+Jaana Nystrom

Welcome to my Circleverse!

Google+ is my passion: I want to help others to get the most out of it.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Custom URLs on Google+ for everyone!

UPDATE 30.1.2015 Google+ Help Center articles renewed 

Now the information in the official Help Center for Google+ users about the Custom URL's is separate for profiles and for business Pages.

When you have a custom URL, you can give people a short, easy-to-remember web address to find your Google+ profile (like google.com/+LarryPage). it will be preassigned based on things like your name. And you may also need to add a few letters or numbers to make it unique to you.

Important: You can’t change your custom URL after you create it, so be sure you like yours before you finalize it.

Eligibility requirements for businesses:

To get a custom URL, your account needs to be in good standing and meet a few other requirements.

For local Google+ pages: Must be a verified local business

For all other Google+ Pages: Must be linked to a website

UPDATE 25.11.2014  YouTube Custom URL

YouTube Channel custom URL

When you have a custom URL, you can give people a short, easy-to-remember web address to find your YouTube channel (like youtube.com/c/creatoracademy). The URL options you can select from are based on things like your display name, your YouTube username, any current vanity URLs that you have, or the name of your linked website.

Sometimes, you may need to customize the URL by adding letters and numbers to make it unique to you.
Important: You can’t change your custom URL after you create it, so be sure you are comfortable with your choice before you finalize it.

Eligibility requirements

To get a custom URL for your channel, your account needs to be in good standing and meet a few other requirements:

✔ 500 or more subscribers
✔ Channels is at least 30 days old
✔ Channel has uploaded a photo for the channel icon
✔ Channel has uploaded channel art

You can also qualify for a custom URL by linking and verifying your official webpage with your channel or +Page.

How to get a custom URL for your channel?
Learn more from YouTube Help Center  and from YouTube Creators Blog

Google+ Custom URL UPDATE 29.1.2014:  Do read this

Looking for the banner about your custom URL? Check your Page's Links box on the About tab.
Click on "Edit" and see if you find the offered URL there.

*Information about Custom URL’s*

Please note the following if you have questions about custom urls:

The custom url process is automated, so at some future time you may be presented with a new custom url that will match your name as it currently stands. However there is no guarantee of this for a number of reasons i.e. that specific custom url may have been offered to or reserved for someone else etc.

We require you to use the name you are commonly known by in your Google+ profile, and don't recommend changing your profile name unless your name has changed. Note that users who change their name to get a new custom URL assignment may result in your profile being reviewed, and the custom URL revoked.

For more general information about custom urls, please read this article before posting questions in the Google+ Help community.

If you're unhappy with the state of things, please submit feedback. This is the best way for us to review your feedback around this issue, we may determine any necessary updates to this process but can not guarantee any changes.

Check out this Google+ Tip of the week on how to send Feedback.

Remember:  Don't go changing your personal profile name to get another custom URL to replace the one you were offered, it does not help - and you may be stuck with a name you don't want.  You can only change your name 3 times within three months.

Who gets which name?

Those seem to be favored who have been defined by a secret algorithm and are active users on the platform, when it's a question of a common name.  Otherwise the scheduling seems random...
But Google+ undertakers and Ghost Town rumour spreaders not yet using the platform or just keeping a name reservation, in your face...  :-)

From Google:  As for who gets a particular profile, we have internal heuristics to rank users with regards to public activity.

The custom URL for your Google+ profile or Page won't affect your linked YouTube channel:
Your YouTube channel will have the same name as the title of your Google+ Page, not the URL (just like now, it doesn't use the numerical URL of your Google+ page).

After getting your custom URL you can also use any Google domain ending with your name, like:
google.me/+YourName  or  google.it/+YourName - on business cards for instance.  They all work.

Non-English alphabets or apostrophes?

The umlauts are no longer a problem: I should know - been struggling with mine but everything is now fixed. Thanks +Yonatan Zunger !  :-)

So you can choose å, ä, ö etc in your custom URL: Even if someone typing your name does not have those in their keyboard, just typing +Nystrom suggests me, for instance.
One cannot use any special characters like @ & , . - or ' so unfortunately many Irish like +Eileen O'Duffy has been offered the custom URL https://plus.google.com/+EileenODuffy/posts .
Also people with hyphenated names, sorry...

However, this custom URL is not the same as a verified user name:

Verified Google+ profiles and Pages get a small shield after the name. This is only by Google's consideration and cannot be requested anywhere.
Google+ Local Pages have a method of getting the V shield by verifying their location but again that is different, read more.

Any user who meets the following criteria will now be able to claim a custom URL:

- Has a profile photo, and
- Has at least 10 followers, and
- Has an account that's at least 30 days old

Any brand or business with a verified, linked website (little v icon after it) or a verified address (in the case of local businesses) can also claim a vanity URL for their Google+ page.

Users should visit the profile or page to begin the claiming process.

Note: Some users may not see the link right away, Google is expanding availability throughout the week, and users will see the in-product notice as soon as their custom URL is ready.

A post from a Google employee:

Expanding the availability of custom URLs

Custom URLs are short, easy to remember web addresses that link directly to your Google+ profile or page (like google.com/+OtavioSilva or google.com/+Toyota). They make it easier for you to connect with others, as well as promote your content, and today we're significantly expanding their availability to people and pages on Google+.

Meanwhile, any brand or business that has a linked website or is a verified local business can claim a custom URL for their Google+ page. Link and verification info is available in the Google+ Help Center: http://goo.gl/RMpxP.

