Google+ has quietly announced that it is rolling out the official Google+ custom URL to all. This is great news for brands and profiles that have been anxiously waiting to replace the lengthy Google+ URL that contains that long string of numbers.
Previously, custom Google+ URLs were only available to a select number of users that was announced in August 2012. For the rest of us that have been waiting patiently over the past year, there were a few alternative options for making our Google+ URLs easier to remember. The wait is over and as of October 29th, Google began rolling out page and profile custom URLs.
There has been a great deal of chatter all over the social sphere about the new Google+ vanity URLs since yesterday’s announcement. Let’s review the highlights and answer a few of the questions that have surfaced.
Google+ Custom URL for Business Brand Pages
To be eligible for a business custom URL, the requirements are that the Google+ page must be a verified local business or the page must be linked to a website. If your page meets one of these requirements, you should see the following message at the top of the page when you log into Google+ and go to your business page. It will show Google’s preapproved custom URL. For example:
Please note that in the example above, the “preselected” represents Google’s assigned custom vanity URL. Below is an actual example of Google’s preapproved Google+ URL for R & R Web Design LLC which is based on our domain name:
You will be asked to check the box, “I agree to the Terms of Service.” It is important to note that you need to be sure that you want the preapproved Google+ URL before agreeing to the terms. You will receive the notice:
In addition, the three key elements of the terms include:
- Google reserves the right to “reclaim custom URLs or remove them for any reason, and without notice.”
- Right now, custom URL’s are free, but Google “may start charging a fee for them. Google will notify users first and provide the choice opt out.
- URLs must not contain phrases or words that violate the Google+ User Content and Conduct Policy.
For pages, there are additional requirements at Google+ Pages Additional Terms of Service.
It appears that Google+ is pre-selecting the custom URLs and using the domain name associated with the account. For example, Social Media examiner’s domain name is: www.socialmediaexaminer.com and the Google+ URLs:
- Social Media Examiner’s long Google+ URL was: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111193894818128580437/
- The new Social Media Examiner’s Google+ URL is: https://plus.google.com/+SocialMediaExaminer
One question that has been asked several times is if the long Google+ URL will need to be replaced right away with the custom Google+ URL on websites and social media sites. If the long URL is clicked, it will redirect automatically to the new shortened custom Google+ URL.
Google+ Custom URL for Profiles
You will receive a notification from Google+ either by email or when you log into your Google+ page to start the process on your personal profile page providing the following criteria are met:
- You must have a profile photo
- You must have at least 10 followers
- You must have had your Google+ account for a minimum of 30 days
You may receive several options of custom URLs to choose from. Please be sure that the one you select is the on you want.
What if You Want to Change Your Preapproved Google+ URL?
For now, it appears that you are only able to change:
- The capitalization of the URL or
- The accents or diacritics of the URL
To make these changes, go to your About section of your Google+ profile and locate “links”. Look for the box that will appear allowing you to make the edits.
Have you claimed your business and/or profile custom Google+ URL? I would love to hear how it went. Please feel free to share your new custom Google+ URL in the comments below.