Google began rolling out custom URLs to thousands of verified brands and individuals on Google+ last year. Now the search giant is making the option available to almost everyone — a small yet noteworthy update for brands, public figures, and individuals with a substantial following.

What are Custom URLs?

Custom URLs, also known as vanity URLs, allow you to swap out the string of random numbers for something that is much easier to share. This not only makes it easier for you to connect with others, but it also helps when promoting your content.

How To Claim Yours

To claim a custom URL, your account must be at least 30 days old and you must have a profile photo as well as at least 10 followers. If you meet this criteria, you’ll likely be prompted to swap out URLs the next time you log into Google+. We received both an on-site prompt and email notification letting us know our custom URL was ready.

Brands and businesses with a linked website or a verified local business can claim a custom URL for their Google+ Page as well. The only down side is that unlike Facebook, which let you completely customize your page’s URL, Google+ provides you with a pre-approved option. However, you will be able to add extra letters or numbers to make it more personal.

Google Plus Custom URL Example

Once selected, you can only change the capitalization or accents of the URL, not the URL itself. You’ll want to make sure that everything is exactly the way you want it; once your URL has been approved, you can’t request to change it. We recommend talking with your team before confirming your custom URL as to avoid any potential errors.

With custom URLs, it’ll also become much easier to share links to your content such as posts, photos, videos, and +1s. Instead of copying and pasting a long, random link you can now provide customers with something like this: Functionally it’s not a big change, but aesthetically it’s more pleasing and easier to remember.

[Via: The Verge, Image credit: Alvaro Ortiz]