Two days ago, Facebook announced on its blog that user profiles would be made searchable on Google. I think this is a good thing.
Now you can use Facebook as another way to get your name, or company name, into the public realm. Here’s how:
- Set up a user profile
- Change Facebook’s privacy settings to your preferences
- Be sure to fill in as much information as you can about you and your company
It’s that simple.
But Will Anyone Find Your Facebook Profile?
Whether Facebook profiles will be optimized enough for anyone to find them is another question, but my guess is that Google and Facebook have entered into an agreement that will make Facebook profiles a part of Google Universal searches. If they haven’t, they should. That will mean that of the top 10 listings for any person’s name or a company name then one of those will be a Facebook profile – provided that the individual or company has set one up.
Users concerned about privacy will be happy to know that Facebook has taken great measures to protect privacy. You have total control over how much of your profile is made public. As it stands now, anyone not logged in to Facebook will only see that you have a Facebook profile. They won’t be able to see the profile itself.
Who Wins With The Facebook-Google Wedding?
What this means for Facebook is a new and effective way to market Facebook itself. If someone not familiar with Facebook searches for a long long Army buddy, or something, and finds out that he has a Facebook profile, they click the search query and land Facebook’s website, but will not be able to see their buddy’s profile unless they log in and set up an account. Big win for Facebook.
Facebook users have one more way to get their personal names and company names in the Google SERPs. Granted, people will have to search for you by name, but as you grow your company online and you make an impact in social circles as well as with your customers then people will be more apt to search for your company.
Let’s say that you meet someone in a public chat room. You get to talking and they want to learn more about you, but you leave before they get your website address. They search for your name to see what they find and discover your Facebook profile. That’s a big win for you.
It’s also a big win for those want to find you. Triple win.
Yahoo, Live, Ask: The Collateral Benefit
What Google does other search engines will inevitably follow. You can bet that Facebook profiles will start appearing in other search engine results as well. What degree of importance they will hold is another matter, but I would not be surprised to see Facebook profiles appearing in Yahoo and Ask SERPs soon.
More Google-Facebook Rumors
For awhile I was hearing that Google might be buying Facebook. Nice rumor. It could happen. It might not. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Facebook is quickly replacing MySpace as the place to be. Overall, I think Facebook does a better job of protecting users’ privacy, which is very important if you have children who like to play around on the social sites.
There are other benefits to having a Facebook profile, however. You can now read your RSS feeds in Google Reader through your Facebook profile. How cool is that? And you can set up Google Analytics in your Facebook apps. You can also share your social searches with your Facebook friends.
I see the relationship between Google, Facebook, and users of both only getting better. I’m on the edge of my seat. How about you?