Perfect for business cards, websites and just simply easier to remember. However, many of us grumbled, feeling like once again only those with tens of thousands of people listening to them or with big advertising spends were being catered for.
Well, Google have finally released G+ vanity URLs to the masses for individuals provided that:
at least 10 people have you in Circles
your account is at least 30 days old
you have a profile picture
As for brands and businesses:
local businesses must be verified
non local businesses must be linked to a website
All sounds good, eh? We can all grab the custom URL that we have been waiting for and get our Google+ profiles consistent with our other social media profiles.
Currently, when you follow the steps to claim your URL, rather than entering your preferred choice and Google searching to see if it’s available, a URL (or selection of URL choices) are suggested to you by Google and you have to claim one of them.
From a brand consistency point of view this is very restrictive and limiting. For example, on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and so on my username is nwcassidy. However, my suggested Google+ URL was and now is +NathanielCassidy. It’s not the end of the world but it isn’t perfect. The same issue was true for our G+ business page where the suggested vanity URL was +3ManFactorycouk: again, less than ideal.
It’s only a small niggle but it’s still a niggle and for a platform that is struggling to get users to actively engage and enthuse, it doesn’t help.