Sunday, February 16, 2014

How to fool Google+ and get your exact username!


Usernames are serious business, they're your identity and your presence online. Celebrities and companies buy their username on hundreds of social media websites to pick their identity and prevent confusion. For example, you can find "Google" on facebook.com/google, twitter.com/google and instagram.com/google. The username-picking game is a pain-in-the-ass if someone else has picked your username, a username such as facebook.com/google1 or facebook.com/thisisgoogle is not appealing. It has became a simple name-picking game! Some people and organizations push further to buy their trademarks and claim their usernames through some e-lawsuits.

So, today morning, the search giant informed me that my profile is eligible for a username. Yeeyy! As I rushed to pick my exact username georgechalhoub and not georgechalhoub1, mrs. Google breaks down the news.

"Add a few extra letters or numbers to this URL to get one that is unique for your page."

No, no and no! I'm sorry Google but I want my own unique username. I don't care if there are 12 of George Chalhoub in the United States, first come first served! Indeed, I didn't give up and pick a mediocre username like georgechalhoub1 or geogechalhoub1994. I Googled a lot, I found a lot of people with similar views but with no result.

"Add a few extra letters or numbers to my name? When did Google+ become AOL?" - cc9.org

" I keep seeing so much promise with the Google+ social network but it seems every time they take a few steps forward and make it more awesome they take double the amount of steps backwards leaving us without a real reason to totally abandon Facebook and make the move to Google+. Fail." - Dan Levy



"Play fair Google! "Add a few extra letters or numbers to this URL to get one that is unique for your page." No way. I already know a word that is unique to our site page - +ShopSafe :) " - Jim Munro


I thought a lot about a solution, and here is how I fooled the search giant and registered plus.google.com/+georgechalhoub:


The process of fooling the search giant (with all respect) is actually simple:

1) Click on your name, so that you'd be able to edit it, and remove the last three characters of your last name.






2) Refresh and go to the page where you claim your username, you will get this box, add the three characters back left.




Abracadabra! My username is available again, thanks to the search giant, here is my VANITY URL now, plus.google.com/+georgechalhoub. Don't forget to edit your name back to your real name!

Important: Businesses and pages who need a URL won't be able to change their names, instead they have to change their website, for example: if your linked website is www.waterlove.com you remove it from your Google+ page, you go to a domain registrar (like Godaddy) and pick a www.waterlo.com and link it back and verify it. After verifying it, you pick your desired username  Later, you can re-link your real website!


This only works for ".com" domains. If there are no shorter domains with .com for your site, then I guess you have to wait. What you should do is:


+  Be very active on Google+
+  Change your profile pictures very often.
+  Post more than 20 posts.

+  Gain at least 10 followers

Then try getting your URL.


Final note: Don't mess with Google and try to get a vanity url for any celebrity, business or brand. Not only it is unethical and childish, google might reject it from you; Google said in a statement that "users who change their name to get a new custom URL assignment may result in their profile being reviewed, and the custom URL revoked".


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67 comments:

  1. Didn't work for me. You may want to note the name change policy permits 3 changes within 2 years. So, if you try it and screw it up you may lock your name in for an extended period.

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    1. Do you mind telling me exactly what happened, so that I can assist you more?

      Delete
  2. @GEORGE CHALHOUB
    hi im the guy who posted REX ARTS you posted me as "Anonymous"
    plz tell me how can i change & verify via domain?? just changed my name from "Rex Arts" to "Rex A" i hope it doesn't locks down forever on "Rex A" my business page...

    awaiting your reply

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ryan, if you have a Google+ profile, you will be able to change your name then pick your target vanity URL.

      But if you have a Google+ page (which is apparently your case) then changing your name wouldn't make much a difference. You have to buy a new domain name and link it (something like rexart or rexar or rexa). I checked on Godaddy and I found one available for you: rexar.net.

      One you buy rexar.net, unlink rexarts.com (don't worry you can link it back later) and link instead rexar.net, if you're lucky Google will let you then add (ts).

      Let me know if it works.

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  3. if i gett rexar.net then google+ will give me rexarnet_ url

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    1. Have you tested it? That's bad, I guess they only give exact vanity urls to .com domains. I guess you have only one option left, create a Google+ profile and not page with a fake name (less letters) and try to get your username.

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    2. I'm assuming also you "bought" the domain name and "verified it" with the page, if you haven't they won't give you the url.

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  4. Nice trick. But google adds some two characters extension "le" to all my business name pages. Any ideas? :)

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Works for Business Pages ... Thank you!

    Like you said, I had to register a shorter .com domain (in my case http://hubtempl.com) and verify it, then I was able to get +HUBTemplates, then I replaced my Website with my real URL http://hubtemplates.com and verified it. Now I've got the vanity URL I wanted and it only cost me $10.99 on name.com. Worth every penny.

    google.com/+HUBTemplates

    ^_^ Love hacks like this!

