Google+ Custom URL: Here’s what happens

 
 

Here’s what happens when Google+ offers you a vanity URL. Dejan SEO page was offered a custom URL so we took some screenshots. First, you will notice a dark gray bar saying “Your page is preapproved for the custom URL: google.com/+PageName [Claim URL] Learn More”. 

Vanity URL Offer

Note: Their “Learn More” link seems to be currently broken, oops! Once you click on “Claim URL” button a prompt is displayed showing the URL format, terms and condition as well as option to modify URL.

Custom URL Claim Prompt

If you click on the “Request a different one” you will be given the following options:

  • Request a custom URL
  • If you don’t like your pre-approved URL, you can request a different one.
  • Requests can take a few days to review.

Custom URL Change Request

You may be eligible for another name, however keep in mind that this may cause further delays in authorising your custom URL. There are currently two main criteria for change from default:

  1. This is the name that I am commonly known by online
  2. This name is commonly associated with my organisation or brand

There is also the “Other” option for all the cases which do not fit the above two. Once you hit “Claim URL” a prompt pops up asking to confirm your choice:

Confirming URL

The End Result

Google Plus Custom URL

Here’s it is: google.com/+DejanSEO - we tested this URL on lowercase version as well and it works just fine.

Free for a While?

It looks like Google may offer custom URLs for paying customer in the future. They also reserve right to remove custom URLs but promise to tell us before they start charging it which is nice. The question is would you use your custom URL on your printed material and signage not knowing if and when it will be a paid service?

about-page

From the T&C page:

Google+ Custom URLs Terms of Use
Custom URLs are still under development and the program may change. In particular:

We reserve the right to reclaim custom URLs or remove them for any reason, and without notice.
Custom URLs are free for now, but we may start charging a fee for them. However, we will tell you before we start charging and give you the choice to stop participating first.

You must follow the Google Terms of Service, the Google+ User Content and Conduct Policy, and the Google+ Pages Additional Terms of Service. If you violate our policies or terms of service we may take a variety of actions, including suspending your access to Google+ and your use of custom URLs.

From the screenshot on the right you can see how the new URL automatically integrates in the “About” section of the page and becomes part of your “identity”. Assuming the cost of the custom URL will be on par with domain names it might not be much of a problem, however if the price tag will be in the “premium” range then many business owners may choose to default back to their old way of displaying Google+ URL. (e.g. dejanseo.com.au/+)

Who got this?

, Product Manager at Google, posted on Google+ saying:

“Today we’re rolling out custom URLs to thousands more verified (and well-known) brands and individuals. If you’re part of this expanded roll out, you’ll be prompted to claim your preapproved URL via email and/or when you visit your profile or page.

We’re making these changes over the next few days, and we’ll be offering custom URLs to many more profiles and pages in the future. We appreciate your patience in the interim, and we look forward to hearing your feedback!”

So it looks like thousands of pages were included in custom URL offer this round but more active, well-known brands and individuals who are verified.

From Google’s “Learn More” Page

http://support.google.com/plus/bin/answer.py?hl=en-GB&topic=2400106&answer=2676340

About custom URLs

A custom URL is a short, easy to remember web address that links directly to your profile or page. So, for example, YouTube can direct people to google.com/+youtube to get to their page rather thanhttps://plus.google.com/115209943765910868932.

How does a custom URL work?

Once you’ve claimed your custom URL, your Google+ profile or page can be accessed by entering  www.google.com/+customurl in your web browser.

Can anybody have a custom URL?

Not all pages and profiles are eligible at this time. The custom URL programme will be expanded over time. Stay tuned!

Can my custom URL be anything I want?

We have pre-assigned a custom URL which closely resembles the name of your Google+ profile or page. Custom URLs must be used in compliance with the Google+ User Content and Conduct policies. If you’re not happy with the preassigned URL you have the option of requesting a different one.

How long is the review process for requesting a new custom URL?

Reviews may take a few days. Once a decision has been made, we’ll let you know. You can check on the status of your request from your profile.

Why can’t I claim any custom URL that I want?

If your custom URL does not violate the Google+ User Content and Conduct policies, it cannot be claimed because:

  1. Only one page can have any specific custom URL. If the custom URL has already been claimed, it is no longer available.
  2. The term is extremely generic, such as water or hamburger, and can’t be claimed.
  3. The term is unique to a highly visible entity and is only allowed for that entity.
    (E.g. Google, Android.)

Can I have more than one custom URL for my page?

No. You may only have one custom URL per eligible page or profile.

What happens to my custom URL if I change my name or the name of my Page?

Your custom URL must be related to the current name on your Profile or Page. If the custom URL no longer reflects this name, it may be reclaimed.

Can I claim my custom URL from my mobile device?

Currently, the claiming process is only supported on desktop but entering a custom URL in a web browser will work the same way.

Note! Google reserves the right to reclaim any custom URLs.

Dan Petrovic is a well-known Australian SEO and a managing director of Dejan SEO. He has published numerous research articles in the field of search engine optimisation and online marketing. Dan's work is highly regarded by the world-wide SEO community and featured on some of the most reputable websites in the industry.

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11 Responses to “Google+ Custom URL: Here’s what happens”

  1. Well done guys! Thanks for sharing!

    Do we know the criteria yet that determines who gets a custom URL at this stage? Myself nor any of my pages have been offered as yet! :(

     
    • Matthew Forzan
  2. They say selected “active and verified” pages get the choice at this point.

     
    • Dejan SEO
  3. No definition of what constitues “active”. I’ve got a local page verified by getting a card in the post with a PIN on it, but very few followers at the moment.

    Personal profile unlikely to get verified for a while, so will have to sit tight and do more than all the other Jim Banks’s in the world….

     
    • Jim Banks
  4. Lucky I signed you and the team up to Google+ originally ;)

     
    • James Norquay
  5. Great for brands and celebrities. Not so much for the millions of active Google+ users who helped make the community.

     
    • Khürt L. Williams
  6. We have got preapproved URL but it is not for our brand page. Even it is not showing “Request a different one” link. we currently have 212 followers.

     
    • Rahul Kharnokhya
  7. Hi there, thanks for the nice post. On my side, I don’t have the opportunity to request another url, only the pre-approved one (which is not suitable) is offered. Any idea how to get through this?

     
    • Olivier Beaujean
  8. We have also just received our preapproved URL but it is not exactly what we want. It has AU after our brand and it is not showing “Request a different one” link any thoughts appreciated

     
    • Adam Lancaster
  9. Same with me, just offered today, must be a rollout of Google+ custom URL’s, I would like mine without the Au also and no choice is provided.

     
    • David Thatcher
  10. I think in my case it could be because when I click on the shield next to my name I am a “verified local business” but not a “verified name” like +DejanSEO
    Which means I am going to bite the bullet and claim the one with the Au at the end…ergh

     
    • David Thatcher
  11. I submitted my request for a custom URL other than the pre-approved one about 2 weeks ago. Anyone have any idea how long till they finish the review process?

     
    • Aaron Syrmopoulos

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