G+ Custom URLs Not so Custom... Yet

It's been a few weeks since Google Plus custom URLs went live and there's already one common occurrence - you might not get the URL you want.

There's a twist - it isn't because people have been slow to claim their custom URLs, rather, it's because Google is deciding whether you get the custom URL you want.

Hey G+ User, Get Your Custom URL Now... Sike!
When I was working on a client's Google Plus Locations page I was prompted to get my custom URL. Being proactive, I started the process but quickly ran into the message below.


Let The Theories Begin
My first assumption was Google wouldn't allow me to use +Wholesalesalonequipment because it was taken. I quickly tested plus.google.com/+wholesalesalonequipment and found the page did not exist.

Since plus.google.com/+wholesalesalonequipment wasn't taken I thought the type of page might be causing the issue.


Initially, I had setup Wholesale Salon Equipment's page through Google Places.

My thought was Google may be blocking locations pages from receiving a URL like +wholesalesalonequipment because it wants you to use a location modifier to differentiate from other related locations pages - ex. "MN".

I created a brand page to test my theory and discovered a brand page didn't make a difference - Google still wanted extra characters in the custom URL.

Google, Help!
I'm two theories down, 2 G+ pages deep and still confused why I can't get +wholesalesalonequipment as the custom URL. It's time to see if the answer lies within Google support.

Google's Getting Started with Google+ Custom URLs doesn't mention anything about troubleshooting custom URLs so we're left with searching the internet.

After some digging, I came across this post on the Google+ Help page. Click read more for all the info:


What I Learned

  • Lots of people are experiencing this problem
  • I shouldn't have made 2 pages
  • Google is resolving this issue
  • You can use the Submit Feedback function to try and get the custom URL you want

Other Speculation
You might be wondering why Google loves to launch new features with errors. Is it to annoy us? Do they get pleasure from it? At times I do think they get pleasure from annoying us but I don't think this was the case with this issue.

I think Google may be trying to curb the amount of users squatting on custom URLs for large brands like Nike, Macy's, Target, etc. Page/profile squatting has happened in the past for Facebook and Twitter so it wouldn't surprise me if Google didn't want to get into that mess. Ironically, they ended up making an entirely different mess.

If you have any other theories as to why this may have happened let me know in the comments.

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