The minimum to get a custom URL, you need to have 10 or more followers, your G+ account should be 30 days old & your profile should have a photograph. Do you think it is easy enough to get Custom URLs for those Google plus users having more than thousand followers and so on? Absolute not! Today, I am going to tell you how I got my Custom URL from Google.
I ignored to claim when Google prompted “you are eligible for a custom URL” in the month of october, 2013. I didn’t care much about the URL thing in the first place and who cares about the Vanity URL anyway, right! I was wrong after reading a couple of related articles.
So what is Google+ Custom URL?
Custom URL is a personalized URL just like your Name. By default, Google+ profile URL has 21 digit numbers after the initial URL of www.plus.google.com, and that’s your Google+ ID. It’s difficult to remember those 21 digit numbers especially when you share your Google+ Profile with someone via Text message, What’sApp or even via Facebook Messenger. As a quick solution, you can either bookmark your Profile URL or Save them via Notes.
Benefits of Vanity URL
By using a Custom URL, you can have the following benefits.
- Short URL like google.com/+Nike
- It’s branded for your promotion
- People can search you via Google
- Easy to Share & Use
- It looks professional
But, something went wrong in my case…
Last month I wanted to get rid of those long string of numbers from my GooglePlus URL such as https://plus.google.com/106997795976615382555 into https://plus.google.com/+AbinashMohanty as a Vanity URL.
Unluckily, I couldn’t able to claim my own vanity url. Google showed me the following error message…
“Many people have the same name. Add a few extra letters or numbers to this URL to get one that is unique for you.”
Well, this “/+AbinashMohanty” is a unique name and I didn’t want this to read as “/+AbinashMohanty81” or “/+AbinashMohantyDesign” either. I was not alone after reading the entire GooglePlus Post conversations via Google+Help.
I couldn’t do anything at this particular moment.
Google+ Communities are great for such discussions.
I thought of posting this Custom URL issue on Google+Help Community to get several opinions from others, and why not?
One of the best answers I have received by +Mark Traphagen was “A common question, and there is currently no known answer. It appears to me that for each common name, Google reserved it in advance for one particular user (they told me chosen by a “heuristic” that they, of course, won’t reveal) and that even if that user never claims his URL, there is currently no way to take it from him/her.”
Another suggestion by +Kaleh Kohler as he explained “Would encourage you to not accept any offer that you are not satisfied with, as there is no way to change it or remove it, at this time. Some users have reported that if they just wait they are later offered the name without having to add the extra letters.”
Did I get what I was looking for? Of course not!
I had 2 things in mind after going through all such conversations and suggestions.
- Keep the existing URL.
- Get a Custom URL, if possible.
I skipped No.1 and tried to concentrate on No.2.
Solution: Posting via Google+Feedback
Finally, I wrote the following points having screenshots and sent over via Google+Feedback.
“If my GooglePlus data is more than what is being asked as minimum requirements by Google for Custom URL then why can’t I have my Custom Vanity URL?”
“I don’t understand why it shows ‘Many people have the same name’ when the URL ends up with a 404 not found page.”
“This is quite surprising from Google on this particular module to see no other links to claim your custom url than the only Terms & Service link.”
You know what! I got the following email from Google+ team within 2 hours saying…
“You’re now eligible for a unique Google+ custom URL that lets you easily point folks to your profile (no more long URLs!). Here’s what we’ve reserved for you: google.com/+AbinashMohanty,” and guess what!
Thats’s how I got my Vanity URL.
Something to Learn!
I found that It’s a common problem especially with designers when they come up with a special brand name for their company/firm, work on the identity and design rest of the promotional materials, they suffer a lot when the name of the web domain is unavailable and try to register with similar or extended names.
If you care about your profile name, brand name then you should better claim your Vanity URL first than anything else.
That was my story behind getting the URL from Google+ by the way.
So What’s your story?