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  7. Your solution is pretty cool but to get this to work for a company you would need to register another shorter domain! That's a bit overkill I think just to get a vanity URL...

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    1. Well, Alex, that all depends on how one does business. Consistency in branding is very important to some businesses. Instead of having several different usernames for your social media accounts, having the same name across the board makes it easier to communicate, market and build your brand without confusion. You can just tell people one social media username and that they can find you on all popular accounts. That's not a bad idea if it means making your more money in the long run.

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  8. Yee! It's working! Now my google.com/+ShakeThatCamera looks better. Thanks George! All the best - Darek.

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  9. Hello George, I have one question regarding this trick with domain :) Let's say my real page is "www.realpage.com" and there are no available shorter domains with the ending .com. Will this work for e.g. - www.example.EU" or www.example.ORG etc. ? I'd be grateful for your answer. Best regards!

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    Replies
    1. I'm sorry for the late reply - no, it will not work.

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  10. Sweet. It worked like a charm. Who'd a thunk the solution could be so simple?

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  11. IT WORKED! great. thanks a million!

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  12. not working for me - "The URL isn't available. Try another?" - i typed in the address before changing the name & get a 404...so i thought it was available.

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    1. I'm Also having the same issue! The name is 404, meaning the page should be available. I bought a domain name that's 3 characters shorter, filled it in. It does not work. Any idea why?

      Now I have an extra domain and still no vanity URL

      Delete
  13. Wow, this is so ridiculous. It worked for me for the business page getting a domain with fewer letters.

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  14. Hi George,
    My website is sibeeshpassion.com . So i need to have my page URL as +SibeeshPassion. So I just edit my name as Sibeesh Pass , and when I clicked the Get URL button, it is asking the same +Sibeeshpassion +add some character. What should i do ? Please help me.

    Kindest Regards
    Sibeesh
    sibeeshpassion.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For URLs changing your name won't work. Buy a shorter domain at Godaddy, eg: "sibeeshpassi.com". Unlink your old domain, link the new domain. Attempt then to create the username sibeeshpassi, google will tell you to add few more characters, then add "on", it will work. When all is over, you can link your old domain back. Try it and let me your result.

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    2. So for that I must host my new domain right? Or just purchasing of that domain is enough?

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    3. No hosting is required. Just purshase it, preferably through Godaddy since verification is with one click, and Google and Godaddy are partners.

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    4. I purchased the domain sibeeshpass.com and changed it in my page. But now it is not asking for the "Get URL" . That button is not showing up now.

      Delete
    5. Hi,
      Now if I change it to my new website domain (www.sibeeshpass.com) , it is asking me to verify my website. To get verified I must paste some google code to the page right? For that I must host that website right? please reply me. Thanks in advance .

      Kindest Regards
      Sibeesh
      http://sibeeshpassion.com/

      Delete
    6. It depends, there are many ways to verify your website, just make sure it is added and verified in Google Webmaster tools. It you didn't add it yet, just go to google.com/webmasters and verify it (with one-click if the domain is registered with Godaddy), if not, they're ask you to add any file.html in your main directory (or change the DNS). Simple instructions.

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    7. If you haven't requested the URL yet, you can go to settings and pick your url.

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    8. But I could not find any link to get the URL in settings. Will it take some time after the verification of website?

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    9. Please see the below image
      http://prntscr.com/5ww95k
      This is what I am getting when I try. Help me .

      Delete
  15. I originally setup google+ with my correct domain name TRUPROTEINS. I was really confused with all the google+ pages/profiles along with youtube. They weren't connecting together properly so I deleted all of them and started over. I now have the google+ page & youtube connected properly but can't get the vanity name, which I had previously claimed on the deleted account. I bought & verified TRUPROTE.com.
    Its inviting me to grab the vanity URL but when I add the ins to the end it still says that name is taken.
    Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems that Google found out about this post and they don't allow you to get your exact name anymore. I do not really know.

      Delete
  16. I was very excited as this almost worked. I got to the point where I could add in my extra few characters for the URL but then google said it wasn't unique. Nobody has this URL. so why would that happen?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems that Google found out about this post and they don't allow you to get your exact name anymore. I do not really know.

      Delete
  17. Can anyone verify that the shortened URL method is still working?

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  18. I just tried this for my ecommerce training YouTube channel, but it's not working. Maybe Google has caught on. I'm trying to get +My60KStore, which nobody else has. Really dumb that I can't just register that id.

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  19. Unfortunately, this didn't work for me, but only for my specific domain. I was trying to get +Schrauger, which isn't taken. I own schrauger.com, and I purchased schrau.com. I'm able to get +Schraug, +Schrauge, but when I try for +Schrauger, it says that name is not valid. Even though no one has that vanity url, it won't let me take it. Oh well, there's $9 down the drain for a useless domain.

