Google Adds ‘Short Name’ To Every Business Listing

Here’s What You Need To Know

For a long time, business owners needed to use a somewhat complex approach to obtain a direct link for their customers to be able to write a Google review. If they were okay simply providing a link to your Google listing, this was easy, but then resulted in a long link which also required the reviewer to find the “review” section and click the “Write a review”, making it less likely for the user to then actually complete the process of writing a review.

The Old Way: Find & Copy The Link For Your Google Listing

    • Look Up Your Business Then Click “Maps” To See Your Business On Google Maps
    • On A Mobile Device, Go To Google Maps App & Click The Same Share Icon
    • You could also use the CID number to create a link to this listing
      • Obtain your CID number via the appropriate steps and then enter the number at the end of this link: https://www.google.com/maps?cid={CID Number}
  • Link Then Takes User To Your Google Listing Where They’d Scroll Down To Find Your “Write a review” section
  • If the business owner instead wanted the user to be directly placed on the “Write a review” section to make it easier for their reviewer to write a review, this process required a few manual tasks to be completed in order to create a review link.
    • Place ID Process
      • Go to this link – https://developers.google.com/places/place-id
      • Insert your business name and address
      • Copy your Place ID Number
      • Insert your Place ID Number at the end of this link text: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid={placeid number}
    • Then Once Place ID Link Is Clicked, The Reviewer Is Sent To Immediate Review Section

Now Google has recognized that these processes are cumbersome and limit the amount of engagement businesses have with their review platform. To make things easier and more straight-forward, Google has implemented a “Short Name” which can now be used to embed in a link that will drive people directly to a businesses Google review platform.

Highlights To Know:

    • Short Name URL = g.page/
    • The new URL/web address allows a business to obtain a custom Local Vanity Domain for each Google Review Listing.
      • Knowing this, the current infrastructure may not be ideal for larger franchise networks, but instead is intended for smaller (10 or less) location businesses.
    • Currently, short names are only available for verified listings.
      • If your listing isn’t currently verified, you will see a section in your Google Listing that says either “Pending Verification” (if you’ve sent a postcard to verify the business or are awaiting some other form of verification), “Duplicate Listing” or another Unverified notice.
  • The short name does not replace either the Place ID or CID
    • The Place ID and CID process indicated at the beginning of this blog will still exist and be fully functional for now.
    • Google hasn’t mentioned anything around deprecating either of these two manual processes, so as of now, there is no indication that these processes will ever go away.
  • End Point/Destination URL for the GMB Listing
    • The end point or destination target element of the GMB listing can be used to direct people to your reviews, reservation feature, photos, appointments, etc.
    • Here are some example “End Points”
      • page/shortname/review – directly links to the “write a review” box.
      • page/shortname/reserve – directly links people to make a reservation on your GMB Listing
        • This option is only available if you’re using a 3rd party “reserve with Google” partner, and your industry is labeled as a restaurant, health or beauty.
        • As the Short Name continues to be adopted by businesses and grows within Google’s band of businesses, the range of options is expected to grow.

Creating Your Short Name

    • To select your short name, click on the “Info” tab on your Google My Business Listing (GMB Listing) and then find the section that says “@Short Name”.
    • Click on the pencil icon to edit that field and add in your desired short name and hit “Apply”
    • If you don’t select a short name, it appears that Google will create one automatically for your business based on the name you have in your GMB Listing over a period of time from claiming the profile
      • As of now, we noticed that 100% of our clients that hadn’t selected their Short Name had their Short Name created automatically within ~30 days from when we verified the listing.

Helpful ‘Short Name’ Tips & Tricks

  • Keep your short name as simple as possible for others to easily remember it and make it easier for promotion purposes.
  • You are able to choose any vanity Short Name that you’d like, but by default, Google will recommend using the name in your GMB Listing, which will automatically appear as the recommended name by Google when selecting the name.
  • Think about a name that best represents the business in a similar fashion as you would for SEO or communications purposes. As an example you might want to use your business name in tandem with your city (or neighborhood/borough if in a larger city).
  • Knowing the above, there is no mandated name you have to pick for your business, but ensure you are free of any trademarked names or anything that might be legally unable to use.
    • As a reminder, these names are global so if you have national rights to use a name, there might still be some implications over sees.
  • The name you choose can be 5-31 characters long and currently there are no rules for acronyms or specific characters you can choose from.
  • As of now, each business listing can have ONLY ONE unique Short Name.
    • If your business has multiple locations, consider dividing the Short Name using the same naming convention as you would your GMB Name.
    • Ex: Business Name + Location (either city, neighborhood or borough)
    • Currently, Google is still determining how to optimize the Short Name for larger franchise networks and multi-location businesses, meaning as of now, every listing must manually create a name for each individual location. There could be an ability to offer bulk claiming/creation in the future, but not as of now.
  • Currently, these URL’s are not being indexed, so optimizing your Short Name for SEO purposes may not be necessary.
    • Keyword stuffing in general is currently frowned upon when creating a Short Name, so the use of multiple keywords when choosing your Short Name could result in your listing becoming suspended.
  • The Short Name is immediately converted into a maps link whenever your reviewer/customer uses it.
  • As of now, the links are NOT case-sensitive, meaning you can camel case the words (p.page/Short-Name) or keep it all lower-case (g.page/short-name) and Google will convert it all to lower case either way.
    • We have been camel casing each listing for our clients up until now, simply to make it easier to differentiate when reading.
  • Be aware that the URL has a 302 redirect instead of a 301 redirect, meaning there will not be any SEO benefit or ranking enhancement as of now for using a specific Short Name vs. another.
  • Consider hyphenating between words
    • Google will recommend a default that hyphenates between words will hyphenate between words in your Short Name (ex: p.page/short-name vs. p.page/shortname) and as of now, it appears this is the preferred method to differentiate between words so we are keeping it this way for our clients until deemed necessary to change.

Making Your Short Name A Review Link

    • Once your Short Name is created, you will then have the ability to create a link for prospective reviewers to go directly to the “Review Box” of your GMB Listing.
    • To access this link, click on the “Home” tab of your GMB Listing and then scroll down until you see “Get more reviews”, under which you will see a field that says “Click to copy link” – which is the direct link to your GMB Listing “Review Box”
      • Again, this link WON’T show until you or Google create your Short Name

Changing Your Short Name

  • As of now, you are able to change your vanity Short Name up to 3 times in an annual year (12 months).

Other Tips

    • You aren’t able to update any existing Short Name. Instead you must create a new variation of that name (which then needs to still be reviewed and approved by Google).
    • If you decide to change your Short Name, the Short Name then turns into a custom URL search like https://www.google.com/search?q=short-name
    • That said, if you are using an “End Point” (like discussed above ex: “/review/”, when you change the Short Name, it will result in a 404 error.Here is a link for legal issues including copyright/trademark disputes or to submit a report – https://support.google.com/legal/troubleshooter/1114905#ts=7170398
    • Use your Short Name in places/marketing efforts where is makes sense to do so.
      • Always remember that this tool belongs to Google so at any point if they are alerted of any suspected fraudulent or inappropriate activity, they can suspend the link, the listing, or the entire account, all based on the specific circumstances.
      • In case it’s helpful, here are additional Google links for the Short Name process