Google Approving Custom Vanity URLs for Google+ Profiles
It’s been a long time coming and finally Google is offering more of their Google+ users the chance to get a new custom URL. Until now, there was no direct answer as to how people were getting these URLs other than the fact that they were very well-known people.
I remember the original Google support page on this topic mentioned you had to have a “significant number of followers” among some other criteria to get your own vanity URL and unless you were a big player in the Google+ arena, every URL request sent was undoubtedly denied. People coming from Facebook scoffed at the idea of having a social media URL that looked something like this: https://plus.google.com/114683976907069457614 when they had been so entrenched with their much shorter Facebook links: fb.com/ledfrog
Then one day, Google removed the form used to submit requests and never explained why. This fueled speculation that Google was re-vamping the system and preparing it for more mainstream access. As it turns out, Google may have been doing just that.
Today, I got the email stating that I had been approved for my custom url! And now, I can officially start using my new link: google.com/+BrandonHann
When you click on the link, you’re sent to your profile where you can choose to take the approved URL as is or you can request a different one. However, requesting a different one can take a few days and you may not get approved. Naturally, I tried to request +Brandon, but the system told me it was taken even though attempting to access that URL returns a 404 error. It’s possible they reserved that name for a more famous Brandon out there or perhaps an actual company name.
How To Get Yours
According to the Google support page, you need to meet the following requirements if you’re an individual:
- Ten or more followers
- Your account is 30 days old or more
- A profile photo
At this time, Google is manually approving profiles that meet the above criteria and they will choose what URL(s) you will be approved for. If you see more than one, you can select the one you like best. But choose wisely because once it’s set, it’s set for life and can never be changed or transferred!
I have a business page for my photography hobby that has yet to be given the custom URL treatment, but I’m hoping soon, this will change. At this time there still doesn’t appear to be a manual form you can fill out for approval—time to play the waiting game.
Besides the obvious advantage of having a much shorter and cleaner URL for promotional use, one other advantage is that you can build your reputation off it. If you’re a blogger and you rely on your name for trusted information and opinions, this comes in very handy. Just think of how much more professional your profile will look from here on out!
Also, people will be able to get to your content quicker once they know your name. You can try it now by typing in any of the following URLs to view my publicly posted content:
I know many others have come before me in getting their custom URLs for Google+, but I’m pretty excited because I don’t have hundreds of followers. I feel I represent the “little guy” in this industry, so if you’re in the same boat, don’t worry, your approval may be just around the corner.