One thing that's killing Google+ - user profile URLs

Google Plus Search

Quick, what’s your Twitter handle? What’s your Facebook profile URL? What’s you Google+ address?

You were probably able to answer the first two questions. The third one is a mystery to nearly everyone.

Sure, it’s easy to find you, particularly if you have a not-so-common name. Just search for their name on Google and if they have an account it should be prominently displayed, assuming they’re using it regularly. Internally, all you really need is their name and a rough idea of what they look like to find them.

Too hard. We should be able to tell people where to go. We should be able to put it on a business card without using a URL shortener. There’s just no easy way to send someone directly to our Google+ account without hacking it in some way.

Vanity URLs are the solution, but they also pose a problem. Common names, business names, and trolls all make it difficult to simply roll out Google+ vanity URLs. I was on a plane when Facebook launched their vanity URLs. I remember it very clearly because I landed, pulled out my Verizon card, and attempted to secure my name. It was taken a couple of hours after launch.

The solution would be to include a 3-digit number after every vanity URL. Instead of one person getting /jdrucker, nine hundred and ninety-nine people could get it. I could be /jdrucker.777, for example. When most of the numbers are taken on common names, Google could open it up to 4 numbers. It wouldn’t be hard.

When we make a new business contact or meet someone new for a personal relationship, it would be easy to let them know how to find us. They are the search engine. They could set it up to where searches for names followed by a dot followed by a number linked directly to the profile’s Google+ account.

Google+ is already struggling for relevance. Facebook gets all the attention. Google+ gets called a ghost town. This would make it easier for them to truly embrace social media beyond the Gmail contact list.

Do you know your Google+ URL? If you did, could you easily communicate it?

Today, no. Tomorrow, who knows?

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Written by JD Rucker

+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of both Judeo Christian Church and Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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  • I must disagree. Since its release, there have been services providing free vanity URL’s for Google+ so I don’t think this is the issue. The real issue is Google working with third party developers to make sharing on Google+ easier. Of all the social media networks, Google+ is generally last to be adopted or not adopted at all by mobile and web apps. Hootsuite is a good example. Many power twitter/social media giants use this tool and it publishes to many social networks other than Twitter including Facebook fan pages but lacks Google+ support because of issues and it said Google is holding them up.