For far too long, we’ve had to deal with that long string of letters and numbers that is the URL for our Google+ page. We’ve wondered why we couldn’t have a nice easy Google+ URL that just has our company name in it. Today’s the day friends! Google has recently released custom URLs for Google+.
Ok, before you get too excited, let’s take a look at what Google defines as custom. You don’t actually get to choose the URL extension you want for your Google+ page. When you login, Google will notify you of your option to choose a custom URL and will display the custom URL(s) they have selected for you. You can either choose from their listed of predetermined options or keep your long list of letters and numbers. You cannot request a chance. You cannot modify the list as presented. You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit. That’s the Google way. Also, an important thing to note, once you have accepted your new custom URL there are no changes. It’s yours…forever!
So who’s eligible for the new custom Google+ URL? Pretty much everyone. On the business side, you need to meet these criteria:
- Have a linked website
- Be a verified local business
Not sure if you meet these criteria? Click here for link and verification information.
On the personal profile side, you can claim your custom URL if you:
- Have a profile
- Have at least 10 followers
- Your account is at least 30 days old
You will be sent an email from Google notifying you that your page is eligible for a custom URL and you will see a link at the top of your Google+ page to begin the claiming process. It’s pretty easy. You just have to select your recommended custom URL, accept their updated Terms of Service and know you can never change your custom URL moving forward.
Why should you change to a custom URL? It’s all about search. Custom URLs, especially for business, make it easier for people to find you. These easy to remember URLs are ideal for marketing and promoting content.
One thing to keep an eye on for the future. In the Terms of Service, Google reserves the right to someday charge a fee for custom URLs. They will give you notice prior to charging, but if they bury that notice in a change to the Terms of Service will you be aware?