Google+ May Make the URL Irrelevant

imageGoogle just released Google+ pages for businesses, non-profits, and other entities to join the Google+ social explosion.  This was an expected feature and personally it looks like a good first step to compete with Facebook Pages.  When I created a page , I noticed something at the very bottom of the getting started screen: Google+ Direct Connect.  Basically Google+ will analyze your page for relevance, popularity, etc. and if your page is deemed worthy (+1, followers, views, etc.), you will get your very own +keyword.  +McDonald's +Nike,+AMA … you get the idea. 

Google can leverage it’s dominance as a search engine to re-invent the URL using keywords that tie to a brand’s reputation in Google+.  Since people search with those keywords without the “+” already, it will be a simple thing for Google to encourage its use and thereby reinforce  the Google+ ecosystem while making the traditional URL and all its ugly baggage far less relevant.

Google can apply the same standards of scrutiny it uses to verify the authenticity of individuals through its clever use of crowdsourcing.  Google, along with PayPal and Equifax are the first official federally credentialed, Identity Providers of the NSTICs (National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace).  By verifying the identify of individuals and businesses, they can assign new “trusted” keywords.  This could completely change the URL / Certificate model which is plagued with complexity, fraud and high cost.  If businesses use Google Apps for email, and other infrastructure services, it strengthens Google’s ability to verify keyword “ownership”.  It will be interesting to see how Google will be able to police keyword branding (anything is better than the current extortion method.)