How to Claim Your Google+ Vanity URL

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UPDATE 10/31/13: Google rolled out vanity URLs for all Google+ profiles–both personal and brand pages. Criteria for getting a vanity URL for your pages includes: must have a profile photo, must have at least 10 followers,  must be at least 30 days old, must be linked to website (brand pages only). For now, vanity URL are free of charge, but Google has indicated that they may charge for them in the future. Learn more about the full rollout of Google Vanity URLs and how to claim yours.

On August 13, Google began offering vanity URLs for business pages on Google+. Previously, Google+ URLs were random strings of numbers about 20 characters long (e.g., this is Location3’s Google+ URL: https://plus.google.com/114329713007265616710). Having a vanity URL will certainly make it easier for users to find and connect with your Google+ page. Additional benefits include protecting your brand name and creating a potential ranking asset.

The initial roll out on August 13 only included a limited number of verified profiles and pages, but Google indicated that it “should be available to many more of your business pages over time.” Today, Google has opened vanity URLs up to thousands more well-known brands. Pages and profiles that have made it into this second round will see a notification at the top of their homepage alerting them of the opportunity to “Claim URL.”

Following are some of lucky brands and people with vanity Google+ URLs:

If you were not one of the chosen few in either roll out, there some things you must do to prepare for the full launch. To be eligible for the vanity URLs, you must have a verified page. Google+ verification confirms the authenticity of the business and places an official check mark at the top of your Google+ page. Follow the instructions below to submit your business to become verified.

Step One:

To be eligible for verification, you must link your Google+ page to your website. Add a link to your site in the About section of your Google+ page.

Then add the appropriate code to your website (this will also allow for use of social extensions in Google AdWords and set you up for Direct Connect functionality). Generate the code here: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1708844

Once code has been added and validated by Google, a small checkmark will appear next to the website link on your Google+ page.

Step Two:

Request verification through Google: http://support.google.com/plus/bin/request.py?hl=en&contact_type=page_verification&rd=1.

Previously, a Google+ page needed at least 10,000 followers to be considered for verification. Google+ has relaxed this requirement and now only states that “A meaningful number of people must have added your Google+ page to their circles.”

UPDATE: Google has indicated that a page must have more than 100 followers. Note that followers are different than +1s. So if you are asking people to connect on Google+, be sure to specify that you would like them to follow your page. +1s are beneficial as well, but follows not only help you toward this 100 follower goal, they also allow you to maintain a connection with users because they will see your posts in their stream.

UPDATE AS OF 10/25/12: Google changed criteria back to “Your Google+ page must already have a meaningful number of followers.”

Step Three:

Wait for confirmation of verification and check your Google+ page often to see when vanity URLs are available for you.

If you are a Location3 client and would like assistance in getting your page verified, please contact your rep. And we’ll be sure to update you when Google+ vanity URLs are open to all.

 

33 thoughts on “How to Claim Your Google+ Vanity URL

    1. Thanks, Katherine! It’s certainly hard to keep up with the continuous changes in social media, but we try our best. Glad you found this helpful!

  1. Thanks very much for writing this Angie. The ‘meaningful numbers’ is perhaps a little daunting for a start up. Especially as I’d like to include my G+ page on my business card etc. Think it will have to wait for the second batch.

    1. You’re very welcome, James. Yeah, it’s unfortunate they aren’t more clear or accommodating to SMBs with that number, but it’s Google and not much any of us can do but lament. Thanks for reading!

    1. Google doesn’t actually give the option to everyone with a verified page. You have to request it through the link included above, and even then it’s not guaranteed. When Google does finally decide to allow you to verify, you should receive a notification on the top of the page indicating that you now have a custom URL. It’s frustrating, I know.

      1. how does Location3 have a verified name? its not a local business, and it has only has 270 followers? i don’t mean that in a derogatory way at all, i was just wondering. because i have had to two or three people trying to steel my photos and impersonate me on another google+ page/ account.

  2. I am disappointed in google that they have not made it easier for businesses to claim a vanity URL. People shouldn’t have had to go to another website to figure out the process to do this. Thanks for taking the time to write up this article.

  3. I was thinking of getting it but with Google being such a powerful site, their site will be on top in the search ranking for the company’s name. With profiles on MySpace, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and more, it’s just another nail in the coffin.

  4. Great post but isn’t there an instant way to do this? I’m about to print new business cards and I want a permanent link for a QR code. If I use the string of numbers, then later get approved for a vanity URL will the string of numbers still link to my profile? Please help, thanks

  5. Just a note to let people know that when I set up my Google+ page they automatically verified the website because I have a Google Webmaster account setup with my primary profile. So that was nice in that I was relieved of taking the steps to get it verified. Now I just need the magical number of Google+ followers to be offered a vanity URL. Not too bright on Google’s part. Maybe they are trying to prevent URL squatters?

  6. Awesome post, thank you very much 🙂

    Do you know if there is anything “bad” that can happen to you if they reject your application? I.e. is it better to wait until you have a lot of followers just to be “on the safe side” before requesting the verification?

    Thanx

    1. You welcome, Andrea! Glad you enjoyed it. I don’t think there is any risk in applying. I’ve been noticing that some clients with around 100 followers have been approved, so that’s probably a safe number to go with. Google hasn’t confirmed, of course, but I have seen it with a few pages.

  7. Hi,

    I recently verified my website and am ready to create a custom url for google +. The only problem is it’s telling me i need to add more characters than my desired url. When I checked to see if it was already taken, it wasn’t. I’ve noticed other businesses haven’t had to do that.

    This is a snap of what the box that pops up says:
    google.com/+Lusterandluxe__________
    Add a few extra letters or numbers to this URL to get one that is unique for your page.
    “+Lusterandluxe” can’t be changed but it asks me to add additional characters. It doesn’t allow me to “approve” the url by itself.

    Do you know why I am not allowed to create my custom url as google.come/+Lusterandluxe alone. Is there a way around this?

    1. Hi, Jessica,

      Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer for you. Google is determining what the URL is, and in some cases, is not allowing you to edit or request other variations. However, they may make other variations available to you soon. With one brand we manage, they only had one option for the URL on day one. It wasn’t their correct brand name (it was a singular version of their brand name, whereas their official trademark is plural). Because they are a franchise company, their name is often referred to as the singular version + a location. So Google must have determined that the brand name was singular, since there are so many more instances out there of it being singular. We simply waited a few days, and some other variations of the name were offered to us. So my advice is to be patient and wait a few days and see if Google releases some other variations to you.

      Since so many folks are having this issue, there are some ways to report it. Check out this Google+ post with instructions: https://plus.google.com/+DeAnoJackson/posts/Ki4A8JDc2h4. You likely won’t get a response, but you can at least rest easier knowing you spoke up and hopefully they’ll listen.

      Good luck!
      Angie

  8. Thanks for the information.

    But I agree, if the domain name belongs to a company, it should be automatically provided if we can prove the website and /or domain belongs to us.

    The focus should be on community building, not getting a certain number.

  9. Ugh..I have a headache!

    I have been trying to set up my Google+ so that I have my photo displayed in SERPS. I has been a real struggle and now I’m not sure if I should be having people follow my personal page or business or both!!

    I note what the intro says here about its available for both but can’t seem to get mine working for love nor money. Nil desperandum.

    Rob Pack Photography

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