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Google’s Giving Out More Vanity URLs; Terms They Might Cost In Future Remain
If you or your brand is eligible for a custom URL, you’ll receive a email allowing you to claim the URL. The subject will read either “Get a custom URL for your Google+ profile” or “Get a custom URL for your Google+ page” and will look like the following:
If the custom URL is approved, you can then confirm on the next page with a pre-checked Terms of Service box:
Once completed, you’ll have successfully claimed your vanity URL, but also will be agreeing to the face that while custom URLs are free for now, Google may start charging a fee for them in the future. Since inception of custom URLS, there has been a bullet-point in the TOS that states:
“Custom URLs are free for now, but we may start charging a fee for them. However, we will tell you before we start charging and give you the choice to stop participating first.”
So could you be required to pay to keep your custom URL in the future? Yes.
We reached out for some context for context as to why this point was still included in the terms, but did not receive any additional information.
While this point is most likely a catch-all implemented by lawyers, it’s scary for marketers looking to promote their Google+ presence, especially SMB’s. For example, if an advertiser creates a page, builds it up, advertises their Google+ page, they hypothetically could lose the address if they don’t pay the unnamed fee that Google has told them they may charge.
For more information on custom Google+ URLs see the official terms of service.