Vanity URLs (aka personal URLs) are a staple on nearly all social networks. The ability to personalize a URL for your profile makes it easier to share it with others. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and most other social sites offer them. However, if you’re on Google+ your profile is identified by a big string of numbers that follow the plus.google.com URL like this: https://plus.google.com/112915508949553064969. Today we’ll look at nine ways you can get a Google+ vanity URL (and the one you might already have).
Almost every method of getting a vanity URL requires that you know your Google+ ID; that long string of numbers that identifies you. So you’re first step is to figure out what ID you’ve been assigned. Either open up Google+ and go to your profile page, or go to https://plus.google.com/u/0/me and you’ll be taken right there (provided you haven’t logged out of Google+). In your browsers address bar is the URL for Google+ followed by your ID so copy that onto your clipboard or write it down and then we’ll explore the ways you can create a vanity URL.
Vanity URL Services – Simple redirects
The first thing to know is that these sites are not run by, or affiliate with, Google in any way. All they do is provide a simple way to create a vanity URL that will redirect to your official Google+ profile.
Vanity URL Services – With extra features
As in the list above these are not affiliated with Google. The following sites will provide a vanity URL that will redirect to your official Google+ profile but also provide some additional functionality.
- sgplus.me – Provides a vanity URL, a free browser extension that will let you post to all your social networks at once and view them all in a single stream. sgplus.me also provides the ability to import all of your Facebook photo’s into Google+. (Facebook has been aggressively trying to stop contact and picture importing so your mileage may vary on importing photo’s)
- zipl.us – Provides a vanity URL and a free browser extension. The extensions shows your Google+ notifications and share to your stream from any website. zipl.us also gives you the ability to turn your public posts into an RSS feed.
Yourdomain.com/+ with .htaccess
If you already own a domain name, you can create a .htaccess rule that will cause a subdomain to forward to your Google+ profile. If you have access to your .htaccess file you simply add one line of code and you have your own vanity URL for Google+. For example, if you got to PaulSpoerry.com/+ you’ll be redirected to my Google+ profile. Via CPanel, FTP, or whatever method you have to modify .htaccess add this one line of code (be sure to replace the ID string with your ID string):
RedirectMatch ^/\+(.*)$ http://plus.google.com/112915508949553064969/$1
I’ve tried to determine who first came up with this clever idea (even searching GooglePlusSearch) to provide credit. As best I could tell it was +Daniel Sandler, but even in his posts he credits other. Regardless, I assume it was a Google employee since www.google.com/+ takes you to the Google+ website. What’s really slick about this is that you can not only link to your profile, but you can link to specific parts of your profile (provided you have them visible)
Here’s what ends up being available once you’ve setup your .htaccess:
- http://paulspoerry.com/+buzz (assuming you still use buzz?!)
If you started a Google Profile (before they were all converted to Google+ profiles) you might already have an official Google+ vanity URL that resolves your name to your ID. As far as I can tell there is no way in the current profile setup to see if you had configured this but sure enough http://profiles.google.com/PaulSpoerry will take you straight to my profile. Your best best is to try the name of your Gmail address and see if it works, if you had a Google profile before they were rolled into Google+ then it should work. This method also lets you jump to any of the subsections you could use with the URL that contains your ID (as well as the ones outlined in the .htaccess section). For instance, both https://plus.google.com/112915508949553064969/about and http://profiles.google.com/PaulSpoerry will take you to my profile page.