Another Box (Almost) Ticked: Vanity URLs in Google+

Pages for business in Google+ have been available since November 7 last year, and brands have been having a lot of success with them.  Apparently.

For me though, the real barrier to businesses promoting their G+ pages is the unwieldy URLs.  While a company can overlay their own branding onto Facebook and Twitter with their vanity URLs, Google+ hasn’t had that on offer.

Now, it appears that they have.  Kind of.

A few brands and questionable celebrities have already got vanity URLs on Google+, but as Google themselves say:

we’re not quite ready for everyone to start claiming their own custom URLs, we plan to expand the availability over time

It won’t be long.

Fighting a losing battle?

Google+ isn’t failing by any measure, but it does seem to be struggling to get the mindshare it needs to get real traction.  User numbers continue to rise, and if you look in the right places, there’s plenty of action going on, but it’s not forefront for businesses, and for me, that’s partly due to the fact that the URLs aren’t very shareable.  Making them a bit more brandable means that companies will probably feel a bit more comfortable in publicising their G+ in the same way as their, or URLs.  That can only lead to more user awareness.

The more that people get exposed to G+ as they surf, the more and more it will become a part of their lives, and the more they will start to engage with it.

It’s worth noting, that personal pages already have a kind of vanity URL associated with them because of the way that Google redirected profile pages to G+ when they “upgraded” them.  If you navigate to my Google Profile at:

You’ll find that it takes you straight to my Google+ Page – however there isn’t a rewrite function, that maps the “profiles” to “plus”, so if you tried to navigate to:

You just get a 404 message – or at least you will until we all get vanity URLs.