How to Claim Your Google+ Vanity URL
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.
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.
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.”
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.