I was pleased to receive an email from Google yesterday
announcing that I could get a custom Google+ URL for my Google+ page. Google is
offering this feature to help simplify access to Google+ pages and allow users
more flexibility. For instance, rather than being stuck with the clunky Google+
URL of:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/112512558323878942309/posts//p/pub

I could instead trade up for this Google+ URL:

https://plus.google.com/+ScottMatteson

There are a few stipulations to this option:

  • You must have 10 or more followers on Google+
  • Your account has to be at least a month old
  • You need to have a profile photo (which apparently
    justifies the legitimacy of your usage of Google+ by tying your account to
    a real person)
  • You are bound by Google+ “Custom URLs
    Terms of Use

Set up

The setup process is simple and free (and can apply to
businesses too!). The screenshot below (Figure A) shows the email I
received which contains the link to proceed with the operation:

Figure A

What if you didn’t receive the email? No problem! Google
states
that if you meet their criteria you’ll see a button called “Get
a custom URL” at the top of your Google+ profile or page. That will allow
you to follow the same steps I’ve outlined below.

I clicked “Get URL” from the email message (having
verified by examining the message headers that it was actually from Google, of
course) which brought me to the following page. (Figure B)

Figure B

As you can see, Google predetermined the URL based on my
full name, but if I wanted to change it I could click the “Request a
different one” link. Note: your custom URL must still abide by Google’s
Policies and Principles
.

I clicked “I agree to the Terms of Service” then
clicked “Change URL.” That brought up the following box which
required me to enter my mobile phone number as part of the process. (Figure
C
)

Figure C

I entered my number and clicked “Send Code.” The
code was texted to my mobile, and I could then enter it into the box on my screen.
(Figure D)

Figure D

I clicked “Verify” and was then presented with the
following dialogue. (Figure E)

Figure E

Clicking “Confirm choice” completed the process!

What if you want to change your custom URL later?

Well, Google states you can’t really change it so much as
switch lower case to upper case characters (“ScottMatteson” to “scottmatteson”
for instance) or adjust accents and diacritics. I have to admit I didn’t know
what the heck a diacritic was, so Wikipedia informed me it is a
“glyph added to a letter, or basic glyph.” Not feeling enlightened, I
researched further and found it is basically another kind of accent. I think
both accents and diacritics probably require special keyboards/characters and
are not likely to be used here in the States.

If you do want to change the case of your URL or try those
accents/diacritics, you can access the Links section of your Google+ profile to
do this. Just go to your custom URL and tack “/about” onto the end. For
instance:

https://plus.google.com/+ScottMatteson/about

This will bring up your profile settings. Look for the “Links”
section. (Figure F)

Figure F

Click Edit. (Figure G)

Figure G

You can adjust the URL according to the allowed parameters
then click “Save.”

Enjoy using your Google+ custom URL!


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