Gmail via Google+

2014 and Google continues with its Google+ push with something that I know a lot of people are unhappy about – The integration of Gmail and Google+

The biggest issue this has raised is that now anyone with a Google+ account can email you via Google+ even if they don’t know your address.  I guess in future this will be integrated fully into Hangouts like Text Messaging  has been on Android (will that mean Google+ users will then also be able to text you.!!)

As with all new Google features you will find that this one has is launched already enabled.   So users have to opt out instead of opt in.   So what you probably want to know is how do I turn this off?

Well it’s a simple process under your settings tab, and if you don’t want to turn it off completely you can choose to allow emails via Google+ from your extended circles, just your circles or no one (and the default – Anyone).

Here is a simple 4 step guide:

  1. Login to your Gmail account(s) and click the gear icon at the top right of your screen
  2. Select > Settings > General > Email via Google+
  3. Click the drop down menu and select the audience you want to have the ability to send you Gmail (Anyone, Extended Circles, Circles or No One)
  4. Save Changes

One thing to note is that no one will be able to see your email address, unless you then reply to a message sent to you in this way.   If you use the Inbox categories then any mails received will be filtered with all mails from people in your circles going to Primary and any from users outside of your circles going into the Social tab.

In the meantime I will still have to wait for Google to find a way of associating older Gmail accounts with a Google+ account.

Google+ Custom URLs – At last!

Get your Google+ Custom URL

Its been a while in coming, but finally Google has made it possible for Google+ pages to get a custom URL (often called vanity URLs).

This is something that Facebook has offered business for a while, and its great to see Google+ catch up.  So what is a custom URL?  well put it simply is a short and descriptive URL.

PADI’s Google+ page previously could be found under the URL

Short, snappy and memorable?   No!  Especially when you consider our Facebook page  how much simpler and easier to remember is that, and it’ll also show up in searches for PADI a lot better.

Since the change my Google+ URL is:

Much better, and a lot simpler.  Soon I’ll just be able to advertise +trevorsanford and people will know what to do.

So how do you get this custom URL for your own Google+ page?

First off, Google actually assigns the custom URL to you, and you only get the chance to customise this if its not unique.  ie. if there is more then one business on the web with your name.  There are also number of eligibility requirements, depending if its a personal profile, Google Local connected or non Connected business page.

efore you can get a custom URL, your account needs to be in good standing and meet the following requirements:

Eligibility for People:

  • Ten or more followers
  • Your account is 30 days old or more
  • A profile photo

Eligibility for Local Google+ pages: Must be a verified local business

Eligibility for Non-local Google+ pages: Must be linked to a website

So How do I claim my Google+ URL

If you are eligible through the above criteria you will see a notification at the top of your Google+ profile or page.  The just follow these simple steps as described by Google:

  1. Click Get a custom URL button to get started. Alternatively, from the “About” tab on your Profile, click the “Get” link located under your Google+ URL.
  2. You’ll see the URL(s) you’ve been approved for. If you see more than one option, select the one you like best. You may also be asked to add a few numbers or letters to make the custom URL unique to you.
  3. Check the box to agree to the Terms of Service.
  4. Click Change URL.
  5. Google may ask you to verify your account by your mobile phone number. If you need to do this, you’ll see a box pop up asking you to do so.
    a. Enter your mobile phone number.
    b. Check the box to make it easier for people who have your phone number to find you on Google services.
    c. Check your phone for the code that was sent to you.
    d. Enter that code in the box.
    e. Click Verify.
  6. Once approved, this URL will be linked to your Google+ page or Profile, so be sure everything is exactly the way you want it. Once your URL has been approved, you can’t request to change it. When you’re certain, click Confirm.

Using your custom URL; now you can use this simple short url in your advertising or when printing flyers or on email signatures.  Also using these short cuts you can direct people to specific areas of your page or profile.


Are you using Google Authorship to stand out in search?

Originally Posted on November 4, 2013 by

What is Google Authorship?

Google authorship is an essential tool for anyone using a blog to drive their dive business.  It is something that helps you stick our in search results, certainly a very important proposition.

Google Authorship


As you can see in the above screen shot of a search result, my blog post appears with my image (taken from your Google+ profile) and a by.. tag line.  Why is this important?  Well for one it makes your post stand out from the search results crowd, and this is certainly going to bring you more clicks.   In fact one independent study found that it leads to a 150% increase in clicks.  So if you use a blog as a business tool it strikes me as clearly negligent not to set up Google Authorship! Continue reading “Are you using Google Authorship to stand out in search?”

Do I need a Google+ page?

Originally Posted on October 15, 2013 by


Do I need a Google+ page?

Recently I wrote about the advantage to businesses of being on Twitter. Which lead to a conversation with a colleague on the subject of Google+ and what was my view on Businesses being present on this network also.

Get your Business seen online

In my view its vital to have an active presence on Google+, especially if  a business has a physical location, as every business should have a Google Local entry and these should be linked to a Google+ page, though I’m getting ahead of myself.  (if you don’t have a Google Local, previously called Places you can sign up here

Now us digital marketing professionals have been arguing since the launch of Google+ about its apparent worth.  As a social network I personally think its not as worthwhile as many others.  But we’re not here to talk about posting pictures of cats or our lunches. We’re here to talk about increasing your business visibility and generate leads.  The following reasons are based on what we know Google is doing with Google+ and how it influences our websites position across Google search.

4 Reasons you need to be on Google+ Continue reading “Do I need a Google+ page?”