Image via CrunchBase
Today, 360i was quoted in MediaPost about the potential search engine optimization (SEO) value of Facebook including links to Pages in public profiles. Theoretically that adds a ton of links to Pages. But it’s not so clear-cut.
If you’ve ever done some vanity searching in Google (come on, admit it) and you have profiles on a number of sites, you probably found that your LinkedIn page, Flickr account, and other links come up before Facebook. We were doing a lot of vanity searching in the office yesterday to test this out, and Facebook links were out there, but generally buried.
Some of this was addressed in MediaPost:
…Potential traffic gains for branded Pages from search engine listings could be limited by Facebook’s lack of focus on search engine optimization. “The way links on Facebook are structured right now, they don’t have the type of permanence that search engines are looking for,” said David Berkowitz, director of emerging media and client strategy at search engine marketing firm 360i.
He continued: “Facebook does evolve pretty quickly, but so far they’ve been a little behind the curve when it comes to SEO.”
If the SEO benefits show up, marketers will be paying much more attention. We’ve already built some Facebook Pages for marketers, so we’ll be monitoring this religiously. This came up in MediaPost too:
…Berkowitz added that inclusion in search listings could encourage more marketers to create Pages, which Facebook offers for free. “If this does start fueling search engine rankings, then, given how pervasive SEO is, that will help marketers go about creating these pages and developing them,” he said.
Privacy issues also came up during the interview, and they should, but that probably won’t be a big concern here. While Facebook does sometimes push the envelope (ahem, Beacon, ahem), it offers some of the most granular privacy controls of any site out there, and most of the time other publishers should emulate their example rather than shy away from it.
The article closed with these thoughts:
When Facebook first opened up profiles to public search listings last year, a small proportion of users changed their privacy settings to block dissemination of their data, according to Inside Facebook’s Smith. But 360i’s Berkowitz suggested that members who “fan” a brand on Facebook have a limited expectation of privacy.
“When someone becomes a fan of a Page, it’s a pretty explicit action you’re taking, and it’s pretty clear it’s going to show up elsewhere on Facebook–>
Two final notes:
- 360i’s Mike Levin, an SEO pioneer in the real sense (not the overused public relations jargon), greatly informed the quotes in the article, and he’s a huge part of our social media optimization think tank, so expect to hear more from him on the blog – and in person, if you’re ever by the office.
- If you’re on Facebook and like what we’re doing here, how about becoming a fan of 360i?