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January 27, 2014


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Jerod Morris

David, that is strange. When I got my Google+ custom URL, it let me us just me first and last name: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JerodMorris. I know others who have gotten just their name with no other extra characters.

Is this a new policy they have instituted.

David Meerman Scott

Hey Jerod - well aren't you lucky! Maybe they changed the policy since then. You must have a unique name in the search engines too.


David love the AOL reference! I can still remember them MAILING me CDs to my house to get my to sign on to the Internet! :)

Let us know if Google+ responds! It's interesting to monitor since folks like yourself with large voices/platforms can obviously have a big impact (pro or con!) quickly as a result.

Also I'm curious for your take on the state of social networks. It seems like the rush to cash in by Facebook (with forcing marketers to suddenly have to pay to reach their existing fan base) and others would lead to major backlash and migration to new networks/channels.

For instance, I'm spending a TON of time on LinkedIn and loving the results, but also noticing how advertising keeps creeping further and further into its model, and how it's getting more and more "intrusive" (direct spam into my LinkedIn inbox, for example!) despite the fact that I have a paid subscription that I would hope could protect me from some of that advertising spam.

Cody McCulloch

I just signed up with my full name without extra characters, not sure why it would be requiring it for you. There were two options I was presented, one with just my name and the other requiring a suffix. Perhaps you chose the second option?

Eric Wittlake

David Meerman Scott (to avoid any confusion),

Have you been caught by the G+ single login issues? In my case, I have multiple accounts because of Google's foolish tendency to create accounts for each email address, not each person. In a couple instances I've seen people offered their "real" name on a stray G+ account they don't care about but have to add a random string like this to their primary account.

G+, what a mess...

Bob Owen

G+ is a strange beast. They certainly match to the beat of a different drum, providing things they think we all want, not actually want.

David Meerman Scott

John, I don't deny that all of the social networks need to make money. But they need to tread carefully.

Eric, There is a chance that you could be right about that but I'm not sure how to tell.

As Bob says we're dealing with a strange beast.

Samuel Scott

David, Google+ gave me a URL without numbers as well -- FYI! (See the URL hyperlinked with my name.)

-- Samuel Scott (no relation, as far as I know!)


I'm in exactly the same boat, and have made the same choice as you: no appended characters for me thanks!

Of course Google neither knows nor cares about the uniqueness of our names, the number of people that have us in circles nor any other metric that might reasonably result in Google allowing us to use our names for a +URL without modification. We simply were included in the last round of +URL disbursements, *after* URLs for VIPs (cough) were distributed.

Sincerely, +AaronBradleyTheMiffed


Considering the multitude of steps that Google is taking to encourage users to engage with Google+, it's not doing that much to help the user. Personally, I can't believe it took this long to have customized URLs.

My problem was minor. Google assigned me +AmandaDodge, which is fine, but my Twitter handle uses @amandaedodge. It would have been nice to use the same name across all social platforms.

Though after reading this I'm just glad I'm not AmandaDodge89 ;).

Stan Dubin

What an odd set of responses G+ is having. I was able to get my own name without any appendages (and there are others on the net with the same name), and now we hear of those not able to. Yours is clearly a more distinctive name, David. Probably a weird algorithm thing?


Google+ gives me the option of +TressaRobbins and +TressaRobbins with a suffix. However, my online handles are all "tressalynne" as that's unique (there are more than one Tressa Robbins' believe it or not). So, why only the "pre-approved" custom URLs? If we can't truly customize it, I think they should use a different descriptor. :-/

David Meerman Scott

I'm so glad to see that Google offered me the URL I wanted after all. No human contacted me so I can only assume somebody over there saw this blog post.

Andy Beal

Lucky you! They wouldn't let be use just "AndyBeal" despite being the first person to request it. They made me use "AndyBeal1" :-(


I feel your pain though I've been wrestling with a different form of Google goofiness.

A friend owns a web store. He dutifully made a Google+ account for it. Seven months ago he started a brick-and-mortar store in the same location that a similar store recently had. He created a Google Local Business page for it and linked his Google+ page.

Google, however, in its infinite wisdom, created a SECOND Google+ page based off the Google Local Business account and substituted this new Google+ page for the original one in its listing.

Attempts to merge the Google+ pages have failed. Unfortunately, people gave positive reviews via the new page before we discovered this craziness. If we delete that Google+ page, the store loses the local reviews, which hurts it in SERPs and reputation. Leaving it, however, is confusing people (we have a hard time keeping them straight).

If we maintain both, we're afraid of getting dinged for duplicate content if we post something as innocent as the same event to both.

So Google made the mess, Google won't fix it and my friend has three bad alternatives (lose the reviews if he deletes the new Google+, lose followers if he deletes the old Google+ page or being penalized if we duplicate content from one to another). It really stinks.

David Meerman Scott

Andy - If you're like me, than the one with numbers isn't worth it.

Beth - Goofiness indeed.

Ross Jurewitz

I would have done the same thing David Meerman Scott. When Google+ came out with custom URLs, I almost immediately got my url (https://plus.google.com/+RossJurewitz) and I wasn't forced to add numbers or other characters. If I had too, I probably wouldn't have done it either. Glad you got the custom URL you wanted.


Sounds pretty sad...=(

Well, hope google's gonna work on it. I was also asked to try this Custom URL feature but I didn't go far and left everything as it used to be. Now I see, I did everything right. It's really not big pleasure to twist your unique name into some number-letterized weird thing.


Lucky you! They didn’t let me use my name ,they gave me a name plus three more numbers so I’m named like a robot.

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