I finally got around to creating my Google+ page for SocMedSean. While I’m not really confident of the future of Google+, it doesn’t appear to be fading as fast as Google Wave did, so maybe Google is invested in the long-term search/social integration of the platform and is going to continue to shovel money into it. If that’s the case, then social media strategists shouldn’t ignore it, since it’s likely going to be a big part of the SEO formula going forward.
While Google+ is pretty easy to setup and use, one of the things I don’t like about Google+ pages is the fact that you can’t create a friendly URL. The URL for my Facebook page is simple to remember. I just tell people “Go to Facebook.com/SocMedSean“. With Google Plus, however, I would have to tell them “Go to https://plus.google.com/b/114393356997995606890/114393356997995606890/posts“.
So, rather than trying to remember that hot mess and then trying to rely on my clients or social media contacts to remember iy, I decided I had better come up with a solution. So here’s what I did.
With my WordPress blog, I use a plugin called Redirection. What this plugin does is allow me to create an easy 301 redirect from any page on my blog to any other page. So if another blogger links to a page on my site and I need to change the URL for some reason, I can always use Redirect to tell WordPress “if someone requests the old URL, automatically send them to the new URL.”
Make sense? Trust me…it’s a GREAT plugin!
The nice thing about Redirection is that I can also point someone to an external URL (one that doesn’t live on my blog). So…I simply created a redirect that says “If someone goes to http://www.socmedsean.com/googleplus/ then send them to the long, icky URL for my Google+ page”.
Here’s a screen capture of what that redirect looks like in the Redirection plugin:
|IMPORTANT NOTE:If you’re using WordPress, be sure that you have a trailing / on your URL. I noticed that if I just redirected “http://www.socmedsean.com/googleplus” (without the trailing slash) then it doesn’t work because WordPress automatically redirects “http://www.socmedsean.com/googleplus” to “http://www.socmedsean.com/googleplus/”.So…if you create the redirect with the trailing slash, you’ll be covered!|
Hopefully, this is only a band-aid solution until Google wises up to the fact that people don’t want to remember all that junk and would like friendlier URLs. Obviously, this is just one workaround, you could do the same thing for any website using an IIS redirect or a redirect from your .htaccess file. Since I use WordPress and the Redirect plugin already, this one was quick and easy to implement.
I’d love to hear other ways that people have solved this problem so feel free to chime in with a comment.