Google May Charge Fees For Google+ Custom URLs

Oct 30, 2013 • 8:23 am | comments (44) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

One of the other big announcements was that Google is offering vanity URLs within Google+ for virtually everyone. But if you read the terms of service, Google says for now these URLs are free, but Google may charge for them in the future.

Google+ Custom URLs

The requirements are minimal to get these custom URLs:

  • Has a profile photo, and
  • Has at least 10 followers, and
  • Has an account that's at least 30 days old

But if you read the terms of service, you'll see this:

Google+ Custom URLs Fees

Does this mean Google will charge fees? Who knows, I can't imagine they will. But again, who knows.

Google's John Mueller noticed the custom URLs work on all Google TLDs. So if I want to act proper, I can send people to

Custom URLs on Google+ was first introduced to a limited number of personalities and brands in August 2012.

Forum discussion at Google+ at +OtavioSilva, +JanWillemBobbink and +JohnMueller and WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: What's New With Google+ In Short



10/30/2013 12:59 pm

That's like charging to put a billboard up in the desert. Who is going to see it or care?


10/30/2013 01:26 pm

I changed mine to the custom URL. If they're going to start charging for it, they can promptly change it right back.

Jan-Willem Bobbink

10/30/2013 01:53 pm

Thanks for the mention :) I do think Google will only charge brands / companies


10/30/2013 02:10 pm

huh, no wonder they allowed three people I know to change their business urls on Google+ yesterday... Evil Google, just Evil.

Durant Imboden

10/30/2013 02:20 pm

What Jan-Willem Bobbink said. Google could charge a fee for custom business URLs but not for custom personal URLs. It wouldn't have to be all or nothing.


10/30/2013 02:22 pm

"Does this mean Google will charge fees?" Depends from you and others who use this. Promote your URL, rely on it, create your business around it (like you did around the domain name and you can be sure what news will you read soon )

Durant Imboden

10/30/2013 02:40 pm

Nobody. But that isn't the point. A "vanity URL" is about vanity, not utility.


10/30/2013 03:15 pm

Google "vanity url" and find the "7 reasons why Google+ vanity urls are awesome" by yours truly. You'll notice that Google has always reserved the right to charge for their service to provide vanity URLs in G+. No surprises. Ah, and contrary to popular belief, G+ is great for hosting events to your followers. Every event you set up becomes 1 e-mail sent to their personal inbox. Just before the event, reminders are sent out if your followers signed up for the event. Engagement rates are amazing.. Yes, nothing to see at G+ ;)


10/30/2013 03:40 pm

it is easier for a consumer to find you especially with a vanity phone number. and i would think the name in the url for the brand has search result benefits.


10/30/2013 04:53 pm

Depends how much they are going to charge, I don't mind paying a small amount. Otherwise, yes, they can change it back.


10/30/2013 04:58 pm

Most small businesses don't see any benefit from social media at all, and I'm one of them. Outside of webmaster and seo industry types, who often drool over the latest search engine snake oil, I don't know of any company's products or services I personally use that has invested much into G+. If Google starts charging for vanity urls, I think many businesses will cut out G+ and use Facebook instead. Google was late to the party and how they rank small businesses these days leaves little to be desired when it is anything related to Google. Even though it may be in Google's terms that they can charge for these urls, it's definitely what I would consider a disclosed bait and switch tactic. Say you are one of the fortunate ones to build a big following on G+. Google then says your monthly fee is based on the number of followers. At even $.10 a follower, that would be $400 a month for 4,000 followers! Google should be transparent in saying how much they would charge before people find themselves held over a barrel by Google!


10/30/2013 07:12 pm

I think after thinking about this some today, I would imagine they've charge for people that want to actually make a custom URL outside of your name. I'm ok with that.


10/30/2013 07:25 pm

why we need it? or it just backlink???


10/30/2013 07:26 pm

no urls from evil google. every such url make your closer to evil.

Kandarp Bhatt

10/31/2013 07:53 am

May be it is only for company/business profile because for individual profile i think it is free.


10/31/2013 08:20 am

If you switch to a custom url do you need to update rel=author tag too?


10/31/2013 09:57 am

@31e27fd1fff5a809e223a52a33dd1da3:disqus Yes this is a very important thing to know @barryschwartz. Do we have to change the rel author tag?