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  20. This sort of worked for me :)
    I wish I had read the comments first that said that Google had caught on to this trick but oh well :)
    I wanted the google url of google.com/+SuddenlyHS, so I bought a domain of suddenl.com, when I added the last letters of 'yhs' it told me this was unavailable lol. I was so annoyed, but at least I could add 'yHomeSchooling to still get google.com/+SuddenlyHomeSchooling using this work around.
    So thanks :D

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  21. I found the following method to be working like a charm:

    - Create a G+ page;
    - Verify the site's domain via the G+ page;
    - Wait for 4+ days.

    Within a day or 4 you should get the option to get a preapproved custom URL, without extra characters (unless the URL is already taken).

    I tested this approach with 3 dotcom domains and 3 pages (1 page had nothing but a verified domain) and it worked for all 3 pages. So I guess the "secret" is having a little bit of patience :)

    Anyway, this is the post that got me on the right track (it mentions a whole checklist, but it seems only a verified domain is required):
    http://www.digitspeak.com/tech/social/google-url-without-extra-characters/

    Please note: after 2 days the "Get custom URL" option completely disappeared for 1 of the G+ pages, which got me worried. But even that page received its preapproved custom URL. So don't worry if the custom URL option completely disappears during the waiting period... just keep waiting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ralph...do you think your method will work for someone that hasn't created a personal google+ profile...? I have just created a google+ page (for a record label)...verified my website and now it wants me to add characters to the custom URL which i don't want to do....SO you think if i wait a few days it may allow me to do custom URL without adding anything?

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  22. I think it will work. But, since you posted your comment several days ago, perhaps you found out about it already. Did it work?

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    1. Hi Ralph. Yes, it worked. After a day or so it let me choose URL without having to add extra characters. Thanks!

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    2. You're welcome! Good to have it confirmed.

      Delete
  23. Thanks for the post it was really helpful. By the way i love the blog i have just bookmarked for a read after work - See more at: business personal statement

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  24. It didn't work for me and now I am stuck with incomplete last name for three months. Great trick!
    My last name is 4 letter word so I deleted last three letters. Google says it's not available. I searched and page 404 pops. No one has that URL then why I can't have it?

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  25. It didn't work for me and now I am stuck with incomplete last name for three months. Great trick!
    My last name is 4 letter word so I deleted last three letters. Google says it's not available. I searched and page 404 pops. No one has that URL then why I can't have it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The "trick" I described here in the comments works: Just wait a few days with selecting a custom URL and then you'll get the option to select the correct preapproved custom URL.

      You can solve your problem by simply creating a new G+ page/profile, wait a few days and once you get the option to select the correct preapproved custom URL, simply select it. After that you can delete the profile/page that uses the incorrect custom URL.

      Delete
  26. Just wanted to confirm that the method of waiting a few days after linking the domain name works! It took two days for me. I have registered the page and linked the domain name on Friday and today Sunday Google pre approved the URL I wanted without a suffix. I am so happy!

    Just to be sure I also published a few posts on the page and asked some friends to follow it. I only had 11 followers/people in my circles... So I guess it's more about the time you wait than how many people follow... :) Good luck anyone trying to secure their brands =) It was just annoying to be able to register it everywhere, even Twitter, and not on Google/Youtube.

    Good day!

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  27. Oh what crafty fix George - thank-you!

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  28. Two things, George:

    1. You are a GENIUS!

    2. I just did this by dropping only one letter from my domain name. I got lucky and got a great domain - your media guy dot com - which Google wanted me to add to for my Google+ and YouTube names, as you described. I registered your media gu dot com, changed everything else to match that, as you described, added the "y" to the end and they let me have it.

    Thank you SO MUCH!

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  29. SOLUTION:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPLcdk1Q-GA

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  30. I'm trying to get actually a number into myurl and doesn't let me :(

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  31. Thank you so much for this article, George! I got bitten by same issue. I did exactly what one of the responders did. I went ahead and registered a domain with a few characters less at the end for $11.95. Then verified it with G+. After that I got my url I wanted by adding those extra characters. Then I pointed G+ business page back to my original url !!

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  32. You little genius! Thanks so much for this. Worked perfectly, even as a "business" channel, rather than a standard user.

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  33. Thanks - great tip - been struggling with this for ages.
    It didn't work for me because my Youtube URL is already my desired vanity G+ URL - so I can't get it.
    Yet another G+ user experience fail!

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  34. This is brilliant! Totally works. Bugged I had to buy a new domain to do it, but it worked!

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  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  37. Wow... IT WORKED! Thank you so much! Such a clever trick.

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  38. It work for me https://plus.google.com/+Ghanacampusblog

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  39. Bummer! It no longer works!! I followed the directions and it does let me save the URL, but then an error message comes up telling me that name is taken and to choose another. Ack!! I'm glad some people got to use this extra sneaky tip, but I think I'm too late! Thanks anyway! It was pretty genius while it lasted. :)

    ReplyDelete