G+ Local Custom URL Conundrum to be Aware of

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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You may think I was going to talk about the actual name of the custom URL Google offers. I'm not. (That part is easy. Most local businesses get their name with city tacked on EVEN IF the name is very unique and no one else is using it. So if you don't like the name offered, don't accept it - because at this point you can't change it.)

But another problem just came up in the private Pro conference calls I do for my training clients, that some business owners (and consultants) may not be aware of.

I can see many small business owners wanting the custom URL for branding. AND especially to make an easy to remember link to give customers when they try to get reviews, or simply a short link for business cards or whatever.

Here is a random example of a G+ Local Business Page with a custom URL.

https://plus.google.com/+Joanbundylaw/

Note: When you click link, it automatically redirects to the "Posts" page, not the "About" page.

https://plus.google.com/+Joanbundylaw/posts

So that presents a couple problems.

1) The reviews, important business description, categories and map are not on the "Posts" page.

2) If the business is not doing any posts, then that page the custom URL automatically defaults too is just blank. Not a great user experience.


Mike posted about the fact that one of the problems with Google's "forced march to social" is the fact that from the search results page - the link to the G+ page also goes to the "Posts" page. So much of what he said in his post at LocalU esterday also applies here. Google+ Pages for Local: An SMB Survival Guide - Local University

So instruct clients that aren't into social or posting, not to accept the custom URL. Or if they already do. be sure they know that if they want to link to it to either say "view our reviews on Google" or "Leave us a review on Google" they don't use the direct custom URL but need to tack on the "About" page at the end, like this: https://plus.google.com/+Joanbundylaw/about

Pros on my call think the business owner should be able to select in the G+ dashboard, which page they want their custom URL to redirect to.

The default should not automatically be the posts page because:

.:. Some business owners don't post.

.:. Many would rather show off their reviews.

.:. Some may use it more like a business card and therefore want description, location and contact details to be prominent.


Weigh in if you agree or if you've had experience with this being a problem.

If so and if we can get some comments about this, then I'll alert Google to this thread and tell them we think the custom URL redirect should offer a choice of landing page.
 

Scott Rawlins

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Nov 14, 2012
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Could not agree more with others about having links go to the About tab instead of the Posts tab. Many of our clients don't use the social features often enough, if at all. I also agree that consumers, myself included, would prefer to see the pertinent information on the About tab and not the Posts tab.

Just my 2 cents. :)
 

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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Thanks Scott, you actually reminded me of something I meant to say and didn't.

If Google does not offer a choice then the default should be "About".

If they DO offer a choice, then default should still be "About" because for most businesses I bet that would be the most important.

But IF they are really into social and prefer the "Post" page, then let them change to that page.

But the default for any software should always be the most common/popular choice. In this case if they took a vote across all SMBs, I bet the vote would be "About".
 

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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Another problem I forgot to mention is if the business name + city is already really long.

For example:
plus.google.com/+PennsylvaniaCenterforDentalExcellencePhiladelphia/

Note: When you click link, it automatically redirects to the "Posts" page, not the "About" page.

plus.google.com/+PennsylvaniaCenterforDentalExcellencePhiladelphia/posts

So he needs to remember to link to:
plus.google.com/+PennsylvaniaCenterforDentalExcellencePhiladelphia/about

For some, after Google tacks city onto the name, adding /about just makes it too long for customers to remember or type which kinda defeats the purpose of a vanity URL.

Would be better if he could just set default to the "About" page.

Len is a great example for this reason too...

He TEACHES other Dentists about social media. He travels around the country doing big seminars on social for Dentists.

His custom URL links to his "Post" page.

Even a guy like him... has not posted for over 2 months!!!

So that kinda goes to show, many businesses are just posting to their G+ page. Some business owners are just too busy to post so that URL should default to "About".
 

Former Member

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Mar 15, 2013
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108
Could not agree more! Thanks for making me aware of this. I had my doubts about the whole vanity URL thing but ended up buying in early anyway. It just looked too pretty!
 

David Deering

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Nov 25, 2012
Messages
207
Good information and advice, Linda. Thanks. That's something that I never really thought about but very true.

Now you and most people here might already know this, but here's a neat trick that will send people directly a Google+ page with the review box already up and ready to go. Just add about?review=1 to the end of the Google+ page URL. So using the example Google+ page above, if you wanted to send someone a link to write a review, you would send them to https://plus.google.com/+Joanbundylaw/about?review=1.

Of course, that's a crazy long URL, so you could simply just use a URL shortener like goo.gl or ****** to help shorten it some.
 

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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True David. But if you did a link in an email or even on your site, the length would not matter. But ya adding that string to plus.google.com/+PennsylvaniaCenterforDentalExcellencePhiladelphia/ would make it even uber longer than it already is.

So if you were specifically asking for reviews I would send them to that page that has the review box open. But some businesses just want to say visit us on Google+ or see our reviews at Google+ or simply have a list of social links. So a straight link that redirected to "About" would be best I think.

We've been talking to Google today and the other TCs voted along with the suggestions in this thread.
I'm not sure it's going to change any time soon, but they listened and took it under advisement as always - which is still very much appreciated.
 

David Deering

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Nov 25, 2012
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Oh, I agree Linda. I wasn't suggesting that it was a solution to the main problem, but that it can be used as an option to send someone directly to the review page. But I agree that the About section is where a person should land when going to a business' Google+ page, so hopefully Google will agree with you TCs and make that happen.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2013
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I have changed my google+ name a while ago mainly for the reason it would make it easier when i get customers to leave reviews but i never thought about the page it landed on and i agree the about page would be the most appropriate to land on. I am glad i have just notice this as i am going to have another go at getting previous customers to leave reviews but this time rather than leaving them with a sheet with the address i will email the link to them and direct them to the review box.
 
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Feb 24, 2013
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I know for one of my clients that wanted review links on print materials, we set up 301 redirects using their domain. Eg. Domain.com/googleplus ,Domain.com/facebook etc. This allowed us to easily update those links if they changed on the review sites and don't have to worry about any print materials.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
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Jul 26, 2012
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1,530
My clients and I have always steered people toward the "About" tab. The trouble with "Posts" is the only sign that you even can write a review at all is the tiny pencil icon off to the left.

So yeah, just to join the chorus here: "About" tab all the way.
 

Mopo100

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Aug 29, 2013
Messages
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For what it's worth, I noticed my old Google+ url *before I changed to the custom url* was also defaulting to the posts page, so I don't think this is an issue that has only arisen with the new custom urls, or at least it wasn't for me.

Agree with everyone else, it should definitely default to the about page.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
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About page for sure but I am guessing they are going to change it up a bit again so that multiple things appear...not holding my breath.

That would be my guesstimate or maybe it is simply wishful/hopeful thinking?

Also, we tend to err on the side of caution so, just as McCreery mentioned, using a 301 redirect is always a good thing and it can be changed if needed and keep things simplified for the consumers and business owners alike.
 

Louis Nava

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Aug 10, 2013
Messages
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I just experienced a new way to get the posts page from an "about" link

I merged a +Business page with a +Local page and now if you use the old +Business URL it will redirect to the +Local page on the Posts tab.

Just FYI, because it could easily get mistaken by whomever is the web person for that business.
 

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