As Google sunsets programs such as Hangouts and Google+, we may find some of the better features managing their way over onto our new platforms like Google My Business. We’ve already seen posting on Google My Business happening, now we’re seeing a new feature: short names.
What is a shortname?
“Short name” is just a fancy word for “username”, the same way you would have a username on Twitter or a page slug on Facebook. Google My Business is giving you the opportunity (much like we were able to on Google+) to choose your own short name.
What does it do?
Your “short name” will be an easier way that people can find your Google My Business listing without that huge, long string of characters that we normally see when sharing Google My Business listings. Here’s a great example. We claimed “hasoptimization”, and now our Google My Business listing can be accessed from https://g.page/hasoptimization/ That’s a much nicer looking URL than the one it redirects to: https://www.google.com/maps/place//data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x89e26add098f4d89:0x1e02af670eb22801?source=g.page.default Wouldn’t you agree?
Google has also made it easier to ask for reviews
Typically, in the past, we have either created custom redirects for clients (say, https://www.domain.com/google) to hand out to their customers so they can ask if someone wants to give them a review. If you don’t have a website, or you don’t know how to set up a redirect, this is an easy way that you can point people to where they can leave you a review. Google supplies this, for example, by default for hasOptimization: https://g.page/hasoptimization/review
Where can I get my shortname?
There are two places you can add your short name from. One is from the dashboard, stating that your profile is incomplete:
If you don’t see it there, click “info” and scroll down to “add short name”.
What shortname should I take?
Google actually makes this pretty easy. When in the short name area and selecting a short name, Google may (but not always) trying to suggest to you a short name that is in line with your brand’s identity, based on what it sees from around the internet. For example, one of our clients’ name of their business is Boisvert Brothers Tree Service, but that’s a mouthful. Their website is at bbtreenh.com, and their Facebook page slug is /bbtreenh, so Google helpfully suggested our first pick for short name to be BBTreeNH.
Claim it now!
Like many things on the internet, we have to share with everyone around us, so if you don’t hop on now, it’s possible the shortname you want can be scooped up by someone else.