Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vanity Google+ URLs: A Word of Warning

I've been noticing a proliferation of vanity URLs in place of the awkward polynumeric and totally anonymous URLs G+ is assigning to its users. The vanity URLs look like

http://gplus.to/yourname
or
http://plusya/yourname
or
http://gplus.name/yourname
etc.

I personally would love to see G+ allow vanity URLs, but in the meantime, going with a third party shortening service may cause you problems down the road, and may in fact hinder search results for your profile (it's an SEO thing). There's also the potential for a vanity URL company to stop supporting the link. And I've heard of some shortened URLs leading to the wrong profiles.

If you just want shorten your G+ URL, then Google owns its own URL shortener (http://goo.gl/). What you get is no less anonymous than the polynumeric one, but it's definitely less cumbersome. For example, my assigned G+ URL is:

https://plus.google.com/104693795958410368655

but goo.gl shortened it to:

http://goo.gl/lVqoI

For a more technical explanation,check out this post from Cirruslabs.

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