When I got a custom URL for my personal Google+ page recently, my reaction was “Oh, cool.” If you’re a business owner who’s been offered a custom Google+ URL for your local listing, your reaction is or was probably similar: it’s not an earth-shaker, but it’s a nice little surprise.
Google might soon ask you if you want a custom URL – if you haven’t been offered one already. Should you accept it?
Probably not if…
a. The URL includes the name of a city you think you might not always be located in;
b. It’s based on a fictitious DBA (tsk, tsk) you’re using for your Google+ Local page;
c. It’s based on a website name that you know you won’t be using long-term;
d. You wouldn’t consider paying Google for it in the future, or
e. You just don’t like it – to the point that that the old long string of numbers looks good to you.
If any of the above applies to you, I would click the “Not now” button, to decline (at least for the moment) the custom URL
(Update: Max Minzer answered this question in his comment (below): I have not tried clicking the “Not now” button, so I’m not sure exactly what happens when you click that: Do they offer you the URL again the next time you log in, or do they ask again in a week, or are you stuck with the messy old URL until Google maybe decides to force custom URLs on everyone?)
Once again, Google puts business owners in a pickle. Nobody knows what the grand plan is for these URLs.
I can see them becoming part of a freemium model for Google+ Local pages, where you have to pay for your custom URL, in the same way you pay for your domain name.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if Google eventually shows them on the main search results page.
By the way, as Mike Blumenthal pointed out recently, it really should be called a “custom” URL. It’s not like you can actually customize it. A custom suit isn’t one that the tailor says fits you, but it’s the only one in the shop, and if you don’t like it you can just take a hike.
What are your experiences with and thoughts on “custom” Google+ URLs so far? Leave a comment!