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, just visit your profile or page to begin the claiming process. If you don't see the option yet, don't worry: we're expanding availability throughout the week, and you'll see the in-product notice as soon as your custom URL is ready.

We hope that custom URLs will help  you more easily promote your content on Google+, whether it be new photo collections, Hangouts On Air, or an interesting series of posts.  For ideas on how to include custom URLs in your campaigns, ad creatives and more, visit our help center: https://support.google.com/plus/?p=claim_url 

Great comment from +Kamal Tailor

There is no option for requesting a different +CustomURL at this time, If you are unhappy with this process, please send Feedback (in the left-hand drop down menu). The team looks at each and every piece of feedback sent in, and the more feedback they get on a particular topic, the more this becomes a priority. 

When submitting feedback:

- supply your current URL
- the offered URL
- and the preferred URL

If you have been offered your preferred URL to a different account supply the URL for that account.

And give the Feedback from that account as well.

To activate the Feedback Tool type an @ symbol outside of a text entry area, or click on the link at the bottom of the left side menu.

Email received:

There we go. This is still rolling out.  Check your profile and Pages link box (click Edit) for a suggestion of a new URL.

- Have you seen any oddities?  Pages and Custom URL

I had linked the same website to several of my Pages (in different languages and also topics) and now the wrong one was offered the main custom URL...
It has nothing to do with the Page name, it seems, but businesses get the website link name, including the domain end, like .fi in my case.

I'm using my +Finland Explorer page as a test subject:  Changed the name and the website linked (created a +Blogger blog with custom URL), let's see how long it takes for Google to realize it has offered the Custom URL to the wrong page - and then what happens!

Of course I have sent Feedback...  :-)  EDIT:  Finally got the custom URL I wanted 3rd DEC!

The only TLD or .ending that doesn't show in the Custom URL is .com.
Send Feedback to Google+ if you don't like to have the couk or any other domain ending in your Page's custom URL!  pagenameblogspot, anyone??

For Pages there is only one suggestion based on the website, but one can change the capital letters, for instance.  If you are not happy, do sit tight and wait.
Same applies to situations where:

* My URL includes my city, but we are relocating.
* My law firm just added a partner, so we're changing our name.
* We are rebranding and need to change or URL to match.
* We own the original URL.
* Ours is a Trademark.
* An intern accepted the wrong Custom URL.
* Add yours here...

Change capital letters:

Here the URL was OutwardboundFi, now changed to OutwardBoundFi:
Go to the links box in the About tab of the Page's profile, click on Edit and change.

If you don't like the offered name, there's not much you can do at this point but to send Feedback to Google.  Posting in the Google+ Help community won't help you with it, unfortunately, unless you have a real issue.

From +Kaleh Kohler a good advice:   For those who have accepted their Custom URL and decide that they don't want one at all, I would encourage using "Send Feedback" so that Google is aware that there is a demand for the option to be able to remove the Custom URL.

Personal profiles get three choices, Pages only one = the linked website.

Page custom domain depends on the website linked.
That is why this blog is now found at http://www.gplusexpertise.com/ though I may have lost some Google+ comments in the process.

My Google+ topic Page is +Gplus Expertise instead of +Gplus Helper (which was already taken as a .com domain) because the old blog URL googleplushelper.blogspot.fi was unverified as a web address to my Page.

Note: I was not offered any Custom URL as I didn't have a proper domain linked to the Page.
I did the name change prior to any Custom URL was offered: Afterwards it's a bit too late.

Now I'm just waiting...  for the +GplusExpertise custom url.  
Got it!  +Gplus Expertise 

-  Thanks a million for your help in creating the new custom web addresses for my Blogger blogs, +David Kutcher!  If you need help too, hire David or +Blogger Xpertise.

Note this:

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.

Read more from the Terms of use.

What if you don't have a mobile phone to get the verification code?

This has been working, from +John Elstone :
You could try using Google Voice SMS if available to you or another online service such as www.receivesmsonline.net

From +Deborah Aldridge:
Open a Google Voice account, get a phone number, and use that to get the text. Worked for me.

From +Peggy K:
I know this wouldn't be an official solution, but here are a couple of reports of an online SMS receiving service working:https://plus.google.com/109870608657570114620/posts/hELTVznwZZb and https://plus.google.com/+hanschristianrodriguez/posts/cSb9HuCtmtq

Note:  Do remove the temporary phone number after receiving the verification code!

From +Kaleh Kohler:  Google has updated the UI so that we can now remove that phone number. It is accessible through the Edit function of the Email and phone card, that you access through Account (under the profile image in the upper right corner.) www.google.com/settings/personalinfo

Good news about Custom URLs:


Even though the banner is not visible any more, make sure to check the About tab's links section.

This page is the one that was offered the GplussaFi URL instead of my main Page, as they shared the same website link.
I did not accept the offered URL, sent feedback to Google.

I changed the URL of the page, verified that and then just waited.

Now I noticed the link box announcing that I have more choices:

So I got the one I wanted, +FinlandExplorer

EDIT 21st JAN 2014:  Still waiting...

My verified +Gplussa  page still gets the "add a few characters" thing...  Also I've seen Pages with very few followers get a custom URL without the FI.

Well, I'll wait some more. Perhaps now that I rejected the GplussaFi for the FinlandExplorer page, I get it for my main Finnish page? Or just the Gplussa preferably...

I do recommend waiting patiently and sending Feedback!

If you wish to have a Page for your brand or business, read more about creating a Google+ Page from my blog.

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