Short names will no longer be available in Google My Business, according to their updated help documentation. Discovered initially by Ben Fisher, the Help Center update says: “You can no longer create or edit short names. Short names and URLs that already exist will still work.”
Short names made it easier for businesses to share review request URLs. “They are a good short url for getting reviews from clients, just add /review at the end and it takes users directly to submit a review on the businesses GMB profile,” tweeted Andy Simpson in reply to the find.
The feature was added initially in 2019 and was designed to help businesses make their GMB profiles more accessible to potential and existing customers. “Businesses can use the short URL on materials like business cards, posters, brochures, etc, in order to help customers easily find the business and leave reviews, access contact information, get directions and more,” wrote Search Engine Land’s own Barry Schwartz when short names were originally announced.
Many of the responses to Fisher’s tweet, though, have the same sentiment: oh well. “I didn’t ever really get excited about these,” said Adam J. Humphreys.
Why we care. If your business currently uses short names, the links and campaigns you have associated with them won’t be affected (as of now). If it’s part of your process for onboarding new local SEO clients or something you haven’t done for your own business, it won’t be available any longer. You may have to resort to another link shortening tool like bit.ly to make it easier for customer review outreach.