Lack of Available Google Profile Usernames & Custom URLs

I was not able to get [email protected]. Yeah. I know. Cue the violins. It’s such a tragedy. It was probably because I didn’t get a beta invite to Gmail, and someone beat me to the punch. Whatever. I’m over it. Kind of. But I always knew that not getting my name as a Gmail username would come back to haunt me in more ways than one. So let’s talk about Google Profiles and custom URLs.

If you have a Google account, you are eligible to create a Google Profile. I have several Google profiles: a few for myself and many more for clients. Your Google Profile is associated with your email address, so you can have a Google Profile that associated with your Gmail address or some other email address. It does not have to be a address. Let’s take a look at the 2 scenarios:

  1. Your profile is associated with a non-Gmail email address.
    Google Profile URL: Custom URL (non-Gmail Account)
    Google Profile URL: Custom URL (non-Gmail Account)

    If you have a Google account that is associated with a, or some other domain, you have an advantage: you can actually pick a custom URL for your Google Profile. You are actually presented a box where you can type in your custom URL. Just fill in the blank with your username:

    That’s pretty cool, right? Well it is until you realize that pretty much every possible username is unavailable. This is because you cannot get a username that someone already has for their Gmail account. For example, let’s say some already has [email protected] (and they do, btw). If that is true, then you will not be able to get for your custom URL. And because Google does not recycle email addresses, it doesn’t even have to be a current email address username. If that username has ever been used, you are outta luck.

    The bottom line: Using a non-Gmail email address will allow you the option of creating your own custom URL username. Good luck finding one that is available!

  2. Your profile is associated with Gmail address

    Google Profile URL: Custom URL for Your SEO Sucks!
    Google Profile URL: Custom URL for Your SEO Sucks!
  3. As you can see, with this option you are only given 2 choices. You can use your Gmail username, or you can use some string of predetermined numbers. Obviously, this is a great option if you have an awesome Google/Gmail username. If you take this route, email spammers will be able to easily deduce your Gmail address. If you don’t want your email address spammed to hell over, I recommend using the string of numbers. However, that is damn near impossible to brand (if that is your goal).

So there you have it. I wish you the best of luck with your Google profile custom URL. And don’t forget that it’s probably twice as bad over at Yahoo and MSN when you try to set up those profiles.

Get a Custom Facebook URL with Only 25 Fans!

Hey everyone. I’m a couple of weeks late on this one, but it seems that Facebook has changed their rules regarding custom URLs for fan pages. When the custom URL feature was first announced, in order to get a custom username and URL you had to have at least 1,000 fans Then about a month later, the requirement dropped to 100 fans.  But if you want a custom username URL for your Facebook fan page, now all you need is 25 fans! How about that?!?!?!

You can find the proof here, but I’ll save you the click:

I tried to secure a name for my Page but Facebook said the Page was not eligible. What are the requirements?
Your Facebook Page must meet two requirements: it must have been live …
Your Facebook Page must meet two requirements: it must have been live on Facebook prior to the May 31, 2009 cut-off date and have had a minimum 1,000 fans at that time.

This limitation is temporary. All Pages created after May 31, 2009 or that had less than 1,000 fans on that day will be eligible to claim usernames on Sunday, June 28, 2009 if they have more than 25 fans.

So there. Go forth and get your Facebook username and custom URL!