How to get your favorite custom URL for your Google+ profile for US$ 1.99


Do you want to get your favorite vanity URL for your Google+ profile, but Google doesn't let you choose it? Here is a work around, which will cost you about US$ 2 to get the vanity url of your choice for your Google+ profile or page.

I am using the alias "tonymjohn" for my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other social profiles. However, I couldn't get the same for Google+, instead, Google was offering me few options like my first + last name + a suffix. This article explains how I managed to grab the alias "tonymjohn", which was not an option for me before the experiment I am discussing here.

Here are the options offered to me in my Google+ profile, before this experiment:

Custom Google+ URL

Trick to get favorite alias with Google+


After trying various options, I discovered a trick that worked for me and helped me get my favorite Google+ vanity url http://google.com/+TonyMJohn.

The entire process is explained step by step below, but if you don't want to go through the details, here is the summary of it:

1. Create a .com domain name with your favorite name that you want to be your Google+ alias. You can get a domain name at GoDaddy for US$ 1.99 using some coupons.

2. Setup a quick one page blog (You can do it for free at Blogger. Learn how to start a blog)

3. Add a Google+ badge for your profile on your blog to connect your blog with your Google+ profile.

4. Make sure you have used your vanity name as primary name or "Other names" in your Google+ profile.

5. Wait a few days until Google offers you that alias as vanity url.


This approach will work only if a .com domain name for your alias is available for registration and the Google+ alias is not yet taken.

Scroll down for detailed, step by step instructions.



Steps to make Google offer you the preferred vanity URL


As I mentioned earlier in this article, to make Google offer you the favorite alias, you need to have a custom website/blog with a .com name, which exactly matches your preferred alias. Find detailed instructions to achieve this:

Book a domain name at GoDaddy for US$ 0.99 or US$ 1.99


GoDaddy has been my favorite domain registrar since year 2000. However, you can go for any domain registrar of your choice. For this experiment, I created a separate account with GoDaddy, used a coupon which allows me to buy a new domain for US$ 1.99. If you are smarter than me, you can even find coupons for new registrations at 99 cents.

GoDaddy domain registration
I paid Rs 120 (US$ 1.99) to buy the domain name "tonymjohn.com" for this experiment

Start a free, one page blog with Blogger.com


After registering the domain name, the next step is to get a website up and running, pointing the domain to it. For this experiment, I chose Blogger.com and created a one page blog with not much content. I mentioned my full name (the custom name I wanted) in the page to make sure Google finds that name in the blog, in case their automated system expects that name to be mentioned in the blog. You can see it here - http://tonymjohn.blogspot.com

Point the domain to your new blog


I spent a few minutes and configured my domain at GoDaddy to point to the new Blogger blog. Also made all the necessary settings at Blogger to configure the new domain name point to the blog and the blog is accessible at the url http://www.tonymjohn.com

Add your Google+ badge to the new blog


This is the step that makes Google know that your Google+ profile and your website are connected. Create a Google+ badge from your Google+ account and add the badge to your new blog.

Once the badge is setup and live, click on the +1 button yourself to show that you admire your new website! This is not a mandatory step but it will ensure your badge is setup correctly and you are ready to go.

Edit your Google+ profile and add the alias


If your display name is different from the alias you are expecting as the vanity URL, then edit your Basic Information in Google+ profile and add it as "Other names". In my case, I added the full alias with space between words (Tony M John) and without spaces (TonyMJohn), to make sure that Google will pick either one of them. (Read how to change basic information at Google+)

Add aliases in Google profile

Now, wait a couple of days and keep checking your Google+ profile and see if Google offers you the new vanity url that match the domain name of your new blog. I didn't give any publicity for the blog and didn't invite anyone to visit or click on the +1 button. There was only one +1 in the blog, which was mine.

After a couple of days, I received the good news! When I logged into Google+ profile, I saw the prompt to create a custom url (in fact, I had this prompt for a long time, but it didn't offer the right vanity url until now).

Custom Vanity Url

The custom url shown in this screenshot is not the right one but once I click on "Get URL", I had more options, which included my favourite one too.

Get Google custom URL

All I had to do was, select the right one from the options and click on "Change URL" to proceed. You will be prompted for a confirmation since you can't change your selection once made.

Confirmation for accepting Google custom url

Click on the "Confirm choice" button and I was all set. My new custom Google+ url is ready - http://www.google.com/+TonyMJohn.

NOTE: I tried this for my personal profile, but the same should work for your Pages as well. I have received the custom urls for many of my pages associated with my websites.

Did you like this article? Read more blogging tips.


Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.

Follow Tony John or read 702 articles authored by Tony John

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Comments

Guest Author: Anz13 Mar 2014

And what if you don't get your preferred domain name or if it's already taken?
I think it's is better if you stay with the suggested vanity urls from Google.

Guest Author: Mitesh Sanghvi13 Mar 2014

I had tried this for my G+ page few weeks back and got success. http://google.com/+MiteshSanghvi

Author: Tony John13 Mar 2014 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

Anz,

If the name is already taken or if the alias is not available, there is nothing much you can do about it. You can try this approach if you are keen on getting a specific alias, it is not taken by anyone else and if the domain name is still available.

Guest Author: Anish13 Mar 2014

Is this valid for only .com ? What if I buy other 'non-famous' extensions?

Author: Tony John13 Mar 2014 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

Anish,

I tried with other non .com extensions and it didn't work for me. As of now, Google is reserving the vanity name for the lucky ones who have the .com names. If you use any other domain extension, you will be offered the vanity name with a suffix.

Guest Author: Wilco Wings14 Mar 2014

Worked for me! I owned the domain wilcowings.com and could claim +WilcoWings



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