Google has announced that vanity URLs – which offer users a shorter, custom web address for their profile – are on the way.
Brands and celebrities already using the new cutom URLs include sportsman David Beckham (google.com/+davidbeckham); movie star Hugh Jackman (google.com/+hughjackman); and car makers Toyota (google.com/+toyota).
Since the launch of Google+ back in June 2011 users have asked Google for an elegant way to direct friends, followers and fans to their profiles.
Many “third party” services popped up in the interim, offering URL ‘shorteners’ for Google+ profiles. The most well known of this was the gplus.to service.
Is this necessary? For example, if you asked me how to find OMG! Chrome! on Google+ I would either give you this URL:
Or tell you to search for “OMG! Chrome!” (and hope you find the right one).
The availability of vanity URLs on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter has, in part, helped fuel traffic to those sites.
Verified Only – For Now
For now you’ll need to be either a verified page or profile before you can set up a vanity URL.
But don’t be disheartened: Google ‘plan to offer custom URLs to many more brands and individuals’ over the coming months.