10/31/2013 09:58 am

yes this is a very important thing to know @barryschwartz. Do we have to change the rel author tag? @31e27fd1fff5a809e223a52a33dd1da3:disqus


10/31/2013 10:07 am

I want my old custom URL back I had on Instead they offer me a long one with my full name now which nobody can spell right. Why should I pay for THAT?


10/31/2013 10:47 am

It seems strange that Google would charge for this feature. I think in ten years time Google will charge for all free features.


10/31/2013 11:39 am

yes.... you right.. why we are pay for that...!

Andrew Isidoro

10/31/2013 01:30 pm

Maybe not all free features but certainly seems like "premium" features could be developed:

Bruce Simmons

10/31/2013 01:37 pm

This may seem like a petty aspect to the process of the Google+ Custom URLs, but I am miffed that they finally found a way to almost get my mobile phone number out of me. (Well, they sure tempted me, that's for sure.) As long as they do not offer any other method for "confirming" my information, I guess I'll just have to make do with those long URLs, like I already have been. OK, that's my meager two cents on the subject. (With inflation and all, wouldn't that now be like nine cents?) -Bruce


10/31/2013 05:29 pm

I think the possible paid aspect is a way to increase perceived value of the URLs. It could just be a marketing ploy. However, it being Google, it's probably not.

Daniel Sanchez

10/31/2013 06:45 pm

how would you go about changing a stupid URL they gave you though?

Gracious Store

10/31/2013 07:30 pm

Of what value is the custom vanity URL? Just the vanity as the name suggests??


11/01/2013 03:58 am

That's when I balked, when they demanded a cell phone number. Just part of John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness that started in the 80's...

Ajith Prasad Edassery

11/01/2013 06:22 am

It's bad that they 'reserved' a vanity URL for a profile and not allow pick one of our choices.


11/01/2013 12:01 pm

Your old profiles URL should still work you know...

Leonid Saykin

11/01/2013 04:54 pm

well then people will not loose anything when they change their mind for a small fee


11/01/2013 07:32 pm

I already use two-factor authentication, which involves my cellphone number, so this does not bother me. They have not used my number for text message advertising or sold it to anyone, so why the worry?

Peter Watson

11/02/2013 12:04 am

Will Google 301 the old pages once it has been changed to the vanity url?

Peter Alex Leigh

11/02/2013 12:51 am

Chill Tadeuzs, your name is easy to spell

Steven Harris

11/02/2013 04:20 am

I just claimed mine and it is still showing up a string of numbers in front of my vanity url, doesn't seem like an improvement yet. Does anyone know how to take the numbers out of it or will google do this eventually and it just takes a day or two?


11/04/2013 01:53 pm

Are you ironic with that typo?


11/04/2013 01:54 pm

Yeah, it does, but it only redirects to the long clumsy one.

Shelley Powers

11/07/2013 02:35 pm

Pretty hard to claim when they want to send a text message, and you have text messaging turned off for your phone.

Luke Chapman

11/08/2013 01:02 am

No, you don't need to change anything. It's still working.

Luke Chapman

11/08/2013 01:02 am

No, you don't need to change anything. It's still working. E.g.

Rob Abdul

11/08/2013 12:35 pm

I got mine while the going is good. :-)

sol abols

11/12/2013 01:17 pm

how i can get one plz help

Peter Alex Leigh

11/21/2013 04:28 pm

Sure am.... I sure am


12/01/2013 01:01 pm

That's very immoral of them if they charge. Because of the Google authorship, people's activity in g+ has been increased a lot, plus everybody is adding their g+ link to their blog. For their pic in google search. Now if google starts charging and you change your url back then your blog or websites indexing might change. So, eventually many blogger or website owner will pay.


04/21/2014 09:43 pm

There are several of you asking how to obtain a vanity URL without having to add additional characters. One work around is to create your page name with a few characters shorter than your target Vanity URL. Then when given the opportunity to create a custom URL, you add the characters to give the actual desired URL. In my case, I submitted my Trademark information (Word and logo mark) to Google+'s legal team, along with the gmail account and Google+ ID. I got an email response the next day, and when logging into G+, the "claim your custom URL" link was slightly different that what you're used to seeing. It actually allowed me to change the URL to my brand name without having to add characters at the end.

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