In December 2007, Google released the first incarnation of the Google Profile. This was the beginning of a continued effort from Google to refactor numerous services to have a more modular architecture, so that key pieces of information were held in one place only.
In a recent upgrade to Google Profiles, the vanity URL was introduced. A vanity URL is a label or string that a user can associate to their account so that other people can find them more easily. Some services allow a user to enter anything they like, other services derive the vanity URL from the account user name – which is the tact that Google have taken.
While a user can provide quite a bit of information about themselves within their Google Profile and also link or consume data from other services within it – it did not automatically mean that the profile would be visible within Google Search. Users are required to check a box, with the label “Display my full name so I can be found in search” – before the profile is visible within search engines.
After checking that box quite some time ago, I was confused that no matter how many pages I went back through the search results for a vanity search – that I couldn’t find my Google profile listed. I had assumed that by checking that box, that it’d trigger Googlebot to crawl the profile and place it into the search index. Failing that, I had thought that since Google were publishing the Google Profiles into XML sitemaps, that would have also sufficed to get my profile within Google Search – both of which were incorrect assumptions.
It would appear that Google Profiles are subject to all of the same indexation restrictions and issues that a normal web page is. If you’re struggling to get your Google Profile indexed, the sure fire way is to link to it from a page already indexed or somewhere that you know will get crawled by search engines shortly.