But, there's more. They gave me a present, too!
They offered me a personalized URL and of course I snapped it up:
Not to grouse over this, but it is about time because a personalized URL is the best way to help drive people to Google+.
I haven't seen Google in a hurry to pass them out. In their typical style, they offer products selectively and roll out new services by word of mouth and invitation only. Compare this to the land rush Facebook conducted when it opened up their URLs on a first come first serve basis in one day.
Why are these personalized URLs important to individuals beyond mere status symbols? Why have I made a point to get my name in every URL that I can and in every email service offered? Yes, I own pattiwilson in Yahoo, Outlook, and Google email. Well one's name is part of one's brand isn't it? It is how you are found in a Google search.
People, hiring managers, headhunters, customers, networking contacts, blind dates will all search on your name in Google not your company. Think about it. You do it yourself when you want to find out about somebody. Moreover, Google's search algorithm gives preference to someone's name + a URL like pattiwilson.com or pattiwilson.net. It really doesn't matter what specific domain comes after it. It could be .me, .ca, .us, .whatever. The name attached to the domain is of key importance.
If you have a common name, like mine, then owning multiple URLs in required to hold your place at the top of the first screen in a Google name search. If you share a name with someone famous who is in IMDB or Wikipedia, for example, then it is crucial to have multiple social sites and URLs with your name to compete against the big databases.
It all adds up to greater visibility and a bigger digital footprint. What is the point of good branding if nobody can find you online? Thanks Google!